Are you task focused, or can you go with the flow?
I recognize that many times I become very task oriented as I’m sure folks who know me best would confirm. They’d probably tell you about my To Do lists, several of which are color coded. That should give you a pretty clear picture.
Fortunately for my peace of mind and sanity, I’ve altered my views about my lists. I now use them more as guides, rather than as mandatory self-assignments. They currently stand as reminders of things I need to attend to (doctor and dentist appointments) or people I’m getting together with or meetings I have. Things I don’t want to forget.
To be completely open, I do have other lists too, the kind that can become overwhelming and oppressive, if I let them. Maybe you have a few of these too.
Over the course of time an antidote arrived in the form of a complete sentence.
“Aim for progress, rather than completion.”
What an incredible freedom this offers. It allows me to keep an item on my list and make strides with it, but without the burden of feeling like I have to finish it (or else). It helps let me off the hook.
I also discovered a companion to accompany this antidote.
“There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way.”
For me, this one takes a lot of getting used to, especially considering the amount of cultural training I’ve received. My entire educational and work experience demanded and rewarded the completion of tasks be done in the ‘correct’ way. Thinking outside the box was often punished and there were only rewards for compliance with the ‘right’ way. It took an abundance of years for me to understand there are other possibilities and more than ONE right answer.
Then I was struck with a novel question. What if there was no such thing as a ‘right or wrong’ way, only the way I chose? This idea encouraged me to reexamine my entire thinking process and question the underlying assumption of there being ‘one right way’. I came to discover that in many cases, perhaps in all cases, I’d never know until I experienced the final outcome. There are just too many connections along the way to know the truth about any of my choices.
Then came another idea to join the group, a helpful suggestion designed to shift my attitude and attention.
“Focus on feelings, rather than on accomplishments.”
I love this one because it reorders my world and focuses my awareness on what’s most important to me…my feelings.
It’s entirely likely I will not accomplish every one of my aims. For whatever reason, I might get only so far and have to stop or redirect my attention elsewhere. However, the progress I did make and how I felt along the way, I get to keep and savor.
As it turns out, my feelings are the truest barometer of my satisfaction with life. They connect me with my source (divine nature) and with others, all those I love and whom I want to share my life with.
One final idea came along, and it enhances all the others before it.
“Come to a place of peace and joy with everything.”
And, I think to myself, isn’t this what I am really after? And my answer is YES.
2 Replies to “Changing an Attitude”
Thanks again Rob for this message of inspiration. I have a tendency to overwhelm myself with all these “things to do” and you have explained why. Needing to be right, thinking’s needing some order , I really like aim for progress not completion.. And feelings of course.
And striving for peace and joy. Yes!
And time to get started , with a deep cleansing breath. or two even.
Thanks Rob n Happy New Year.
As always, thank you for your comments. I look forward to all things you share and appreciate you very much. Yes, big breath in and out. Happy New Year to you as well. PS I am into chapter 5 of LBB5 at this moment, so there are things ahead to look forward to!