Most of my life I put incredible pressure on myself. I forced myself to step into challenging situations and grow and strive. And I learned a lot from it all, yet ultimately, after all of the striving and struggling and stressing and hoping and shouldering the burden of a thousand expectations, I learned that concentrating on what I am actually ready for is a far more effective approach.
I grew up admiring (and envying) artists, musicians, and writers who got well-known/famous/rich early in their careers. That was the picture of creative success that I saw on TV, that heard glamorized by others. I aspired for that myself, but I never found my sweet spot doing that.
Instead, I seem to be finding my sweet spot in life by NOT doing, by NOT trying so hard, by sitting back and reflecting, by appreciating the simple things in my simple world, and by looking for satisfaction in relatively mundane things like running and reading and teaching and being with my wife.
All these simple pleasantries of my life have actually made me a lot happier than those grandiose dreams I thought I wanted. But what is more, I now do things when I am ready to do them. I am being what I am ready to be. If I’m not ready to be it, I no longer try to force it. I say to myself, “Well, obviously this is not ready, so I’m just not going to worry about it.”
That has been my attitude about career and business development for several years. I just decided, “All this trying so hard wasn’t working. I’m just going to drop all that shit, reach for satisfaction instead.” The result was that this blog gained legs in my 365 Day Blogging Project, a purely self-serving, soul-enriching creative endeavor that I was total ready for. Also, the result was that I became a happy runner, blogger, and frequenter of the local cafe. I read books and I day-dreamed and I pet our cats.
In the process of changing my attitude toward my life, I have produced some very satisfying results. Just about as notable as anything I produced before, but without all the stress and misguided self-judgment.
I decided to take the path of least resistance, to do what came easily, what felt good.
In other words, I decided that I know when I’m ready, and I’m going to give myself all the time I need to get there, enjoying myself all the while 🙂