At this time in my life, I’ve realized two prominent opposites –
1) I am feeling stuck and trapped. Whether it’s regarding the things I should be doing or want to be doing- personal projects, schoolwork, creativity etc., or in the general direction of my life.
2) I sometimes have days that turn into weeks of non-stop busy work…errand running, project deadlines, personal goals, obligations, social engagements etc.
I recently found a quote that resonated very loudly with me and has helped me become aware of how to effectively handle the above scenarios better.
“Don’t just do something, stand there”
First, When you’re working on a project or are itching for something new, it’s easy to just get stuck- to not know what the next step is. Sometimes it just feels like everything is at a standstill. So, you keep trying and fighting, but nothing seems to help. Sometimes you even find yourself trying to find shortcuts or steps to skip so you can at least be constantly moving forward. But, the more frantically you try to find shortcuts, the less thorough and natural you become thus the less likely you will be to having your end result reach its maximum potential. It’s important to know when to step back and let yourself breathe other things for a while before returning back to the project at hand.
Also, when you’re lost and are aching to find a sense of self in a world of general displacement, sometimes the best way to move forward is to stop moving altogether. Let yourself become unfocused on specifics of your life and focus on the simplicities. When you’re overcome by desperation and anxiety because you have no sense of direction, the most effective productivity comes from trying not to force the wheel. Let things play out naturally and at it’s own pace. Time is the ultimate healer and the ultimate provider. Don’t doubt it. Everything will fall into place when it’s meant to.
Finally, life gets busy…like overwhelmingly, always on the move, non-stop busy. It’s great to get into a mode where you are on a roll and are scratching things off your to do list one at a time. Don’t forget to stop every once in awhile, take a look around, and appreciate- even if it’s the colors of the leaves as they change, or the way a little kid is playing with a puppy. I know from experience, that when things get hectic, it takes a very long time for things to calm down. To avoid the exhaustion and stress, make some time to stop, stand, and breathe. You’ll probably even start enjoying your busy, busy life more if you acknowledge it rather than being in robot mode to get things done. Whether it’s helping your daughter with her homework or finishing a group assignment or driving in your car all day running errands. Enjoy the little things, appreciate your company, and acknowledge your environment.
Sometimes to do something, you need to do nothing.