The most recent stories from The Change Blog community.
Several months back I interviewed a blogger named Jenny Blake who runs a successful blog called Life After College, and has actually just signed her first book deal. As I was going back through my chat with her about the process of writing a book, she said one thing that really stood out to me. She said that far too many people are victims of all or nothing thinking when it comes to the seemingly daunting task of writing a book. Most people don’t even start because they think that it has to be all or nothing: write the entire book or don’t write it all. When you think about goals in general that’s not at all how they are accomplished.
Let’s take a look at how we can overcome all or nothing thinking and actually accomplish our goals.
In this post, I’ll talk about something that doesn’t seem to make sense. Why is it that, when we’re working on a project that’s deeply important to us, we tend to procrastinate the most?
I’m sure you’ve experienced this while doing a task that seemed “make or break” to you. Maybe it was a project that was for an important client or worth a lot of money. Maybe it was a paper you were writing for school that was worth a big part of your grade. Whatever it was, I’ll bet you noticed yourself putting it off more often than your usual chores.
“Do not suffer life to stagnate; it will grow muddy for want of motion: commit yourself again to the current of the world.” – Samuel Johnson
Motion, or change, is the one constant in life.
We are always moving, whether it be forwards, backwards or in circles. Most of us would, I imagine, want to be moving forward – achieving something, becoming fitter, stronger, wealthier, more skillful, happier. Yet so many of us get stuck in a rut, going over the same ground like a mouse in a wheel.
We’ve all seen friends there. We’ve all been there ourselves: overwhelmed, confused, lost in evaluating a big life dilemma.
What should I do with my life? What job should I take? Should I move or not? Should I stay with the good, secure option or take a riskier road that has the potential to be great?
Sometimes thinking about these questions leads us into a tearing-out-our-hair, overwhelmed, utterly confused state. Intricate pro and con arguments swirl through our heads. We’re swimming, unable to keep up with the multiplicity of factors to weigh and reason through, and fearful because we sense there is no way to rationally predict the best outcome. Thinking gets us more and more stressed, further and further away from a connection to our desires, our truths, to clarity.
On October 10th, 2006, at the age of 36, I suffered a stroke. Thankfully, it wasn’t a major stroke and I was able to make a full recovery after spending a week in the hospital!
In the weeks that followed, I can’t count how many times I heard the phrase:
“But you’re too young to have a stroke!”
My answer to this was always the same:
I’ve been involved in the personal development world for several years, since I was in college. I believe that there’s a lot of good material – in blogs, in books, taught by coaches and trainers – which can help you to enjoy life more and to achieve your goals.
But what I’ve come to believe is that, on some deep level, we are who we are. However much you might envy Richard Branson or Steve Jobs or Oprah Winfrey or whoever your particular hero is, you are you.
Perhaps you’re reading this because you’re curious. Perhaps you want more from your life. Perhaps there’s something you’re desperately keen to change – your weight, your fitness, your financial status, your job, your happiness.