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Wellness

How I Learned To Stop Pushing Myself And Take Action

It’s funny, really — I don’t even realize people are looking at me like this. They can tell when I’m putting on my act. I’ll start off like most people — working hard, paying attention to what’s going on, making sure I’m working at the most efficient rate possible… then it usually becomes obvious I’m not quite what I want to be. It’s when I’m in that state that so many things start to take a backseat — and I notice the difference in the way people respond. It makes me remember why I started to pay attention to the first place in the first place.

I had been putting on a lot of work before a friend suggested I read The Power of Habit and how we could apply that approach on a different level and become more mindful… I had been acting out, doing more and more, and getting more and more frustrated. I wanted to quit for a long time and I felt guilty about it. The book was very simple on one thing: it said nothing about quitting.  It said nothing about going home or getting together with some friends; it said nothing about my life. The first page told me to stop doing the things that bothered me most.  The next page told me how to do that. But the thing was, I wanted more from my life… to get out of the way, to leave the things I was doing for a while and just give my all so I could get things done. In my experience, that’s the only way people find inner contentment in their lives. I didn’t always have this book in my study, but I was very familiar with its content. When I read about this type of activity, I thought, what I want is just that — just to stop working and get out of the way. What a simple task, right? The next step was figuring out how to make a living by just working on my projects.

The problem is, it’s not as simple as that. I’m going to show you how to not just stop work, but also make a living off of it.

My friend and I went out to the parking lot and walked back and forth for two hours over the course of a few days, trying to find a spot. We were trying to find something, anything we could walk across the parking lot to get. It took a couple of weeks of walking in a circle, then finding something and walking back to where we were walking in a circle all over again, and another couple of weeks of making plans and going out on a walk in a circle while eating a snack in the car. There wasn’t much I could do with the space. After we finished, it wasn’t a pretty sight. We both looked so exhausted, like it was really something we were accomplishing.

This was the start of my business. I’m sure it wasn’t the most productive thing I had ever done, but all I knew then was that I had the opportunity to actually make something happen. Before, my whole attitude was like, I’ll try to find a way to solve my problems, I’ll start a business with just some savings I have and hope everything works out. But to see something tangible get created out of nothing? What was I going to do then? Before this, my whole attitude was like, I’ll try to find a way to solve my problems, I’ll start a business with just some savings I have and hope everything works out. But to see something tangible get created out of nothing? It was a great feeling… It made me realize that I could be creating something out of nothing, and that I could get what I wanted without trying to be everything people expect us to be: perfect and perfecting everything.

I was trying to tell a friend of mine over lunch a few weeks ago that I was getting out of an extremely boring situation. She looked at me quizzically, like she was trying to figure something out. She said, “Why wouldn’t you just quit right now? I was at that point. “It’s that way,” I said “Because you’re the kind of person that’s good at solving problems.” “Why?” she asked, and it was time to say goodbye. I really wish I could have kept talking. It would have been awesome if I could have found any sort of a successful business or some kind of a relationship or anything else. But the end result was no success. I just wasn’t having fun doing the work anymore.