Breaking Out of the “8 Life”

“You have achieved an “8 life”, now you are about to learn how to break out of this level of satisfaction and go for the “10 life”

What I mean by that is… Let’s take all the pieces of our lives and rate them on a scale of satisfaction, between 1-10, 1 being least satisfied, 10 being most. If the average nonscientific end result score is about an 8, then we have what I call the “8 life”. The “8 life” is a pretty damn good life. Most people would kill for the “8 life”. It is solid, it is set, it is well maintained and cared for, with enough money and stuff to make us comfortable. Inside the “8 life” we have just enough to make us feel really scared at the thought of loosing it. We are attached to what we have and how we have it. It’s also a life that afford us to ask the question “what else do I want?” or ‘is this all there is to it?” or “things are good, but i am wanting something more, what is that?”

This is the place of good news and bad news. The good news is we have life pretty good!! We have achieved a lot and have reached a certain level of success and comfort that is working for us. The bad news is it is really hard to break out of it to go for a “10 life”. Our body will constrict and our mind will scream at the thought of shaking things up and risking everything we have or know.

If we had rated our lives at a 6 or a 7, we feel the pain of the need to change much sharper. The pain of our circumstance is more compelling for us to address and do something about it. The “8” life doesn’t have sharp pain. It has a dull pain and it’s in the back ground. The kind of pain that we can tolerate for a long time. And the thought of doing something about it, sometime can be more painful than living with the dull ache as is. It is much easier to just keep paddling and keeping things as is.

I have more bad news ;-) Or maybe not bad news but warnings…

To break out of the “8” life and go for a “10” life, it sometimes can be violent and disturbing to our ego-system. We have to be willing to shatter our circumstances, to break our current thinking and comfort zone, walk away or cut the ball and chains that we have carefully set up in our lives to keep things steady and safe. All of these verbs that I just used are action verbs with disturbing consequences. AND there is no guarantee that we will succeed. People with the “8” life like to buy insurance and have guarantees. Because we now have enough assets that if we loose it, it will be painful. We like to protect and demand guarantees for everything we have. And if we ask ourselves to change, there is a part of our brain that will scream out “what if it wont work?” and “How do we know we will succeed?”

When we reach for a “10” life, there is no guarantee. In fact we can plan on going into the muck, turning things upside down for what may seem like a long time, getting really confused and doubting ourselves and the process, AND perhaps “loosing or letting go” of everything. All, so that we can find that thing that we are looking for.

And that thing that we are looking for is US. The new and improved ME in each one of us. The ME that have been tested, stretched, pulled and being close to destruction, that phoenix-ME rising out of our ashes. When we find that ME in each one of us, that is the “10 life”, and it is worth every drop of sweat, blood, and tears that we shed.

This complexity applies at the work place for leaders too. Think of this at a personal leadership level, and at the organizational level. This same trap is very real for executives to face everyday. And how often do you settle for the “8 Life” = good enough, instead of the “10 LIFE” = everybody rocking and rolling with the organization.

Having been there, done that, both the personal and professional levels, I say this with deep sincerity, “GOOD LUCK!”

10 thoughts on “Breaking Out of the “8 Life”

  1. YOu are aMAIzing

    This is a great article – I have a new “image” of movement for you to work with on your next blog. It has to do with “Black Hole’s” and their associated “Event Horizon.” This is the place (moment in spacetime) where nothing is observable -and nothing escapes. We all have within us Black Holes (as has been demostrated is at the center of every galaxy). The challenge is to get our creative expression to be released BEYOND the “Event Horizon” so that it doesn’t fall back into the Black Hole within. Cool image huh?

  2. Hi Mai. I think the “8 Life” is the life “they” prescribe. What “they” say is a successful life – with the insurance and savings and safe income. Bill and I took our equity and savings and invested it into real estate. Was it a “10” move to create wealth, get out of the rat race, be able to impact the world in a bigger way? Or a “7” move to create a bigger nest egg and a reaction to a fearful future? Perhaps there was some of both. But now I’m back to a “3” anyway because it’s all worthless and we have fewer assets than what we had 20 years ago.

  3. Wow Mai, I was just trying to describe this myself in a letter to a group of potential clients. It’s so clear when you use a rating scale!

    It’s funny, because in rating both myself and employees, my philosophy has always been that a “10” isn’t really an option because it means that the attribute or value demonstrated has been fully achieved and it’s over, there is no room to improve. So given that, an 8 is really very good, and an 9 is exceptional, but at the end of the day, when the final chapter is done, I want my best life to feel like a 10 because I never settle for where I am, I always want whats next!

    This isn’t easy, it means that things always have to be in play to get out there and go after what comes after “8”.

    Messy might not look that great in the moment, and may feel uncomfortable but when you are looking back on it from a “9”, it tastes so sweet!

    Keep inspiring us!


  4. here’s a thought: what if we go for the 10, and get it? then we discover that there’s more we want, and what we thought was 10 is 8, and so we keep growing and reaching, and so on and so on! How exciting!!!

  5. Okkkk you wrote this for me didn’t you (and Justice!) .. haha. J/k but I can SO identify with the place of 8 and being in the ole CZ as you WELL know.

    Because going from the 8 to the 10 can feel like a 3 or a 4, gripped by fear and uncertainty. Ah, no WONDER the CZ is so appealing!

    Nancy, the 3 can so quickly change into an 8 again with a change in perspective. Don’t know your situation but is there a way to internalise your rating? As in, feel at peace knowing this is just a phase? Just throwing it out there.

    Thanks for the great write up Miss Mai! Appreciate the tick tocking of my brain 🙂

  6. Ah, Mai, you do love to put your little finger on the pain and push (“does that hurt? That? How about THAT”)… But then you keep on coming, which is what I love about you – you don’t give up and go away. Because I know you are doing the same to/for yourself.

    It SUCKS wanting the 10 life! I wish I could stop wanting it. But it’s not an option – it’s what my life is about. I could settle for an 8, or even a 7, and get cancer and die alone and what good would that be? So, I’m there with you on the journey, bumpy and confusing as it gets sometimes (hell, a lot of the time!), and grateful that you and others (like the people who’ve responded) are on the wild ride with me!

    I saw an IMAX film about the building of the Space Station recently, and in one section they showed what might happen to an astronaut working outside the space station who came untethered and couldn’t get back to the station (what if the little jet pack fails, I’m thinking…) The image of being in the huge void with “safety” right next to me but unreachable … but wait, if I turn my back on it, there’s this delicious incredible totally mind-blowing expanse that goes on and on … for how long? Just what IS possible for a spirit in human form (and with a space suit on) to do?

    Oh, the places we will go…

  7. ps. I just had an image! Of a bunch of astronauts in their space suits joining hands and turning their backs on the space ship and going out into the void together to see what they find! I love it!

  8. Wonderful to realise am not the only one always moving on in search of the 10 🙂 have had many 8 moves to 3 and had a couple of -5’s too but am still inspired to keep on seeking more depth, more learning, more connection and more joy and laughter. great website and articles Thanks to all for sharing :))

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