Listened to a podcast that recommended a something that I think I’ll institute.
Taking time to let input circulate in my brain and halting the non-stop intake of information.
I’m an information gathering addict. I love the process of digging into the theory of something. Figuring out how it works and how it should operate. Figuring out what went wrong in case studies and figuring out ways to fix it or make it better.
However, I’m not quite as action focused as I would like to think.
Or maybe I’m not as motivated as I would like to believe.
One quote that stood out to me that struck me between the eyes was from the co-host. He basically said – some of us are stuck in information gathering phase. And we are fooling ourselves by professing to want something that we actually don’t want.
“if you say you want to be a real estate investor and you haven’t made any offers in the last two years – you don’t actually want to be a real estate investor”.
This is something that I need to face head on. Am I searching for something in trying to identify myself as a real estate investor when I’m really not willing to go through the struggles associated with that growth process?
The guest was talking about something that I’ve been fighting against and losing for a good portion of my adult life.
He describes the fight that we all have when we’re trying to go from Zero to One while maintaining all the machinery that keep our day-to-day lives on track.
He explained how our brains were not designed to address the important, but instead were made to ensure the urgent was taken care of.
The problem comes from the fact that the important is almost NEVER urgent.
The actions that will lead to financial security in 20 years does not feel urgent.
The workout that you should do today to stave off illness in 40 years does not feel urgent.
The schooling that you should pursue in order to have a better life in 5 years does not feel urgent.
Figuring out how to work less so you can spend more unstructured time with your children doesn’t feel urgent.
On the other hand..
The bill laying on the kitchen counter with the red writing feels urgent.
The email your boss sent you about a report due next week feels urgent.
Because of these misleading feelings – we can go our whole lives taking care of the urgent and missing the opportunity to do anything truly important.
Distractions like tv, social media, and screen time don’t help.
They distract us from our inner voice and prevent boredom from creating space for us to reflect on where we are falling short and missing the mark.
Adding to the problem is the fact that addressing the truly important often feels like wasted time. We may put in hours, weeks, months, or years of work before we see a significant change in the circumstances we are trying to affect.
He calls the urgent that fills our daily life “the whirlwind”.
Our biggest challenge to being truly effective is learning how to manage the whirlwind and make sure that daily we are accomplishing something truly important.
This has been the biggest struggle I’ve faced in the past 5 years, as what is most important get’s a lot murkier after graduation. The surrogate marker for success of schooling or certifications isn’t always the most efficient way forward.
I’ve set goals, and tried to make my important goals tangible.
I’ve started to work on those goals, but usually give up when the whirlwind of life has made being consistent too difficult. And I usually don’t spend a-lot of time defining the actions that will make my final goal attainable.
I’m tired of this cycle and not seeing progress.
I have to move forward this year. By setting clear goals, defining clearer action plans and lead indicators, and finally by executing on those goals.
One of the recurring themes of my life has been remembering to let go.
I’m a planner by nurture. A childhood where so much was out of my control + learning that I could have an effect on outcomes by being assertive means I like to be able to be in control a majority of the time.
This is great for workplace goals; terrible for deep lasting relationships.
A boon for financial planning; Not so useful when you’re trying to learn to trust God and create abundance.
There is this paradox in life where the primary skills for entry into the game require control and careful planning but in order to really flourish you must practice things that are almost diametrically opposed.
I see this most clearly in romantic relationships.
In order to attract a partner you must present well – be well groomed, have social capital and understand social norms, have a job that promises financial stability, etc. Most of these skills require discipline, planning, long-term focus, and exercising control.
However, In order to be able to grow into a good partner/spouse – you must also be able to vulnerable, trust your person to be willing to make decisions that have your best interest, in mind, learn how be hurt and forgive, and be willing to take large leaps of faith, etc.
Most of the latter skills seem to me to be somewhat in opposition to the primary skills. Maybe this is the way that life is set up to ensure that we are constantly growing.
It’s really nobody’s fault either. There was an aggressive rooster, a scared pomeranian and a girlfriend in her boyfriend’s shirt that could all be considered part of the reason that the broom ended up in two pieces.
Sometimes, my life feels that way. Kind of broken. But broken in a specific way.
The broom handle had a screwy end that you would screw into the actual broom. Unfortunately, that’s exactly where the broom broke. So now I have a broom handle with no screw. A broom with a screw top inside of it. Making broth pieces useless.
On the bright side – I wrote today.
It’s a keystone habit that I plan on continuing.
Sometimes the only way to a better tomorrow is through a today with a broken broom.
