No, not the pile of todos and chores. No, not the things you want or would rather be doing.
Your priority. Your urgency. Your attention.
Today is fleeting. There is no sense in trying to juggle a hundred things all at the same time. Focus in. Turn your attention to what matters and what lies in front of you. Of course, the day will likely run away from you and you’ll get lost in a distraction or a conversation you didn’t expect. That’s part of your story too. Enjoy the unexpected and uncontrollable nature of life. And focus back into what matters. There is no focus, just refocus.
…Man, someone must have hit me with the mediation stick because that was deep. Did I ruin the moment? … I think I ruined the moment. 😜
“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”
Alexander Graham Bell
The more things you focus on, the more dull you’re focus gets. Imagine how impactful and effective your actions would be if you were to focus all your creativity on one thing.
This is something I often struggle with because I interested in so many things.
focusing all of my time and energy on just one thing feels (for me personally) only cutting bell peppers with my blade and nothing else. I’d get really good at cutting and eating peppers, but I sure would be bored out of my mind.
A healthy balance of creative pursuits is the best answer I have at the moment. Taking on a handful of key interests and ideas, but also not doing too many at the same time. Trying to do all things is a fine way of doing nothing.
It’s okay to put things on hiatus or even sunset projects if they aren’t providing enough value or joy in your life. In fact, every time you do, you’re sharpening the blade.
Today, while Gabriella and I were recording a podcast, our dog Ren was playing in the kitchen. She had literally all of her toys out. The half-eaten toys were scattered around her like a war-torn battlefield (cotton guts everywhere).
She was having a ball (literally and figuratively … 🌈 dad joke #1 🌈 ) and I couldn’t help but relate to her to my own life. She would jump from one toy to the next, without being able to decide to play with just one.
“She’s doing what I do with ideas.”
I have so many things I want to do and accomplish, and so many ideas I want to actualize that I tend to choose too much at once, overwhelm myself and make no progress on anything.
When it comes to working and reaching for goals and building a better life for yourself, it’s easy to never get anything done because you never prioritize what’s important to you.
You pick up one squeaker toy after another without realizing it nor making in progress on anything.
But to make true progress happen in life, to turn your dream into reality, you have to learn when to say yes and when to say no.
The greatest figures in our history achieved greatness by focusing on one thing until proficient before moving on to something else.
“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” — Walt Disney
I could feel the stress flowing down my back,
like a waterfall too powerful to sit under without breaking you eventually.
I was zapped, emotionally and physically. And doing my damnedest to not tear up because of my current set of obstacles.
There’s was a physical heaviness weighing down my mind. Pessimistic thoughts were attacking me at all angles. It took all of my effort to not let the negative thoughts take control of the driver’s seat, but their barrage was paralyzing me. When things get bad, my mind cops by going numb — I refuse to let it.
The difficultly of finding new clients and work, plus the lack of physical energy to do so and the pain of an old injury was doing a number on me. A one, two, three knockout of setbacks that were feeding each other.
I didn’t want ‘tired, broke, and empty’ to be the title of my autobiography.
Something has to change!, I screamed within.
My mind is more clear than it’s been for months.
I’m not making enough, but that shouldn’t stop me from creating and pursuing what’s important to me.
I’m still tired, but I feel good.
My neck hurts, but I can help it by moving more.
Why the sudden change? What gives Josh?!
I’ve decided to focus on the possibilities and benefits of my setbacks, instead of dwelling on the downsides.
I’ve decided to choose health first.
I’ve decided to take a learning vacation.
And I’ve the liberty of taking a vacation from myself. I’m free.
I’ve let myself out of the cage that I helped build.
Because believe it or not, I was holding the key.
Just as you might be with your own cage.
Often times, the only thing holding you back from opportunity is yourself.
We get in our own way.
Q: How are you holding yourself back?
FEAR of Failure? ha no problem. I’m on vacation, you can’t scare me.
Feeling Stressed? not anymore. Vacation baby!
Feeling Stuck? you’ve got plenty of time to unstuck yourself now!
Okay okay, sure — I’m basically tricking myself — I’m still working. Still looking for clients. Still connecting, writing, design and a bucket-load of other things.
But my mindset has completely changed.
I’m looking up instead of looking down.
I’m not looking at the problems, I’m looking around them.
The only thing that’s changed is my perspective.
I’m still doing the work. I’m not slothing around. I’m not just doing whatever the wind tells me. But there’s a massive difference in my mindset.
Now that I’m out of my own way, I can do what I do, but better and more effectively.
My Learning Vacation Itinerary
Hone my design & developer skills.
Mastery the Art of the Interviewing for my podcasts.