A context to try on:
Any challenge you experience is life asking you to be a greater version of yourself.
If this were the case, how would you respond to what’s happening?
When you are committed to something, it helps to match that commitment with equal parts willingness to fail.
Being willing to fail is different than being committed to failure. In fact, a great time to be willing to fail is when you are committed to success.
Here’s the thing. A commitment is likely going to take some big action and big changes for you to be able to fulfill on it, and if you are absolutely certain it is going to happen, then it’s not really something you need to commit to. In order to really go for the thing, you have to be willing to do some things that may or may not work. You may need to rely on other people to get some things done that don’t get done on time. You may not be able to enroll the people you want to enroll. People might not understand yet or they might not care or agree. You might realize halfway through that another idea is better. You also might find a victory and then lose it. There are infinite things that might pop up between here and success, and then there is maintaining success.
Failure is almost always a part of commitment at some point, otherwise you wouldn’t need to be committed. If you aren’t willing to fail, you’ll either never be willing to take the leap, or failing will devastate you and you won’t be able to move forward. You are so much bigger than your failures, and even bigger than your commitments. The willingness to fail will help you take even bigger actions towards what’s possible.
There is nothing that you have to do to be whole, powerful, and happy. There is an unlimited amount of things you could do each day to support you in being happier and more effective. You likely have some habits and practices that really make a difference for you. However, the second we make “coulds” into “have-tos,” we take the things that set us up for success and set ourselves up for the experience of failure.
There will inevitably be days where you aren’t able to do the things you think you have to do. There will days when you drop the ball. There will be seasons of your life where something else becomes more important, or life becomes more dynamic and multifaceted than you had been used to. Inside of the context of “have to,” you beat yourself up and make yourself guilty for not doing things that in reality, you don’t have to do. You simply like doing them or liked doing them in the past. Essentially, you punish yourself with the things that you are supposed to be using to set yourself up for success.
Being disciplined is a wonderful thing, being rigid is not so useful. Find your balance of discipline and adaptability (which is its own discipline) by remembering you are already whole, you are learning, and you are growing. The practices you take on in this season of your life should affirm that, not undermine it.
You don’t have to do everything your gut tells you to do. And, if your gut is telling you something and you aren’t listening, at least pause and see why.
If you’re not listening out of fear, resistance, self-doubt, or a small place that is holding you back, it’s definitely time to consider listening.
We each have tendencies. Some serve us and some don’t. Even the ones that do serve us stop being useful when we don’t have the ability to make a different choice.
It’s a wonderful thing to be able to work hard and to be easily inspired and motivated. However, if our tendency is to over-work in an attempt to get to the end of the expanding to-do list, we must remember that the more we work, the more we will find to do. We get ourselves caught in a cycle where we work more, find more things to do, and then need to work more. Perhaps a a new way of responding to endless work is to pause and rest.
The work is never-ending. This is the nature of life. We are limitless beings so we will always be able to do and discover more. At the same time, our limitlessness can be accessed through pausing and going inward, releasing the pull to be producing more as a way to stay safe. In addition to finding the peace we are ineffectively seeking through accomplishing everything, we will be more restored and more ourselves after taking some space away, which will help us work better when we return to working. We are designed so intelligently.
The practice is in finding the sweet spot daily, and moment-by-moment. Remember that working more helps you find more things to do. Maybe if it’s time for you to do less, the way to do that is simply to do less.
What is one shift, that if you were to take it on, would drastically change your life for the better? So much better that it would outweigh the challenge of doing it or discovering how to do it?
You could either wait for someone to do that thing for you (they won’t), or you can start on that thing today. And you could either take one action on that thing today and then go back to hoping, or you could really commit.
Yes, making a big change or a worthy change will take effort, and it’s that kind of energy that gives you more energy in the long run. Thinking about changing, worrying about changing, or hoping for change takes even more energy than actually making a change, and does not have a return on investment. You deserve to use your power for something useful.
I know you have a big commitment for what is possible. The other person or people may not be as committed as you, which impacts how far you can go with him or them.
And people can change and grow. So stay committed, even when others aren’t yet. It takes at least one person standing for a possibility for it to happen.
If you want to do or create something, and the pathway is not obvious, that probably means it’s something pretty cool. If you can’t see the pathway yet, don’t fret.
The first step towards seeing the pathway is getting as many ideas as possible about what the pathway could be. Good ideas, bad ideas, little ideas, big ideas, wild ideas, practical ideas. Once we have a wide array of possibilities, our job is to choose the best one based on all the things we are committed to, and take a step. There actually is no pathway to choose. We create the pathway step by step.
The fear of not having a well-lit path can keep us stuck. Possibility is the antidote to fear, and there are way more possibilities than you think.
Someone else’s answers might not work for you. The correct answer changes depending on the question, your life is it’s own unique question. The things that are important to you, your particular circumstances, your commitments, your talents, and your perspectives are all things that shape the unique questions that you can ask to guide your life. And often, the best person to ask is you.
What is the best and most fulfilling way for me to express my gifts, make a difference, and provide for my family?
What is required here for me to feel proud of how I responded and like I was of service to myself and others?
What is important to me that I take the time to do each day?
If you simply use the answers of others who have asked these or similar questions (or the wrong questions) before you, then you end up living someone else’s life. To find your answers, make sure you are asking the questions that are the most important to you.
There will always be things left undone. If we wait to rest, have fun, celebrate, be content, or move forward before everything we could have done has gotten done, we will be waiting forever. We will likely even find that the more we aim to accomplish in our lifetime, the more we must be comfortable with allowing things to be undone.
When we begin a project or develop competency in something, we usually discover there is way more we can do or learn or achieve than we originally thought- potentially much more than possible to achieve as an individual or in one lifetime. And then there’s email. And then there’s organizing our closet. And then there is all of the healing there is to do on the planet. There’s an infinite amount of things to do and fix.
Knowing this doesn’t mean we should do nothing. It means no matter what we spend our time doing, there will always be things that we didn’t do, so we better choose to spend our time doing the things that make the biggest difference. Happiness is a choice, and it’s a lot easier to choose it when we know we are taking the actions that most fulfill us and our purpose. There will always be things left undone, and we get to choose what those things are.