On Dependency (or How To Stop Being A Wuss and Embrace Change)
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary.
Posted by Ryan Neal
On Dependency (or How To Stop Being A Wuss and Embrace Change)
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary. Posted by Ryan Neal

The problem with relying on someone or something is they (or it) won't always be there. Then what?

If we're not prepared to live without something, suddenly being forced to live without it will be an enormously difficult, and stressful, transition.

I'm not immune to being dependent.

Just one example: I used to use a blender every morning to make my breakfast smoothie. Fresh (or frozen) fruit with soy/almond/rice/hemp milk or coconut water. It's healthy and because my body doesn't have to work hard to digest it, incredibly energizing. I can drink the smoothie and I'm immediately ready to start the day with a quickness.

I've been "on the road" for over 7 months and I don't have my blender. Therefore, I don't have my go-to breakfast and my days don't start out "right."

The Root Of Dependency Is A Fear Of Change

Adapting to change is part of human nature. A look at any time in history proves that we've been adapting to change since the big bang.

But for some of us, adapting to change doesn't come naturally anymore. We still adapt because we have no choice, but we don't do it willingly.

I used to strongly dislike change myself, but now I relish in the opportunity to flex my change muscle.

Going back to my breakfast example: Instead of my regular morning smoothie I now eat a bunch of locally available fresh fruit. (Here in Chiang Mai I eat a lot of pineapple, mango, cantaloupe, and bananas).

Change is good because it pushes us to our limits. How do muscles grow? By stressing them; making them work. The change muscle is no different.

Some Of Us Hate Change

For example, when a significant other goes out by themselves, are you the type who doesn't know what to do with yourself? Do you feel bored, hurt, abandoned, or worse, jealous? (Life Lesson #59: Jealousy is mankind's most useless emotion.)

Is this any good for you or the relationship?

It's OK To Hate Change

If you're currently dependent on someone or something it's going to be uncomfortable at first when making the move towards independence.

By independence I don't necessarily mean getting rid of whatever you're dependent upon. I'm not suggesting everybody in a relationship break up.

When I encounter a couple that has their own separate lives in addition to their lives together I feel an immense sense of happiness for them. That is my vision of an ideal relationship, although it's very rare.

I refuse to settle for anything less and when I see a happy couple that also have separate lives it reinforces to me that it's possible.

Girls should have "girls weekends" and guys should be able to "hang out with the boys" or whatever the case may be.

How To Embrace Change

Step 1: Take A Small, Easily Doable, Break

Break free from whatever you're dependent upon for just 24 hours. Knowing you'll go back to whatever it is you're dependent upon in 24 hours will make it easier to get through it.

Some things you may want to break free from:

- TV

- Internet

- Texting

- A relationship (I don't mean this negatively. I mean it in regards to my view of a healthy relationship, both platonic and romantic.)

- Your iPod

- Fill in the blanks: _______

Step 2: Reflect On The Change

After 24 hours are up reflect on how you felt by breaking your dependency.

Was it easier or more difficult than you expected?

How do you feel about the change?

Did you immediately go back to your dependency? In other words, were you counting down the minutes until you could watch TV, go online, text your friends, etc?

How To Truly Break Your Dependencies

A 24 hour break is all well and good, but it's just an exercise to help you realize that you really can adapt to change and break a dependency. It's not a permanent solution.

The ultimate test in breaking your dependencies is by practicing minimalism. Getting rid of extraneous "stuff" (<-- PDF written by, uhh, me, haha) will make you realize just how little you need to live a Ridiculously Extraordinary Life.

Every day people ask me how I can possibly live with so few things. On the flipside, when I see other backpackers almost falling over due to the heavy loads on their backs I wonder how they can possibly "live" with so much.

The stress and strain on their faces is blatantly visible.

Or when I hear someone complain about how much debt they're in while buying a new camera lens, new video game, new clothes, new car, or new anything, I can't help but think how positively they could change their lives with a little bit of minimalism.

When you practice minmalism you have fewer choices to make, fewer things to keep track of, fewer things to stress about, and you begin to progress towards Ridiculously Extraordinary Freedom.

Need Minimalist Help?

There are a lot of good eBooks/Web sites out there. I've mentioned many of them in the past.

Leo Babauta's work is a fantastic place to get what you need.

- The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Business and in Life (<-- Leo's print  book) -

Other minimalists you may enjoy:

- Everett Bogue

- David Damron

- Tammy Strobel

- Joshua Becker

There are many more, but there's only so much you can read in a day. :)

How do you feel? Hit me up in the comments ...