Create some friction!

A few weeks ago, I watched an interview with Gweneth Paltrow, where she was talking about how being a success at a young age meant that many people came into her life to help smooth the way and make life easy. It wasn’t until her father sat her down and suggested that she was in danger of becoming an A-hole, that she realised that a bit of “friction” in life is a good thing.

She expressed perfectly something I have been thinking about and working on myself. I noticed that when someone achieves success, they sometimes slide backwards (often dramatically) soon after. I wonder if, without the ‘friction’ created by striving for success, these people step back and stop challenging themselves to become better people and to improve and enhance their skills.

The ongoing challenges we face every day can be good for us! Needing to earn an income to pay bills and mortgages means we must find better ways of dealing with challenging work situations or health issues. We must navigate relationships with difficult family members, customers or work colleagues.

I’m not saying you need to stay in dangerous or toxic environments, but if we continuously smooth our way by playing it safe and encasing ourselves in a protective cocoon, we can stagnate and limit our personal growth. Pushing the boundaries and working towards constant improvement allows us to become better versions of ourselves.

Further to my recent blogs, about “Getting stuff done” and pushing a little harder, I now suggest choosing something that you would like to improve about yourself, or a fear you would like to overcome, and then challenge yourself to achieve it. Create some friction to live a life filled with interest and passion.

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