A friend reminded me at coffee yesterday of a workshop I presented about 15 years ago that she has still not forgotten. I decided to share the summary of that talk with you today. Enjoy …
You know what life is for; you know what your limitations are, you know the true identity of your Master Teacher; you have tools, tools, and more tools; you know what you want; you’ve planned it out – all right – ready set . . .
When joined together, these can be two of the most frightening words in the English language. People know what they want; they know what to do to get it; they have the time, energy and opportunity; and then come the magic words, do it, and panic descends.
The unworthiness warriors march out in full regalia. Rebellion says “But why should I do it their way? I’ll do it my way and in my own time.” Unconsciousness stumbles forward and says, “But this is all too much to keep track of.” The approval seeker compliments us on the book’s cover, but claims to be already over-committed.
In situations of actions vs. status quo, however, one of the unworthiness tribe stands head and shoulders above the rest: comfort junkies.
Consider this: People have precisely what they want in their lives – not what they think they want, but what they actually want.
What we have is based upon moment-to-moment choices of what we do. In each of those moments, we choose. We either take a risk and move toward what we want, or we play it safe and choose comfort.
Most of the people, most of the time, choose comfort. In the end, people either have excuses or experience; reasons or results; buts or brilliance; they either have what they wanted, or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not. (Remember: rationalize = rational lies.)
Almost all excuses and reasons are motivated by fear – fear of fatigue, fear of not doing it perfectly, fear of looking foolish, fear of mistakes, fear of being let down, fear of losing, fear of facing unworthiness, fear of getting angry; in short, fear that we might be uncomfortable!
We tell ourselves, “I won’t do this now, I’m too tired. But, I’ll do it tomorrow when I can make a fresh start.” The next morning, “I’m not in the mood. But I’ll do it this afternoon.” Come afternoon, there’s some other “important” activity. It’s postponed until evening, when friends just happen to stop by, but everything is put off until the following morning – but again.
The reasons, by the way, are not always negative in nature. Sometimes they are the most wonderful, positive “opportunities”; a party, a trip, a dinner, friends, relationships, “easy money,” and so on.
I call them all – positive or negative – the same thing: distractions. If they’re not definite steps on the way to your goals, they are distractions.
(Not that there’s no room for fun, joy, and play. Far from it: I would consider a list of goals pretty feeble that didn’t have one of those in at least the top five things on your list.)
When a distraction arises, ask yourself: Would you rather have the distraction, or would you rather have your goal? It’s tough to see it that way, because the goal of, say, writing a book, may mean an entire day spent researching a dull but important detail. This research cannot compare to the fun of the party to which you’ve just been invited.
The accurate question to ask yourself is: Which is more important, the party or the book (goal)? NOT, Which is more appealing at this moment, the party or the dull research? After a thousand choices – distractions vs. work – you will have either (A) an extensive collection of party favors or (B) a book, i.e., YOUR GOAL!
These choices are made daily moment by moment.
If you want to achieve more, declare
your reasons unreasonable,
your excuses inexcusable –
and get off your buts!