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I have been off work for almost a year now. The TV and the internet have been my best friends. I have read sooooo many articles about how to get my groove back, watched probably four-hundred-and-fifty-million Maske Media and Ted Talk Youtube videos telling me to find my purpose and more precisely how to do it. The viewings always make me feel like ‘Rah, rah, rah! Take up the torch, burn down the house, face the enemy, march in the streets! Get going, Evie! You can do it!’ But, then I flick on the TV and either Family Feud or Ellen is on, and I am paralyzed for at least 30 minutes or more. When it’s over, I frantically flip through the stations trying to find something interesting or at least funny enough to numb my brain and get me through this period where I may actually have to face myself and my thoughts.
And I have a lot of them. Thoughts that is. I used to allow my thoughts to be self-defeating and reprimanding, pushing me deeper and deeper into a catatonic state where I felt I was incapable to of doing anything. So I just sat there. Surfing, flipping, reading, and catastrophizing my current situation. How would we retire? Will we ever get to have another vacation? I need to buy new shoes. What if my car dies? I am never going to own a franchise. Nobody will hire me. I am a loser. Whoa.
But wait a minute. I have the most valuable asset of anyone in the world. Time. The only burden I have is deciding how to spend it.
They say necessity is the mother of invention. Well, I decided to use this to my advantage and set myself up to have some necessary tasks to complete, so that I am moving forward and not sitting here wasting what could possibly be the biggest opportunity of my entire life!
Watching all those videos was inspiring, but at some point, you have to take some action! Walk the talk!
All of us need to feel like we have a purpose and value to the world. If we don’t have some sense of this, then there really is no reason to do anything. Motivating myself to get off my butt and do these things is where the effort comes in. I needed to set up my environment to provide a sense of urgency to get me off the couch. While a person may tell themselves ‘there’s always tomorrow’ that is not a guarantee. Every moment needs to be treated like it is special and fleeting.
I decided to set up my life so that I have purposeful tasks that have deadlines. I started this blog and made a promise that every Thursday I would write it, and every Monday I would publish it. I then registered with several Blog sites that remind me of my commitment. I have taken on some weekly fitness classes that require me to plan and practice ahead of time, so that I must be prepared and show up. I made a promise to myself that I would set my alarm and wake up by 6 am every day and immediately get ready and dressed like I was going to work. This way, I am always ready for those unplanned moments when someone calls for lunch, an errand, or perhaps an interview!
Exercising has always been a comfort to me. Yes, just like everyone else getting starting may be difficult, but once I get going I just feel so fantastic, both mentally and physically, a feeling that helps to set my attitude for all the other things going on in my life. I have set a goal to exercise every single day.
Outlook has been a great tool for me. I schedule my time with what I have planned to do every day; however, I have learned not to over plan and not to expect too much, or you will end up feeling disappointed when you fail. And you will fail. No one is perfect.
When I was a young girl, my Mom used to always tell us to just put one foot in front of the other and keep doing that and pretty soon you would be moving the in right direction. She was right. At first, it does not even matter what you are doing, just get doing it. Look around you. Right now. Is there something you can clean up? Is there a closet that needs organizing? Is there a friend that needs a phone call? Walk the dog. Rearrange your living room. Go to the library and get some books on a topic you have been interested in. Build something. Do some yard work or gardening. Write an essay. Mend that skirt that’s been sitting there for six months. Clean out your air vents. Take down the Christmas lights. Scrub the window frames. Show up at your spouse’s work and take them for a coffee. Go to the museum. Find a meet-up group. Learn how to do something new on your smart phone. Paint. Knit. Or learn how to do either. It does not matter, whatever you do you are going to feel so accomplished after you do it. Now keep doing this. Every day!
After you get into the habit of using all of your minutes to do something (anything), set yourself down and do some planning. What are the things that you can do that will be most meaningful and impactful to you and your purpose?
In November, I decided that I needed to start looking for a job. I had scared myself with all that thinking I had done in paragraph two above, and had decided this was the only possible way to make myself feel better. But guess what? I still don’t have a job, and there is no guarantee that I am going to get one soon, especially in this awful economy. So, let’s work on my purpose.
Every day, I write. I research things I want to write about. I exercise. I also continue to apply for jobs, but now I am looking for ones that align with who I am and who I want to be. I have spent quite a bit of my time organizing my home so it is a more comfortable place to be, and I have spent a lot of time being grateful for what I have. I have great plans for my future, and I am enjoying every single minute getting there.
Questions and Activities:
- Watch some motivational videos that align with your purpose. Research your topic of choice.
- Make a list of things that you can do related to your purpose. Break them down into small tasks that take 10 minutes all the way up to a few hours or days to complete.
- Make a list of things in your life that you can do right now. Get up and start doing those things. Keep track of them!
Tell me about how you are feeling and what are some of the things that you decided to do. How did it make you feel?