“I’m Done Trying to be Great”

“I’m Done Trying to be Great”

I’m done trying to be great.

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.

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Serenity Sunday

Serenity Sunday

#StrategySunday? No. It’s Serenity Sunday.

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.

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Lessons from 2 Weeks in Vernon

Lessons from 2 Weeks in Vernon

With vague (but pleasant) memories of a city I visited three years ago, I set off.

The two-week break would give me ample time to see if some of that magic from summer 2017 could be recaptured.

And most importantly, it would allow me to catch up on the rest I desperately needed.

Here’s what I learned on my time away.

If You Need to Rest, Rest

I knew I needed a break, which is why I went to Vernon in the first place.

When I arrived, though, I realized I was more exhausted than I thought. I’d spent a lot of time resting up before leaving, so I figured I would be in better shape than I was.

And that’s why I didn’t do much in Vernon. For the most part, I stayed in bed.

I was going to do more journaling and reading than I ended up doing. And that’s okay. My most pressing questions, nevertheless, were answered. Sometimes in conversation. Sometimes through reflection.

While resting, I still published every day, and the Life Transition series is a result of that. But that was a relatively small part of my day overall and didn’t add any stress to it.

There isn’t much point in trying to get a lot of stuff done when you’re not even in the right mind space to do it.

If you need rest, rest. It’s worth it.

Give Yourself Time to Reflect

There is always something to be gained from stopping and reflecting, even if it’s just walking to the park and back.

If you’re in a frustration cycle right now, then recognize that doing more is just going to add to the big ball of frustration you’ve been building. More action is not going to get you out of it. It’s not the answer.

I’m not saying that stopping and taking a break is a catch-all answer, but it is an elegant solution to a complicated problem.

Elegant because it’s surrender, letting go. It’s as if saying to the universe, “I know this is going on, and I don’t care. I’ve got better things to do.”

Complicated because you can’t get out of a frustration cycle (or any cycle – also known as a pendulum) without interrupting its pattern. Far harder than it sounds, especially if that energy has been building for a while.

The truth is, whatever problems or issues you’re dealing with tend to work themselves out, as if by magic, while you’re busy doing other things.

Why is that?

Because we create our own problems. By putting something on a pedestal in our lives, we end up creating excess potential. The universe always brings balance to areas of our lives where there is excess potential.

During my two-week stay in Vernon, I was stepping away from a frustration cycle myself, and now that I’m back, I’m beginning to find joy in what I’m doing again. I left a pendulum and have no desire of getting back into it.

I want to enter a better feeling space, and then keep moving into another better feeling space.

You can’t do your business or career any harm by stepping away from it for a while. You will always gain something from it.

Do What Brings You Joy

Over the course of the last year or so, I’ve had to get used to a life where I’m not constantly in demand.

While I was still living in Calgary, the emails, texts, messages, and calls were near constant. To where I had to start putting some hard boundaries for communication in place. Because how in the world could I get anything done with constant distraction?

Since I’ve arrived in Abbotsford, though, things have quieted down somewhat. And that’s to be expected, since more people know me in Calgary than they do out here.

But it was unsettling at first. And I added a lot of resistance to it. I started finding something wrong with it, which might be one of the reasons I burned myself out to begin with.

I’ve since learned to be with it. And now it feels like a natural step in my unfolding growth.

All that to say, in some ways, I’ve had more free time than I know what to do with. So, I naturally found myself filling it with new projects.

All that extra work, however, didn’t get me anywhere to be honest. It was excess potential at its finest. Instead of getting more done with my main projects, I just ended up with other, less pressing tasks.

It’s altogether too easy to engage in things we’re told we should do (the word “should” usually denotes a duty or obligation). But many of them bring no joy, clutter up our schedule, and don’t add to our overall joy or happiness.

It seems 100% counter-intuitive, but in your business, career, or creative projects, it’s best to engage in what brings you joy. Because life is too short to spend decades on things that kill your soul.

Even When You’re Not in Flow, You Can Still be in Flow

Us ambitious types tend to make some big leaps of logic in terms of what is work, what isn’t, and what ultimately leads to progress in our projects.

“I work 16-hour days, everyday man.”

How much of that is actually work? And, while you can will your way through excess potential for a while, at some point, the universe’s balance correction will swallow you whole. You’ll get sick, have a panic attack, or breakup with your significant other. Something will happen and you won’t be able to will your way through it anymore. Then what?

If you’re wearing excess potential like a badge of honor, it just means you’re a sucker for pain rather than pleasure where pleasure is available.

We tend to put a disproportionate emphasis on action and declare the only time we’re in “flow” is when we’re in action.

In this instance, I’m using the word “flow” to describe progress. Movement towards our goals and dreams.

We vastly underestimate a myriad of things that can help us reach our goals and remain in “flow” – meditation, thinking, reflecting, journaling, reading, mindset, and more.

We tend to look at business and projects linearly, with action as the king. When action is the least important part. Mindset is.

And the truth is, we can be in flow at any moment, whether we’re eating breakfast or chatting with a friend. We only need to intend it.

Final Thoughts

The two weeks went by in a hurry. But taking time off was the right move. I wouldn’t go back and do it any differently.

Overall, I feel refreshed. I need to get a little more sleep, and it may still be a few weeks before I feel like I’m at 100%, but I’ve come a long way since September.

In terms of business, I am looking at new models. I’m looking at a new publishing plan, as well as ways to incorporate more of my passions throughout each week.

But most importantly, I’m working on The Music Entrepreneur Code. I published the book and the course already, but there is more to come.

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Shh… Don’t tell anyone. Only the cool kids are talking about it.

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