These were the words that came to mind as I sought to complete an item on my to-do list today.
I’d put together a short to-do list before going on break. Nothing crazy, just a few things to help me get organized and prepare for the next six months, which will likely be just as intense as the last.
But running errands wasn’t going exactly as expected. So, I stopped and asked myself: “Is this something I really need to do right now?”
And I soon realized it wasn’t.
“I’m on break. My priority is to disconnect, rest, exercise, and get some sun.”
What I Realized
On my walk, I took some time to think about why my mind was feeding me those words: “I’m done trying to be great.”
And the answer was forthcoming, and much simpler than expected.
I need more rest, and my resilience isn’t at its best. That’s it!
It’s funny how much tiredness and fatigue can affect your mood and state of mind. Sometimes, it isn’t deeply seated trauma from childhood or an all-out spiritual battle. Sometimes it’s just that you’ve had too much caffeine!
What I’m saying is:
It’s altogether too easy to overthink and over-intellectualize everything. Sometimes the answers are right under your nose.
Is This Something I Need to do Right Now?
While reflecting, I also recognized the value of this question.
If you’re an ambitious creative or creator, chances are you have a to-do list a mile long already. Although everyone says to prioritize, this can be tough when you have so many tasks and projects to consider.
What I’m beginning to discover, though, is that about 80% of my list either doesn’t need to be done now or doesn’t need to be done at all.
By that logic, you should only be left with 20% of your list, which you should find easier to prioritize.
If you want to take it a step further, then do as Tim Ferriss does and find the one decision that removes 100. Find and focus on the one thing that will make most if not all others a mere triviality.
But if you do choose this path, know one thing – it may take days, weeks, or even months of thinking and reflection to uncover what that one thing is.
So, Am I Done Trying to be Great?
Well, in a manner of speaking, yes.
I’m done trying to be great when I can’t even be expected to be at, or give, my best.
Those hours are best spent in a cocoon – getting away from electronics, resting, getting some exercise, and bathing in the sun. If the world permits, travel, and pool as well.
This can also be a good time to think and reflect. But only if I’m ready. If I need to give my mind a rest too, I will.
It’s one thing to try to be Superman when you’re at your best, but you’ve got to switch that off while you’re on break. Expectations should be loosed. Surrender and let go. Don’t be hard on yourself.
This seems to create more flow in life, anyway. Things come easier when you aren’t trying so hard. And maybe it’s the best way to live.
Leave greatness to superheroes. Be you because that’s what people are going to be attracted to. Being you is how you will find your unique purpose, voice, and calling. Being you is the magic that attracts all you desire in life.
Beginning Tuesday, I’m going to be taking a little over a week off.
I already have a to-do list shaping up for the duration of my break, which I will add to, or subtract from, as I see fit.
So far as work is concerned, I will still be publishing daily, but other than that, I will only be handling edits on work already completed.
First and foremost, I’m looking forward to having a bit of time off. I already started offloading a bit mid-May because I was beginning to feel fatigue settle in.
Having come to this point, I don’t think I’m in as bad shape as I originally thought I was, but in preparation for the velocity and volume of coursework and work I have coming up, recharging seems like a wise choice.
I will be making exercise, getting some sun, and resting a priority.
Secondly, this will likely prove an important time of reflection.
I have spent the last year or so experimenting with a variety of platforms and project ideas. And now I’m ready to cull the project list, drop what simply doesn’t make sense to work on anymore, and put more time, energy, and resources into the ones that excite me most while serving a pragmatic function.
I already have some ideas shaping up that I feel excited about, and this is a good reminder that I shouldn’t spend all day every day working. Leaving space allows for new ideas to form.
My reflections from Vernon were important, at least to the extent that I retained a general (rather than specific) set of intentions from that point forward. But I have a feeling what comes out of my reflections during this break will be more laser targeted to current projects and goals.
Thirdly, I will be spending time cleaning up, getting organized, and hopefully getting a new office space set up so that I have a better environment to work, record, and film in.
To this point, I’ve either been working in the kitchen, in the living room on a coffee table (usually quite awkwardly), and sometimes even in bed.
I also like working in coffeehouses at least once per week, but that has mostly been a no-go with rolling lockdown restrictions.
I have a study that has remained unused to this point, so I will either be setting up there, or in the bedroom that I don’t use.
The point is, I need to create a space that I find a joy to work in – one where I can be inspired and comfortable.
At the end of the day, I’m not overly ambitious. If I find the need to spend most of my time laying in bed, so be it. That’s probably what I need most right now.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t some difficult days. Disappointments and frustrations can also mount over time, and once we’ve entered a cycle of disappointment and frustration, the only way to get out of it is to interrupt the pattern. Which often means stopping.
What progress are you going to make when you feel disappointment and frustrated? Little to none. At times, you will even feel like you’re going backwards.
Taking a break is not lost income. It’s gained happiness. And that happiness is worth more than any money you could make. It might end up saving your life!
You will also discover that the happier you are doing what you do, the more things seem to flow in your business. A greater income will follow.