It is incredibly hard to shed old skin, you know. To wear new behaviours. To take what you have learnt, what you now know, and to build new habits, new lifestyles and new reflexes with them.
I spent yesterday brutally downsizing my to-dos for the year, and that for Joy, Inc. Reducing everything to its essential intent, so that we could do the things we have to do to achieve our mission better, and have time to possess and build the joy we share with the world. We first have to take care of ourselves, after all, before we can take care of others.
By the time I was done, I had halved our plans for the year.
I couldn’t believe all the things I had piled on. Couldn’t even take a break to breathe and see the break-neck speed at which we were moving.
You see, speed is something I am incredibly good at. Setting up systems, projects, processes in record time is the one thing I have always been praised for (always delicious to hear people praise you for being superhuman, isn’t it?) – even if it cost me rest, calm and peace of mind.
It hadn’t done that yet here. But it was well on its way to.
And this is me working at less than 20 percent of my pre-2017 work schedule.
I had taken my old behaviours, and unconsciously piled them onto a new assignment. I am fundamentally a ‘doer’, and doers do. They have all the greatest ideas, and they know how to get it done, and they want to get it done, because they know it can be done. So they do, do, do.
Doing is so central to who I have always been. Just being? Ah, that’s the hard one for a person who has been used to accolade and accomplishment from when he was only a boy. I am used to impressing, surpassing, over shooting.
One of my goals this year is to unlearn that instinct, even if it means going slower, even if it means going smaller. To completely and utterly trust the universe, and to redefine fundamentally what I had always considered to be failure.
I was about to lose my way, and the journey has hardly even started. I forgave myself quickly. I had compassion on myself, breathed deeply and affirmed my continuing journey.
Because this will be quite the journey. And it will be for a lifetime.
If you are in that space, in that gap between what you know to be true and what you find yourself doing, where progress is slow, change is hard, and error is plenteous, well at least now you know that you were never alone…
“Chude, you too? This happens to you too?”