Oct 14, 2016
What Should I Do?
This is such an important topic because this question is so often asked.
Sometimes the question is being asked unconsciously – you are doing so much, and feeling burnt out, overwhelmed, drained, or lacking inspiration and passion, and the unconscious question trying to be asked is, “What should I do… What should I be focused on… What really matters?
The reason so many people can relate to this is because we get so used to being busy that we don’t take care of the real business in our lives and don’t create real productivity. We are so used to reacting, putting out fires and meeting everybody else’s needs and agendas, instead of getting really clear about what our own agenda is. You hear people constantly ask, “How’s it going?” And your reply is “I’m so busy.”
There is something you are designed to be, to do, to create, to contribute. There’s a way you’re designed to show up in the world that is uniquely your design, and it comes with unique goals, projects, relationships, tasks, ways to show up, ways to serve, etc. It’s all part of the design package. Just like nature, the apple tree is designed to produce the fruit of apples, not to be a pine tree, an oak tree and a rose bush. If the ecosystem started to act like that, the entire ecosystem would collapse.
We have to start unraveling what our own vision and mission is – get back to our core, back to our real yes, back to what we really want to do, and even look at the things that other family, friends, and co-workers are excited about, but may not be the thing for us.
Sometimes there’s things that appear to be working in our lives, things that seem to be kind of going good. You’ve heard the saying, you got a good thing going here, kid; don’t mess with it. Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. I put it another way, what’s working that’s in the way?
Just because something isn’t broken doesn’t mean that it’s not meant to evolve. I use the example often of the Rubik’s cube, that little square puzzle, and it’s all messed up, all different colors on each side, and the point of the puzzle is you have to keep turning and twisting until you get every side a solid color. You start to do it, and at some point you get one of the sides solid. You get a solid white, and that’s a success. It’s working. However, what do you have to do to get the next side working? You have to mess up what you just got working. You could say, it’s not broken; it’s working. Why would I want to mess that side up? You have to mess it up, if you’re going to get the next side working. Then you get two sides working. Victory! But now what do you have to do to keep getting the next side, the next side? You’ve got to keep messing up what’s working. You have to keep messing up the level of success you’ve just achieved. You have to be more focused on the grander vision than on necessarily short term payoffs.
It doesn’t mean you don’t appreciate them and celebrate them. “I got another side!” You’ve got to keep letting it go and moving and evolving. A lot of times in our life there are certain things that are working at a certain level. Maybe your marriage is not broken, but is it really thriving? Maybe you’ve got to kind of break things, or at least shake things up. As I like to say, sometimes my work is not just to comfort the afflicted, but to afflict the comfortable.
Maybe you’ve got a job that’s not broken, it’s kind of working. It’s paying the bills. They’re not necessarily mistreating you, maybe they even appreciate you. You’ve got a good thing going, but you’re not truly on fire. You’re not fully alive and passionate, and there’s something more that’s trying to emerge. You might have to mess it up a little bit at first in order to say yes to your bigger yes.
This is challenging, because we’re always seeking another level of status quo, equilibrium, balance, and once we find that balance we don’t want to lose it. How do you walk? If you never ever wanted to lose your balance, you couldn’t walk, because every time you walk what you’re really doing is falling forward. You’re going off balance, catching yourself. Off balance, catching yourself. Off balance, catching yourself, but at a new level each time, in a new space, a more progressive space. So you’re off balance, catch yourself, rebalance. Off balance, catch yourself, rebalance… Before you learn to do that, you fell. As a child you got up, you fell, you got up, you fell. You just kept falling forward, and eventually you were walking. Because of this mechanism that’s always trying to bring us to a state of equilibrium and balance, we are more inclined or have more commitment to staying the same, rather than changing and continuing to grow. So that’s one of the big things we have to begin to move out of.
One way to begin to do this process of determining what’s important to you now is to make a list of everything you do and everything on your list that you think you have to do. Perhaps it’s the next months’ worth of things, and some of them are things you do all the time, and some of them are things you’re adding to your list over the next month. Look at that list, and start to identify, “If I was guaranteed success, what are the few things that would be a hell yes?”
You can also break the list down into structures, which might be a little easier. You have several life structures: health, wealth, work, relationships, spiritual growth, personal development, and service. You can break down all the tasks into these categories. What are all the things you’re doing in the category of health? What are all the things you’re doing in the category of wealth, work, relationships, spiritual growth, personal development?
Then within those categories, identify the two or three most important things that would really take your life to the next level, or that area to the next level, that are passionate, that are a yes, that are a must. It doesn’t mean they’re not all important, but there’s always one or two or three that are really calling out to be developed. Rarely are all of them urgently needing to be developed, and what happens is that when you focus on the one or two or three that really matter, that are hell yeses, the ramifications, because it’s really holistic, it’s really one, it impacts the others. For example, some of them have higher leverage. If you work on your health and get into great physical shape, the energy you have, the blood circulation, it improves your thinking. You end up having more energy to do more work. You end up having a better emotional state, and it improves your relationships. You end up having more clarity, and you’re able to be more creative and in your personal develop area. That’s a very high leverage category that almost always should be one of your main categories.
As you break down this list, you want to just go through the list as an exercise, and discover what are your reasons for doing everything you do. Start to notice there are certain patterns that keep recurring: “I’m doing this so I don’t look bad… I’m doing this so I don’t feel guilty… I’m doing this so I don’t feel shame… I’m doing this so I don’t lose the job or lose the opportunity… I’m doing this so that that person doesn’t think I’m selfish or a bad mom or a bad parent…”
Then notice also, what is it you really want to do? This can even be another list of the things you really want to do, but you’re not doing. You can start to really see what are some of the core patterns driving you. The more you see it, an expanded awareness gives you actual real choice and begins the process of real change.
Now, begin the process of organizing out of your plan all of these other commitments, all of these other things, to the extent that you can. The ones you can’t, immediately begin the journey or the process of renegotiating those commitments, so that you can begin to get them off your list and off your plan. Ultimately, you want a plan that progressively reflects who you are at the deepest core, your deepest yes, your deepest passion, your hell yes, your musts, the great, not just the good, and it feels more and more authentic and congruent.
Now you’ve got a plan, a real plan that if you don’t already know what your bigger vision is, it’s going to start to tune your more into it.
To support you in mastering this, listen to the in-depth podcast on the subject, where we break it down and put it into real-life practice TODAY. This will be a real game-changer.
To Your Emergence!
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