Two months into 2016 and I have already learned a valuable lesson.
Rewind to the beginning of the year.
2016 started of a bit odd. Nothing specific happened, I just felt off. I had decided to blame it on the Mercury Retrograde mainly because it was an easy out and because I hoped once January 26th hit, my funky mood would disappear.
I had decided to not set any specific New Year’s Resolutions . Instead, I followed the crowd and picked a focus word for the year .. and then abandoned it within a week. The word was ‘fearless’ and after realizing it’s technically impossible to become fearless, I was over it.
January also brought distributive sleep patterns and Chris mentioned I had started grinding my teeth in my sleep. I felt unfocused and grossly unambitious. I was procrastinating all things to do with the wedding, even though I was aware of the growing ‘to-do’ list. The only thing that kept me a tiny bit focused was a daily planner I had received for Christmas. I had been reading the book ” The Desire Map” when I found out there was a planner to go along with the book. “The Desire Map” focuses around the idea that we are going about goal setting all the wrong way. Instead of lusting after things or accomplishments ( e.g.: I want to lose x number of pounds), what we should really be focusing on is the feeling we are wanting/desiring ( e.g.: to feel healthy). The idea is to set the feeling and then build your goals around how to get that feeling.
Even though I was working through the planner, my January ‘core desired feelings’ were less than strong. I felt like I had to make my goals perfect otherwise I would fail.
By the last week of January, I was feeling burnt out and confused. I had no idea what my goals were suppose to be or how to reach them. Three days before the end of the month, I came across a podcast called “Adventures with Mike Dooley: The Mechanics of Manifesting”. For the next few days, I spent the mornings listening to the same podcast while I got ready for work. The concept the hosts were discussing was a simple idea, but for some reason didn’t seem obvious to me. Mike Dooley talked about three basic steps to succeed:
Step 1: Define what you want in terms of the end result , keeping it general
This step was pretty much on par with what the idea “The Desire Map” talks about. Giving yourself general marching orders, whether it be to feel happy, feel healthy, feel more connected etc. (you get the idea) .
Step 2: Get excited about the changes you want to experience, BUT don’t get attached to the details
The idea here is that you can visualize yourself in that certain house or in a certain job or with a certain whatever it is that you want, but don’t insist on the details. I realized this is where I was getting hung up. I’ll be the first to admit that I have control issues and when things don’t go perfectly or as I hope, I tend to fall apart ( in my defense, I come by the control issue some what honestly, but that’s a story for another time). The point is, our job isn’t to define exactly how a certain goal will unfold for it to be considered a success. Maybe you don’t get that promotion you hoped for or plans fall through for a weekend. Just because it didn’t work out exactly as you planned it, doesn’t mean you won’t still get your end result. Maybe the weekend will end up being better than expected or you will be surprised and find a job you love.
Step 3: Show up
Show up and keep showing up consistently. This means not banking on a single situation to happen. If we focus all of our attention on achieving one single goal, it can end up consuming us. Showing up means going after lots of opportunities. If the goal is start a new career, work on that but at the same time, go out and meet new people so you can feel engaged or take on a new hobby so you can feel productive. Keeping ourselves open to lots of opportunities allows us to relax and let things happen so that when the right job does show up, it’s like a little surprise that happened while all of these other great things are happening.
I know all of this may sound a little kookoo but the principal behind it makes sense to me. Everything I was feeling at the beginning on the year (feeling overwhelmed, unfocused etc.) was only happening because I was making it that way. I’ve been taking baby steps and shifting my thought process to match the principles from the podcast and I have to say, it’s been working.
There was one other thing that was mentioned in the podcast that stuck with me that I thought I would share. There was a quote that said ” You are inclined to succeed”. I think a lot of us look at life as a process of surviving another day. The sun doesn’t rise in the morning with the intent to make your life a living hell. So why are we looking at life as a survival of the fittest or just trying to make it through? Wouldn’t it be far easier if we actually enjoyed each day instead of pretending we had to battle through it?