I glanced at my to-do list this morning and realized that I was so far behind that for many of the items on the list, the ink was faded from age. Then I felt pressure – the pressure of not doing enough, not being smart enough, not working hard enough, not being more disciplined – basically not being good enough.
So, I decided to take a nap … (at 9:30 a.m.) but couldn’t sleep – felt the pressure of trying to avoid the pressure of letting the pressure keep me from doing the work that would relieve the pressure. What an interesting neighborhood my mind is.
Since I couldn’t avoid feeling the stress, I decided to take a closer look at my pressure thing. This is by no means a new study, more of a refresher course; sort of a continuing education requirement for a certificate in “oh, now I get it.”
I can feel pressure in various situations. For purposes of this message, there’s no need to list them all. Included are: not enough time, not enough revenue, not enough control. Hmmm, maybe that is all of them.
And, here is the simple truth that I apparently need to relearn over and over – I have total control over the pressure I feel. As soon as I become self aware enough to notice, my next step always requires the discipline of re-focusing my thoughts to remove the pressure. Sometimes it takes a while to build up the discipline.
As always, when I want to shift my thinking, I begin to ask questions. On Clarity’s Attention Guide, the opposite thought from pressure is force. Obi-Wan Kenobi never said “May the pressure be with you.” He said “May the Force be with you”. Force means that spiritual connection that’s bigger than us. With that in mind, what is the bigger purpose of this huge pile of work I feel compelled to do?
What would empower me and bring enthusiasm to the next task on my list? Have I gone for my walk today? I know that always helps. What on the list would energize me the most at this moment; that I would be willing to do now. I teach this so I could be modeling how the system works to move past the ineffectiveness of a pattern of pressure (feel a little pressure here).
A good friend of ours, Henry DeVries, grew up on a dairy farm, He tells the story of his father assigning him the task of washing the cow manure off the wall of the milk barn. Henry started washing but every time he looked up all he could see was another 100 feet of crappy wall. He began crying. His dad told him to turn around so he only looked at what he had already washed. Suddenly, the insurmountable task came to a surprised completion when Henry’s butt hit the far wall. His whole focus had been on all he was accomplishing.
If, from time to time, you also feel the pressure building, you might stop for a few moments and ask: What Force do I want to bring to this day? What do I need to be enthusiastic and empowered? What will energize me the most in the next hour? Where can I make the most contribution to my business, my family or my team?
You may also want to follow Henry’s guidance – keep your back to any crap you facing and focus on your successes to create your pressure free day.
Doing all of this worked for me today. This blog was task number 5 on my list. I’m giving myself another “Oh, now I get it” Certificate.
To receive your own certificate, shift your thoughts!
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