I am a recovering workaholic. Busyness consumed my mind and my time for years. I ran from minute to minute with time on my back trying to fit in as much as I could. I worked hard to get better and faster so I could stuff in more doing. It seemed that if I could just fit in enough good doing it would one day be enough and that would mean I was enough.
While my life was full and somewhat put together on the outside, I was bankrupt and empty on the inside. The day I finally admitted this truth to myself was the day things began to take a far different and more fulfilling shape.
I knew there had to be a better way to living life, but I didn’t have a clue how to get there.
I made it my mission to figure out a different way.
Here are 3 new ways of thinking I had to adopt in order to create a way of living that was far more meaningful.
The endless to-do list does not lead to fulfillment.
I had to come to grips with the fact that no amount of checked off items on my to do list would lead to the deeper level of fulfillment I craved. I was in the wrong lane to reach that destination. This path I had been on was a dead end or rather a bottomless pit.
The lure of the list is so compelling and creates a convincing illusion that once we get these things complete, the milestone checked -we will at last have arrived and feel like we’ve done enough and more importantly are enough. In reality the good feelings were only fleeting and to sustain them required me jumping back into the never-ending spin of doing.
Accepting the reality of what I was doing is the very thing that allowed me to stop doing more and start doing differently.
“Enough” is an inside job.
Up until this point, I’d focused on the outside. I diligently spent enormous amounts of energy attempting to line things up on the outside (job, spouse, marriage, house, etc..) thinking that if enough things lined up I’d feel better inside. That didn’t work.
I began to see that my continued obedience to the list was never ending and guaranteed more of the same. I saw for the first time that I would need to cultivate “enough” inside before I could ever feel “enough” on the outside.
And, so I began tending the inside – bit by bit.
Enjoy the to-do lists for what they are.
A surprising thing happened. As I worked on feeling better on the inside – things began looking different on the outside.
I noticed that as I cleaned up my inner world of my thoughts, feelings perceptions, my outer world began to reflect these changes. I knew I was onto something. As my relationship with myself changed, my relationship with the people and things that were happening in my life improved. Even my relationship with the to-do list changed. I love lists and still make lists. The difference is the list is no longer running my life, but there as a tool to keep me organized in my life.
A client recently had a similar insight and beautifully said this in her journal…
“I am recognizing that I need to change my perspective on my list. Instead of overpowering me it needs to empower me. “
My biggest discovery to date is that as I calm the inside, the more equipped I am to navigate what’s happening on the outside.
I’m doing fewer things with greater focus and impact. And, the doing has an element of ease and joy that wasn’t possible before.
I used to always hear “less is more”. I didn’t believe it.
I do now.
My time is precious.
Yours is too.
I want you to know that I’m creating something that will be shared with you in the coming weeks that is going to support you in making a shift in your life too. Stay tuned. I’m excited to share it with you.