There’s been a slight leave of absence here at Life Coaches Blog, not mainly because I’ve been so busy, but also because I’ve been feeling burnt out lately. I’m sure some of you know the feeling.
At the same time, a book I bought and began reading, Coaching Into Greatness, challenged me with a few new and interesting ideas through the week.
The Illusion of Struggle
One of the things that Kim writes about in her book is the illusion of struggle, and this week I had the chance to get my own beliefs about struggle challenged.
In modern day culture, and also prevalent in personal development literature, there’s the popular notion that if you aren’t busy, you probably aren’t getting anything done. Lately, I started to question that belief with some of my own.
Does achievement always have to be a struggle?
I noticed this pattern in my own work: when things became easy to do, I began to doubt my work. There was this belief that if I didn’t have to work hard at it, that means it wasn’t good.
This belief was finally challenged when I did a piece of work I loved, and I was proud of, and it was easy and it only took me a day.
When I noticed this feeling of uneasiness, I started to question myself; what if achievement isn’t always a struggle? After all, the better I get at something, the easier and better I’m supposed to get at it, isn’t it? I then asked the pivotal question:
How would I feel if I achieved a lot easily and comfortably?
And when I felt the sense of uneasiness increase, and the boundaries of my mind pushed back a bit, I knew I had hit upon the limits of one of my beliefs. Then I challenged myself further:
How would I feel if I made twice the money I do now while putting in half the effort?
That was when a lot of other major beliefs started hitting back; whoa, you can’t do that! It takes hard work to earn money! What are you, lazy? Hey, good work only comes from hard work!
And then I started looking around and asking, what if a whole company of people believed that the only way to achieve was to struggle? Is that what causes the difference in company cultures and results? And what would happen if you got caught up in an environment that radiated that belief?
This was a major challenge to my current belief systems, but a good one I suspect.
Inspiration is Not Motivation
Another gem I brought back from the book is that inspiration is not motivation. I’d never thought about that but it’s so true, in my own work whenever I’m motivated to do something, it’s great, but it’s usually because of extrinsic rewards.
But whenever I’m inspired, it always comes from an internal drive, and it’s not so much as fulfilling outside expectations, but my own, and it feels easier and less of a struggle to work through inspiration than motivation.
The Illusion of Not Enough Time
I was having this conversation the other day with my friends when we brought up the point about having leisure time. Most of us were very driven people with our own goals and directions, and none of us could imagine finding ourselves wasting time or having nothing to do.
At the same time, there was another radical idea floating around: what if we purposely dedicated time to do anything we wanted, even nothing, to just ‘waste’ it away?
We all had one thing in common: we never seemed to have enought time to do what we wanted to do, even though we were doing as much of it as we could. I was wondering, would living like that continuously infect the mind with the idea that there was never enough time?
What if instead, we set aside time that was completely free to whittle away with as we please? Would that teach our minds instead that there is an abundance of time without the need to horde every single moment of it?
Taking Time Off to Recharge
In the spirit of telling my mind that there is more than enough time to get things done, that I could take time off, and to recharge so that inspiration and not motivation was what was pumping me I decided to experiment.
I spent the last couple of days away from writing, and doing what I’d normally thought were frivolous things away from work: napping, reading, watching videos, having afternoon tea with my folks, and taking care of my body with cycling and stretching.
And Still Having Enough Time To Do What I Wanted
At first there were lots of doubts; if you don’t update Life Coaches Blog enough, your readers will leave! and there’s no time for napping, forget that you’re tired and just push through it! also why are you wasting your time reading that fiction book of yours!
Instead, even though I spent all that leisure time, I still found time to achieve what I set out to do this weekend: I consolidated this month’s personal accounts, I submitted an entry to an Ipod design competition, I tweaked and solved a couple of problems on the new Life Coaches Blog design, and I’m writing this post now.
Of course, I didn’t do everything I wanted, but I did what I set out to do and what I found the main difference was, that while holding the belief that there is enough time, I didn’t experience the low level anxiety running in the background that there wasn’t.
And also by holding the belief that achievement can be easy, I found myself zipping through the Ipod design relatively fast and was quite happy with the way it looked.
The takeaway from this is: we all know that our beliefs affect the realities we create around us, and this week I’ve been challenging some of my beliefs. I’m very curious about this abundance mentality that Coaching Into Greatness talks about, and I’m actively exploring what it would be like to live with those beliefs and what kind of a reality that would create.
P.S. This is the Amazon link directly to the book Coaching Into Greatness : 4 Steps to Success in Business and Life, and this is the Coaching Into Greatness website.