Do You Have an Old Georgie in Your Life?

Do You Have an Old Georgie in Your Life?

Portrayed by Hugo Weaving in Cloud Atlas, Old Georgie is the embodiment of fear, doubt, hatred, and stagnation. He wears tattered old clothes, reminiscent of a bygone era. His skin appears to be going through a state of decomposition. He torments Zackry, played by Tom Hanks in the far-future, whenever Zackry encounters with new situations, injecting into him a stream of negative thoughts or otherwise dissuading him from taking action.

In short, Old Georgie is the enforcer of the status quo. He rears his ugly head whenever we are about to take a step and make real change. He talks “sense” into us, persuading us to stay in our comfort zones, reminding us of the reasons why something will not work rather than why something will work.

Being Mindful

You have to be mindful of your own Old Georgie. Your thoughts make up who you are. When a new idea challenges our current belief system, we are more likely to strike it down than to accept it. If you are about to take a major step forward, such as relocating for a new job, starting your own business, writing a book, beginning an exercise program, or moving in with your mate, you’d likely find Old Georgie rearing his ugly head. He’s there to remind you of and enforce your current beliefs.

During these pivotal moments, you have to ask yourself if the new opportunity is right for you or if Old Georgie is right in trying to talk you out of it. Either way, you are right. If you find yourself spewing out a constant stream of don’t wants rather than what you do want, then it is time to take a step backwards and reevaluate the situation. We humans are rather curious beings. We seem to enjoy wallowing in fear and self-pity. When something good happens to us, we may be happy for a little bit but as soon as the initial euphoria wears off, we go back to our old baseline of happiness. For many, the mere thought of being happy or successful scares them. It’s like taking a fish out of a bowl of murky water and placing it in a much larger tank of clean water. The fish may now have more space and is more comfortable, but because it has been in that bowl of murky water for most of its life, it will surely feel out of its comfort zone. It even longs for the comfort of the dirty old bowl of water.

And so we are now that fish presented with better opportunities and success. We get so nervous that we oftentimes subconsciously talk ourselves down. We ask Old Georgie to come back and assure us that our comfort zone is the right place to be. He stokes the fire of our fears. He strokes our proud egos. He provides us with that self-assurance to stay as we are.

Letting Go

If you find yourself hesitating, questioning negatively, or just being plain fearful of what is a seemingly good thing, it is how you know Old Georgie is lurking in the shadows. Now is the time to step back and examine the situation. Make a list containing the pros and cons, then meditate on it. Ask yourself if your concerns and concessions are confounding what is otherwise a good thing.

The Art of Meditation frees your mind from your ego. It frees your thoughts that are constantly waging a battle in your head, replacing it with a calm peace. You really can try too hard and have the answers constantly elude you. It is in that calmness that your heart is able to you what it really wants, free of the noise and interference of Old Georgie. Practice meditation constantly, as your mind is like any tool: The more you use it, the more you are able to focus. Learn to trust your gut instinct.

Journal Your Thoughts

Let the paper be a blank parchment upon which you release your fears and doubts. Treat it as you would treat an attentive, close friend, listening to your thoughts and feelings, asking you the tough questions to help you figure out why you’d much rather stay the same than embark on a new journey. In other words, what’s stopping you when everyone around you is happy for you?

Write down what is to be and what currently is. Examine each scenario, with all the good and bad. In your new situation, write down as many details as possible, from where you are to what you are doing to who you are with to why you are there. Let your mind roam free and freely express yourself. This is your world now. You make it into whatever you want. For example, what will you be gaining if you relocate thousands of miles for a new job? What will you gain from staying where you currently are? What will you lose in either situation?

As you write, note how your heart and your body respond to each situation. Does your heart flutter in one scenario but your stomach curl up in knots in another? Or, maybe you have a mix of the good with the bad. What do you do now? You now just realized the magnitude of the situation. You truly have a tough decision to make. Go into even further detail, envisioning all the potentials. For example, will you have better networking opportunities? Will this be a stepping stone to an even better opportunity down the line yet? Is this what you have always imagined in your vision boards? Will you be exposed to a new environment that is conducive to you goals and values? Sometimes, we just need to give ourselves permission to be around brilliant people. Sometimes, we just need to give ourselves permission to be happy.

Trust Your Heart

Trust Your Heart

One question you should always be asking yourself is this: Am I running away from something or towards something? Sometimes you do need to run away from something in order to temporarily better your situation; however, in the long run, you will still have an overwhelming desire to be true to yourself.

Be careful, too, that you might be wanting to run away from something so badly that you want to believe that Old Georgie is trying to mislead you into staying rather than going. In other words, you may be talking yourself into something you really do not want. Think back to your initial gut reaction when you were first offered the opportunity. For instance, what did you feel when you first found out you were going to get a job offer? Was it elation or dreg? If you experienced dreg, it may actually not be Old Georgie who is talking you into staying with your current job. It’s more likely your heart talking instead of Old Georgie. What are the extenuating circumstances? For example, have you been trying to find a job for a very long time now and are simply just settling for the first offer you get. Accepting the job may even be contrary to your dreams and goals. The answer is not always so simple.

It may take you some time to arrive at the right decision, especially with a looming deadline. This is actually a good thing, for it forces us to make that decision with limited information. Imagine yourself having to talk to that person who wants to know what your answer is. What do you see yourself saying? Think back to your most initial, gut reaction. Trust it. Often, the first answer that comes to us is the best and right answer, but we insist on over-complicating the situation through over-analysis; in other words, we think way too much. Somehow, our hearts already know what we really want.

Your gut feeling or intuition is derived from data you already have. In the case of a job offer, during your on-site visit you may have noted that the work environment was not to your liking and the people not very friendly. You already know that this would be a poor fit with your working habit and values. You’d likely be very bored and unengaged at this job. Yet, you may be desperately talking yourself into liking it because this was the first offer you received in a very long time. Your heart was right. You already know the answer.

Is It My Heart or Is It Old Georgie?

By now, you are likely asking, “So how do I know if it’s Old Georgie talking or my heart talking?” This, I am afraid, varies from person to person and by experience. If you have always experienced your stomach curling when you make a decision and find out later it was the wrong decision, then let this be your metric for future decisions. Your heart already told you it was wrong. Likewise, your stomach could be curling but once you go with the decision and start executing it, you find yourself having a good time and that you made the right choice. In this case, your metric of a sick feeling is your heart telling you the right thing to do. Old Georgie, on the other hand, was trying to talk you out of it.

Experience is critical to building up your intuition. There are people that will try something for the sake of trying something, irrelevant of the good or bad gut feelings they get. You might even want to go on this path, especially if you are low on experience. That way, you are able to build up data points on which to make future decisions.

Live Your Life

If I have one takeaway from this article, it is that you need to be true to yourself and live your life. You need to always be chasing after your dreams rather than be like the masses, retreating to something safe and comfortable. You need to learn to build up your experience so that over time you are better able to trust your gut instinct. Somehow, your heart already knows what it wants. Trust it.

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  1. It is certainly an inspiring post. Thanks for sharing!
    BTW I have not watched Cloud Atlas till now and it has been in my watch list for long now. Will watch it soon.
    Anmol Rawat recently posted…The Shining (The Shining #1) – ReviewMy Profile

  2. A lovely post indeed. It would be better of we could learn to accept change, let go of a few things and live life to the fullest 🙂
    Reema D’souza recently posted…Memories!My Profile

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