I love receiving feedback and comments on the articles I send you guys. This one came through right after I sent my newsletter yesterday. So, so good, so relevant and a question that needed posing.
“I noticed your comment that you were wondering re life and so on if you’d ever ‘get there’. To me that’s the whole issue. How do you know when you have ‘got there’?”
I can only speak personally, and this is something that Arran and I invest a lot of time discussing between us. These terms I use are open to interpretation and may bring up connotations that you feel differently about, so I will describe them as best I can.
I used to push so hard to make everything happen, and have come to realise there’s a big difference between drive, and push. Pushing is like trying to move something up a mountain, it’s hot, makes you weary and you literally can’t see a thing. I’ve done a lot of pushing in my time. Driving has direction, and when you’re in the drivers seat you can get a big picture perspective on what’s going on behind and ahead of you. When driving, you’re using the forces for you, not against you, and it takes much less energy. Driving you can keep an eye on lots of things simultaneously. Pushing needs all your strength in one spot.
When you’re pushing, you have no idea when you’ll ‘get there’ and also you’re usually too terrified to look back to see how far you’ve come. Driving is when you’re casually clocking your distance, and enjoying the ride.
Couple driving with an intense love of the ride, and you’ve got it in spades. If the ride there is so awful that you can’t enjoy it, I feel the whole thing is futile. I didn’t used to feel this way. I was happy to ‘sacrifice’ so much in order to ‘get somewhere’. Now, there’s just no way.
I use my body to feel it out, not my thoughts. If it doesn’t feel good, I refine, adjust, sometimes change direction all together. Nothing for me is worth hating or being miserable every day for.
In order to ensure we’re enjoying the drive, every day we take a moment to say to ourselves or each other what we’re grateful for. It always ends up being about Marley, each other, our little dog, that swim we took, that we’re both healthy. It’s not ‘I am so grateful the website didn’t crash today’ or ‘I’m so grateful we paid that invoice’. It’s always a very clear indicator of what’s important.
I used to run around like it was a race to the grave. Now, I’m certainly no less engaged with what I do (I actually work harder than ever, if you label what I do work, which I personally rarely do), but it has a completely different energy about it. I freaking love what I do every day. So it’s in the doing that brings me joy, not the getting somewhere.
If you’re busy getting somewhere and not enjoying it, stop. Perhaps keep it as a funding mechanism while you find what you love. But don’t let it take up everything. If someone had told me it’s as simple as ‘this makes me feel joy and this doesn’t make me feel joy’ a decade ago, I would have thought they had no idea. Now thankfully, I know better.