Zoom coffee dates have become a thing for me the last several weeks of distancing. I’m an introvert by nature, so I’m sure you’ve heard me say that I am having a perfectly delightful time working remotely.
Last week I was having coffee with a dear friend of mine who I always find so inspirational and up lifting. We always have the greatest conversations! On this particular occasion, we were talking about how her business was moving ahead during these times and how as Spirit would have it, she was being presented an opportunity to do what she truly loves to do. And, is largely prohibited from doing additional things she doesn’t necessarily love to do anyway. Well, take a look at that!
The thing we kept talking and laughing about was not the gift she was receiving right now, but rather her resistance to it! She talked about how every moment she was finding herself loving what she was getting to do, what she has worked and intended for, was matched with a feeling or thought about what else she should be doing because right now is too easy.
Many of us, myself included, were raised by people who told us life is about working hard. Life is hard, marriage is hard, careers, child rearing, you name it – all hard. I’m not going to lie, I have spent years working my way out of that mindset, and yet, I just called it work…it runs deep folks. I have been very intentional about crafting the life I have. Has it been easy? No. But if I had said yes, how would you have felt?
For the most part, if you tell someone you have a great life and it has all come really easy for you, you may not get punched in the beak (nose) but at minimum you’re going to get some dirty looks!
We value hard work! There are companies whose tag lines include those words, but here is my question…why?
Why is it if you work really hard for something, it’s better in the eyes of others, and your own, then if it came to you with ease? Why do we hold a greater value for someone telling us how hard they tried, even when they failed to get the result they were after? That one blows my mind all the time. I get the “E for effort” thing, but where does it stop? I know people who have gotten themselves out of being expected to do or accomplish anything in life because they claim to “given it all I’ve got” and walked away. In coaching we call that the good story. As long as you have a good story, it doesn’t matter if you succeed or not.
Many people would rather hear the good story that didn’t turn into anything productive, then the story of someone who is killin’ it at life and has accomplished amazing things with relative ease.
Let me be crystal clear about something. Operating with ease does not mean you don’t show up and do stuff. It means instead of at the end of the day talking about how hard you worked, you are talking about how clear, focused, and intentional you were in how you operated in your tasks. Instead of running out of daylight, you are paying attention to how you are paying attention and how you utilized your time to accomplish your goals. Instead of looking at your to-do list, you’re admiring your list of don”. Instead of complaining about how hard it all was, you’re relishing in the flow of your day. It’s a perception adjustment.
Here is a little tip I learned from Rachel Hollis, and I’m not going to remember what she calls it, so someone message me with the answer. She talks about setting specific goals for her daily tasks. So, instead of saying writing time she says, “I’m going to write 2500 words for my book”. I’m not writing a book, but when I sit down to write, I have a clear goal of what it is that I am going to accomplish in that time. Today I sat down and said, “I am going to write two blogs”. This is my second one. Winner, winner chicken dinner. Is it hard work? Heck no! I love to write! Does it take time? Yes, yes it does. Are there 10 other things that I could be doing right now? Absolutely! At this very minute I have laundry running in the washer and drying and have sap boiling on the stove and dinner thawing in the sink. Does this make me a better person? Well, of course not. I genuinely like to multitask. Am I going to feel good about what I accomplished when I’m finished? Yes! Yes I am! Then, I’m going to move onto the next thing on my “get this done” list and get it done.
My point is this. It’s so easy for us to feel like we’re working so hard, when really perhaps we’re just being focused and deliberate with our time. It doesn’t have to feel like agony to be worth something. When I say that I worked really hard at something, I literally start to feel exhausted by it. When I state what I got done, and what I put my attention into, it feels exciting and refreshing.
What sounds better to you?
I choose exciting and refreshing. My goal in life is to do things, and be around people who lift my energy, not deplete it. If what you’re doing sucks the life out of you, you might want to rethink what you’re doing, or perhaps, just the old worn out belief system you’re operating from.
It’s ok to be ok with what you do, or to even like it, or for Pete’s sake, to LOVE IT.
Now more than ever we need to manage our energy and focus. Take a look at what attitude is prevalent inside of you. What are you valuing and why? Is the good story better than a good result born of ease and focus?
So, my friend has decided that she is giving herself six months to be ok with doing nothing, but what she loves and making good money doing. We’re all a work in progress. What I appreciate and admire is she realized she was working from an old belief that wasn’t even hers anymore, and she’s letting go…with ease.
Blessings Galore, Anne