The hamster wheel
I’m supposed to be smarter than a rodent. Even considering my brain buzz.
But if that’s true, why do I spend so much time on the hampster wheel? Why don’t I spend more time — most of my time — on things that make me scream Awesome! Yes!?
I don’t know.
You’d think that after some of the crap I’ve been through I’d be like one of these guys you see in the movies. You know, life changing experince leads to a new lease on life. No more wasted time, not a minute spent on stuff that doesnt REALLY MATTER. 24-7 on what’s awsome and makes a fella scream ‘yes!’
But then life kicks in. Routine. Responsibility. A few days pass without tapping out a blog or working on the book. Days turn to weeks, Weeks turn to months. Ground hog day. Time is spent doing necessary things, but more time is wasted doing unnecessary stuff. The stuff that keeps a guy busy doing everything but the things he’s supposed to do.
Time passes, frustration turns to passive acceptance that the writing isn’t practical. Energy turns into frustration before it fades to the most evil thing of all — benign content.
Feels a little cliched as I write this. But I’m living this cliche, I guess that’s how cliches become cliches. So I’ll go on,
I took in a seminar the other day where some cliches hit me like a mike Tyson body shot.
They talked about things like, if a fella doesn’t spend regulars time working on one’s self, a fella can’t get off his hamster wheel. He can’t really take the time to develop his own special, true gifts to their fullest potential.
And that’s a disservice to him. But it’s also cheating one’s community.
That doesn’t mean you can’t be successful without developing your passion, your real gifts. I think you can be really successful doing the wrong things.
You can make money or praise without doing the things that you’re meant to do. And I think that gnaws at your gut.
Jimmy Hendrix might have had great skills as a carpenter — but I’m sure glad he focused on playing the guitar. The world’s a better place and will be as long as his recordings electrify the planet.
My session also talked about spending time every day on visioning the day and reflecting on it’s successes and misses. Giving deep thought to learning and adapting from what’s gone on with an aim to getting better the next time out.
It also makes me think of world class athletes. They visualize making even the smallest corrections to get just a step faster, a bit stronger, doing the small things that add up to being number one. In team sports, focussing on making themselves better makes the steam that much closer to being great.
It always feels to me like it’s selfish to spend time focussing on myself. But it’s not if that focus makes me better at servicing those I was put on this planet to serve.
The session also talked about thinking about gratitude. It turns out that gratitude isn’t just nice, I’m told that science shows that it actually can make you more successful. If you’re grateful for what you have each day — truely grateful and you reflect on this — you are more successful. The trick is, you can’t fake this stuff. You really have to be grateful. I was pretty sure that gratitude was a good thing. I just didn’t know that it was it was also a powerful thing.
Things that make you go ‘hmmm.’
So, i’m going to take a real shot at being really grateful for what i’ve been given and what even the shitty things have provided me. I tend to think of gratitude at dramatic times, intense times. I want to think about it all the time now.
And I’m going to dedicate time to every day to self reflection. I’ve been doing this for a little while now. Nothing fancy. Just real reflection, opening my noggin to what’s out there. Thinking through what I’ve done each day, thinking about what I should be doing, what I could do.
I’m hopeful this will clear my mind to write what I need to write. If it doesn’t, I’ll be satisfied with whatever clarity shows me.