Over the past 20 years or so, the amount of information platforms we have access to, and the ease of access to, has increased exponentially. What’s interesting is that the amount of available information hasn’t seemed to increase the amount of truths to be found. The increase in truth appears to be on a much smaller trajectory, and ironically, the most recent truths point to our collective inability to process the amount of information at our disposal and our collective inability to discern fact from fiction.
The Effort to Fail to Notice the Falling Sky
Busy is a trap. Busy is an excuse. Busy can also be the antidote of worry. When I sit still with my thoughts, Anxiety takes that opportunity to play the role of fortune teller – proffering scenarios and outcomes with the sole intent of stagnation. This is as much a foolish waste of time as it would be to try to dig up the roots of a fake tree. For me, the difference is discerning between work and effort. Busy work can at times be a welcome distraction for the mind, but once the work stops, the problems return with compounded worry since they were merely placed on hold. Conversely, effort (a show of strength) is a conscious exertion towards an achievement. To busy oneself with effort is to weaken Anxiety’s grip. Effort, though strenuous, doesn’t need to equate to anything momentous – it’s simply productivity in service of betterment in some small way. The ultimate benefit is not allowing the idle mind to irrationally turn its gaze skyward.
Cerrano’s DIY Curveball Solution
There’s a point when external factors can longer be the delay for unfinished projects or goals. These are the moments when you either realize it’s time to be pragmatic (even if that means the completion point may be extended because you have to learn a new skill before you can get it done) or it’s time to realize that the project or goal had no internal value. The third option is that you convince yourself the project or goal is unattainable; perhaps, or is it that your ego feeding itself to keep you stuck in discomfort.
Present (every now and again)
I like to think that I can be present every now and again, but then I think about that expression and realize it’s a lie.
Every now = always
Again = and then some
An expression that’s intends to convey “once in a while” really means the opposite, and serves to demonstrate how we allow ourselves to believe what we hear instead of seeking to understand what something means beyond the surface.
Moments like this remind me of Byron Katie’s 4-questions, and the importance of the first two questions: 1) Is it true? and 2) Can you absolutely know it’s true?
Think of the world we can create if before reacting, we all sat with those two questions first, taking the needed pause to consider what’s really being said or done.
If someone approaches you starving and dehydrated, there’s likely something you can do in the moment to help assuage their deprivation. However, if someone approaches you deprived of truth, even if you provide it objectively, they may still walk away unsated. Our stomachs require nourishment, our minds seek truth, but our egos and ignorance only seek validation. Seeking validation over truth is fasting with the expectation of fulfillment.
There’s a difference between comparison for the sake of rivalry and comparison for the sake of proximity. When it comes to material items, either is a futile pursuit. When it comes to personal growth, it becomes more about awareness of one’s surroundings. The company we keep tells us a great deal about who we are, where we are and where we’ll be.
Conversations can replenish our emotional buckets. But the same conversations and the same stories told ad nauseam point towards stagnation.
I heard a saying the other day, “When it comes to pebbles in a shoe, the only correct number is zero.” Any one relationship can become a pebble in our shoe over time, and although it may not be inherently unhealthy, it can get uncomfortable and bothersome. Too many of these types of relationships and your pebble-filled shoe makes taking another step unbearable.
Sometimes we need to remove our shoes and shake the pebbles out. Other times, that’s not an option because the relationships may be with people we can’t avoid or cut out of our lives (co-workers, family members, etc.). In those instances, we can do our best to remove our metaphorical shoes before entering into their space. Therefore, the discomfort only lasts as long as the interaction, and we walk away with the only correct number of pebbles in our shoes.
We have all experienced those moments where we’ve become so frustrated, we feel the impulse to put others in their places. Impulsivity doesn’t care about foresight, so it becomes a matter of training. If we are to spend time crafting the perfect verbal retaliation, the response is no longer an impulse – it’s a knowing act of an irrational mind and/or bruised ego. Thinking that what we say will make us feel better is not as important as knowing it will surely only serve the purpose of making us look worse.
When my list of wants is noticeably longer, it’s no mystery that my tether of self-care is taut. Sometimes it’s scary to ask why, but it’s more favorable than choking.
The Recipe for Starvation
Honor your instincts with the same intensity as you honor your excuses – and listen to them with the same intention as you do you fantasies. Do so, and be well. Do not, and be wanting. You’ve done the latter long enough, and yet, here you are – knowing better, yet not living better. Writing a recipe has never fed a soul.
Behaviors that serve to protect habits that no longer serve progress, serve only to validate excuses for stagnation.