Douse the Grouse!

by Andy Wood on January 3, 2019

in Five LV Laws, Insight, Life Currency, LV Cycle, Principle of Freedom, Protecting Your Investment

I was talking to a friend recently. He’s at something of a crossroads. Ready to move forward, but stuck where he is. Wanting something different, but not sure how to define it. Caught somewhere between disappointment and desire, he hears the lament of the Grouse.

That’s a voice I’m all-too-familiar with. And I suspect you’d say the same thing. When I hear the Grouse speaking, the voice sounds exactly like mine. And when you hear its moody whine, it sounds like yours.

The Grouse often sounds logical. Sometimes fearful. Sometimes it takes on a protective, caring tone; at other times it mocks you. Sometimes it whispers, sometimes it sings. And sometimes it screams like a spoiled child.

Crazy thing is, nobody can hear the Grouse but you. But it’s as real as Minnesota snow in January.

The Grouse is an internal voice that stays quiet so long as we play it “safe,” and never attempt to change anything. But let a man dare to dream in the wake of big disappointments, and out comes the Grouse. Let a woman turn her wishful thinking into bold action, and the Grouse will start sounding the alarm.

The goal of the Grouse is to get you to do nothing. Stay comfortable. Don’t offend anybody. Avoid disappointment at all cost. Don’t embarrass yourself or make anybody else uncomfortable either.

Just. Don’t. Change.

Six Voices of the Grouse

The Grouse takes on different voices to trash your dreams or paralyze your progress. See if you recognize any of these G.R.O.U.S.E. accents:

The Griper

Whine and moan. Prepare for disaster. That’s all you ever seem to get anyway in that train wreck you call a life. Even if you do get ahead, somebody will come along and steal it, or you’ll lose it. You tried this before and it didn’t work. Way to go, screwup.

The Rule Follower

That is NOT allowed. Who authorized you to do that? Who do you think you are? Are you supposed to do that? Did somebody give you permission to try that? What about your doctor? Your boss? Does your spouse know about this and does he/she approve.

The Over-thinker

Before you jump into all this you need to do some fact-finding. What happens if this doesn’t work? What if you fail? What if people reject you? What if the economy goes south? Is this the best time to start? You should wait until you get all your questions answered.

The Underachiever

Looks like a bucketload of work. Do you have time for all that? Good grief, when is enough enough? Keep this up and you won’t have any friends left. Why can’t you be content to be like everybody else? What makes you so special? Anyway, somebody else has probably already beat you to it.

The Squirrel Chaser

This is a great idea! I think you’re gonna crush th- Hey! Did you see that tweet? Funny! Oh, that reminds me I need to send that email. Oh look, I got 47 likes on my new profile pic. Man, I’m hungry. I wonder what’s for dinner. Okay, where was I? Oh yeah, that tweet…

The “Expert”

That’s impossible. All the research says it can’t be done. And my uncle who works at Google told me they’ve been trying to do this for years. Anyway, are you trained in this? Do you have the right certifications or degree? Maybe before you sink too much into this you need to go back to school.

Squelching the Grumbling of the Grouse

If you’ve aroused the Grouse, that’s a good sign. In fact, if whatever you call a dream doesn’t produce a Grouse-like voice hollering “You can’t do that!” then your dreams are too small. But if you don’t move forward toward your goals in spite of the Grouse, you’ll remain stuck in the same spot you’re in right now.

Here are some ideas for finding a way to D.O.U.S.E. the Grouse:

1. Decide exactly what you want

Whatever the problem to solve, the goal to achieve, or the opportunity to seize, if you don’t want it bad enough, the Grouse will win every time. What do you want more than anything? Why is it that important to you? What happens if you don’t get it? How loudly does the Grouse have to yell to get you to quit?

Desire, fueled by clarity and depth, has enormous power. But your desire will be tested.

2. Own your future

The lie of the Grouse is that by doing nothing you’ll keep your life the same as it is today.

Nope. Not so. If you’re not growing (translation: changing), you’re moving backwards.

The future isn’t something that happens to you. It’s the result of a life of sowing and reaping. This requires you and me to take ownership of our future. No one is more committed to your success, your vision, your dreams, than you are. That said, when you DO take ownership of your desired future, you’ll be able to…

3. Use available resources.

You have more help available than you realize. Encouragers. REAL experts. Cheerleaders. Advisors and mentors. People with different gifts and talents. People with money! They’re all standing ready to help when you need them.

BUT…

You DO have to ask. And sometimes you have to seek and knock. All the while the Grouse is, well, grousing. “You’re a pain!” “Nobody wants to help you!” “You’re high-maintenance!”

Ask anyway.

(I’m actually writing all this for myself, because I hate having to ask for help. I’m sure that’s not a problem for you, so let’s…)

4. Start moving.

Somewhere. Anywhere. So long as it is in the direction of your intended results. If you make a wrong step, correct it. If you step on somebody’s toes, apologize and keep moving. If you’re unsure what to do, pick up the phone, call somebody, and talk it out.

Don’t give in to the paralysis of analysis. Don’t wait until everybody in your universe understands and approves. Don’t wait until you have all the steps figured out. Don’t ask for permission from people who don’t have the authority to give it. Until God Himself says to stop, mash the gas and move forward.

5. Expect resistance

As a 50-year student of the Bible, I’ve noticed something interesting. Nearly every time someone in scripture decided to do good, they encountered resistance. Sometimes the Grouse. Sometimes the circumstances. Sometimes people in authority. Sometimes people who were threatened.

If Nehemiah had resistance to building that wall, if Peter and John had to explain what right they had(!) to heal a man, if Paul had to deal with what he called his “thorn in the flesh,” what makes you immune from resistance?

Resistance isn’t a sign you’re doing something wrong. It most likely is a sign you’re doing something right. So maybe you should thank the Grouse for letting you know you’re on the right track.

Then tell him – literally – to shut the hell up.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Martha Orlando January 3, 2019 at 8:34 am

Loved, loved, loved this amazing advice today, Andy! Great way to start the New Year by dousing the grouse. Blessings to you and yours!
Martha Orlando´s last blog post ..Love and Blessings!

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