Allowing ourselves to be led astray by shiny objects leads to scattered nothingness.
Over the past decade or so, Adult Deficit Disorder (ADD) has become a new phenomenon. I personally believe this is the result of the world we live in today with all its distractions and the seduction of shiny objects.
I’m a victim like the rest of us. So let me paint a picture of two typical scenarios that I’ve personally encountered:
#1: The weekend is here!
Finally, I can spend time baking, knitting for hours on end, blogging…and engage in quality family time and exercise. By the time Sunday evening rolls around, I realize not all my plans were realistic.
#2: Typical morning before my 8-5 job
The alarm goes off at 4:30am. My first plan is to sit in meditation for about twenty minutes, then I take a look at my to do list, and I’ve got three big items on my list: write blog post, begin editing a podcast and interact online with community. I’ve got two hours to make all of this happen! However, I’m lucky if one big thing gets checked off the list.
Problem— overly optimistic about the time I actually have. As a result, a sense of personal failure is the result.
Solution— discovering this problem has become a useful tool, because I’ve been forced to take a hard look at my time. I plot out the weekends loosely with “anchor activities” (see below). I start the precious two hours before my work day with meditation and one task, which takes a bunch of discipline on my part because by nature I’m an over-planner.
I enjoy the act of planing. I love both digital and paper planners and I’m addicted to finding the right system. It all looks so perfect when I plot out my day. This is a “failure to launch” tendency that I’ve discovered in myself, so I try to be mindful when this behavior creeps in.
I realize the act of over-planning is the result of not knowing what those key activities should actually be. This all or nothing “throwing it on the wall and seeing if it sticks” approach is not very effective.
With the weekend coming fast, you may like the idea of planning those anchor activities mentioned above, as Laura Vanderkam suggests in What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. The way to do this is to map out about three key activities that you’d like to do from Friday night to Sunday evening. The goal is not to go to extremes by mapping out every hour, or be too loose and not plan at all. I highly recommend checking our the book here. It’s a quick and easy read. Also, click here to check out the latest Morning Cool Down episode with Laura!
The predicament is wanting way too much.
The new idea, the best new thing. Just as we create some traction in one direction, we see something new, jump for it, but then make what we’ve been striving for come to a halt. John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire says it best with his acronym:
FOCUS= Follow One Course Until Success.
Do you struggle with following the newest, latest and greatest thing? Do you experience problems seeing your goals come to reality? Share your story, and how you pushed through and accomplished your goal. Let’s begin the conversation!
My usual routine each morning is– start the coffee, knit, listen to some of my favorite podcasts and then move on to my morning meditation. My intention is to nurture myself and find that authentic connection before moving into my day.
I plan and plot each moment of my morning routine each evening, setting a specific time even for the “nurturing activities.”
I write a task list for what I will accomplish the next morning from the time I wake up until the time I need to start getting ready for work. Doing the things plotted on my list the night before is good discipline, but what if I feel pulled in another direction? What if that direction is to do something else that makes me excited and filled with purpose? I thought that was the idea of what living on purpose is all about?
Allow the river of “what is” to flow within.
The first time I heard the phrase “live on purpose” it was after reading it in a Wayne Dyer book, which he also refers to as “connecting to your source.” This is that time when you lose track of time and space because you’re doing what sets you on fire. This is when we are at our happiest, so how sad to miss these spontaneous moments because we wouldn’t dare diverge from the things we “should” do.
At the end of the day, the whole idea of this morning time that I’ve given to myself is to use it as a way to connect to that voice that Rumi whispers in this quote, which hangs on my wall:
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.”
To authentically do what comes natural in the moment is to invite the mystery of the moment to unfold with total acceptance and
Honoring our authentic calling is intuitive, but maybe we fight it because the world tells us to focus on the to do’s because today’s a busy day and we must stay on task or else…we’re a failure. The real failure is ignoring the wisdom that tells us to focus on what’s right in front of us and it’s usually screaming loud and clear. Our inner-calling is the voice that we should not ignore and it’s task #1 to pay attention.
So far this Sunday morning hasn’t been “flowing” the way I had hoped for. The words just would not come as easily as they usually do, and I couldn’t quite get my point across while recording my daily Morning Cool Down. I started getting more and more uneasy because I didn’t meet my “quota.”
I didn’t ship what I intended, but I fought through it.
As I was sitting, squirming and struggling to come up with some meaningful content to share, my son and husband awoke and joined me for the morning, which means– time to stop writing. When this happens, I get this little feeling like I’ve failed to meet the goal I set. I didn’t ship what I had intended, but I decided to fight through it anyway. I just started writing. It didn’t matter what it was. I was just going to write.
Allowing the ebb and flow of every day. Letting go of the carefully constructed agendas.
I actually got into a little groove, but then mid-way through the first sentence, my husband reminded me to head out to the garden because more strawberries had ripened and if I don’t get them soon, the birds will peck at them and I’ll lose my chance.
At first I was tense and uptight because he shattered my thought and I just wanted to finish! But it was actually in that moment I released and relaxed. I surrendered and let the the tension go.
I hold so tightly to my agenda at times, and I’m not always willing to allow the regular things in life to ebb and flow. Logically, I know I have to sway and bend like a reed, but my heart just doesn’t get it yet.
Life is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. Remaining curious and open is what will allow our hearts to expand. Unexpected discoveries might also come about, like picking these delicious berries that I’m going to enjoy…right now.
I get up most mornings at 4:30 am with one goal in mind– to create. Sometimes it means writing for two straight hours. Other times, it means working on a new collage.
I recently purchased a few new small sketch books, which will serve as visual journals, and have begun building up a new arsenal of supplies– paint, oil crayons, found objects, and the magical black and white photocopy. I don’t have much, but I’m going to be resourceful and start with what I have. This forces me to consider even my son’s crayons to be a viable medium. (more…)
The Weekend Paradox
I’ve come to conclusion that when my day doesn’t go right, it’s because I made one crucial mistake early on: I did not have a plan. The weekends are supposed to be about kicking back and relaxing, right? However, I’ve found that I still need a certain level of structure. If I don’t have some sort of plan on the weekend, I’m a mess to be quite honest. I usually drop the ball on my Monday through Friday morning schedule, and convince myself that sleeping in is a good idea because I need it after a busy week. Unfortunately, this usually backfires and my day often feels a bit off-kilter. (more…)