The past 34 years have been mostly- blessed. Statistically and qualitatively I’d say I’ve probably won the lottery in at least a couple different realms. However, one thing that I’ve never been really great at – and possibly as a consequence one reason I’ve never been really GREAT is consistency. As the seconds gather behind me, I can’t help but notice the importance of perseverance, grit, and stick-to-it-ness.
I’m sure I can’t renovate my whole life in 30 days. But I’m going to try to start with one habit that hopefully will spread to other areas of my life.
I’m going to try to be consistent in writing.
I enjoy writing.
I enjoy thinking and looking for new ways to look at the world and how I’m moving through it.
I know I need to improve my consistency. I’m hoping this will be the vehicle. My posts may not make sense, they may be random, and repetitive, but I’m hoping they will teach me and keep me accountable as I journey toward a better self.
Hopefully this bleed into ..my fitness, my finances, and my relationships.
“It is better to spend your time at funerals than at festivals. For you are going to die and it is a good thing to think about it while there is still time.” – Ecclesiastes 7:2
When will you take your last breath?
Is it something you like to think you’ll deal with much, much, later?
I know I do.
Death itself isn’t the problem. I imagine that death as an event is probably less bothersome than a visit to the dentist in 8 out of 10 cases. What concerns me is all of the choices that lead up until the moment our hearts stop beating.
I wonder if I’m making choices with death in mind. If I recognized how omnipresent the end is, I’d probably attack life a bit differently.
What if we could see death?
What if when we were born, we could only see death as a blip on the horizon. A dark spot beside sunsets that could just as easily have been a trick of the retina. What if by the time we were middle age we could only just make out the outline of a figure in a bowler hat and a pocket watch in the far distance. As the years rolled by the figure got closer but we really couldn’t tell if he or she was fat or slim, tall or short, walking or just standing still.
If every evening we could look at the horizon and see death, lay down and wake up the following morning, glance out the ice-frosted window, and notice that death must have taken just a step closer to us while we slept.
What if by the time we were in our seventies we could make out the brand of the pocket watch and from time to time could see death leaning towards us a drunken sailor at port.
What if after years of growing comfortable with, and ignoring death we were shocked that somehow, while we weren’t paying attention, death had spent the last couple years in our homes, moving from the porch, to the living room, to the guest bathroom, and now seemed to making himself quite comfortable in the chair across from our bed.
Too tired to do much of anything, we watch him somberly as he stands up, reaching and stretching slowly, looking at his antique pocket watch critically and taking one step to the head of the bed. He’d lean over us and we’d feel his humid breath on our cheek as he breathed into our ear “It’s time.”
But we don’t.
Because, (1) that would be creepy.
And (2), that would drastically change the way we lived day-to-day.
That’s the reality, however.
I wonder what you would change if you started being able to see death.
Being in a relationship can sometimes be an eye-opening experience.
At it’s base level there is a element of two realities clashing. The way one person see’s the world is interacting on a day-to-day level with the way the other person sees the world.
Toothpaste squeezed from the top is neither good or bad.
However, in one person’s reality – it’s a major offense. For the other partner – it’s not even noticeable.
What one partner doesn’t notice, the other partner is disturbed by and given enough occurrences this partner then potentially considers ending the whole relationship.
How do you fix the discrepancies?
“Communication” is key they say.
But what about when the differences are more than skin deep or trivial practicalities. What about when differences are cultural, or things that you were raised with?
Sometimes it’s not until your years-deep in a relationship that you realize that you and your partner have some fundamental differences in the way that you view the world.
If you can’t agree on what the world looks like, how can you navigate it together?
“Can two walk together, except they are agreed?” – Amos 3:3
Relationships can also make you question the validity of your own feelings. Are you unhappy because of a history of independence and not being used to having to compromise? In which case you should probably learn to be uncomfortable until you remember how to sacrifice.
Or is this a real red-flag that is trying to save you from hurt feelings and wasted time down the road?
When emotions are inflamed/involved, how are you supposed to know what is real and what isn’t?
Is there a person who I can’t possibly leave?
Looking back there were definitely people who it hurt me to leave.
When I’m not given enough alone time, I overwhelmingly feel relief when the opportunity to not hang out comes up.
Because I’m of the avoidant attachment category, I require large amounts of free time otherwise I end up feeling smothered.
One way to reclaim responsibility for my happiness is to ask for and make space for myself. To a allow other people the opportunity to respond to my requests and sacrifice for me.
If I need alone time, communicate and take it.
Visualize and think about what you want from a relationship, week to week, day to day and what the most successful relationships in your past felt like. What do you need? What do you want? where can you not compromise?