Notes to myself: Why did I (obsessively) hold onto things and refuse to adjust?
Human lives became all about being efficient, and it is pushing us closer to the edge — the edge where we forget how to enjoy our life and feel guilty for having fun. From what I know, this all started around the industrial revolution when we began to attach a price to our work hour. We stopped being task-driven creatures.
I’ve learnt on my own skin how the fixation on my routines, productiveness and certain outcomes can have a negative impact not only on me but on people around. Obsession is not a virtue or a noble trait, and it sits closer to addiction than we think. The most interesting are the stories I was telling myself to excuse the behaviour. They were always amazing and full of beautiful words, high-values, positiveness and goodness like I’m about to save the freakin’ world. I discovered that the majority of excuses had a negative nature, and I often didn’t even realise that.
So… What are the potential reasons I was trying to often overengineer my days and avoid flexibility?
- Stay in control?
- Feel that every day accomplished something and I did an excellent job?
- Trying to prove myself and my value?
- Over-organising the day because I’m afraid of something?
- Trying to impress my boss and show I’m irreplaceable?
- Thinking only about my goals and my needs?
- Too much on my plate and trying to survive the madness?
- I’m the only person who can do things “The Right Way”?
- Or maybe I just know that without a plan I would procrastinate?
Stay focused and embrace the change
It is impossible to have a bullet-proof plan for a day, go through it and stay flexible when things pop-in. I can’t get angry and announce my disapproval whenever things don’t go my way, throw my hands up, curse the sky, and tell the world how unfair this or that is. I can’t alter reality, so I just need to embrace it. Embrace uncertainty and contradiction, the unexpected.
My daily plans should be considered more as an outline, a draft of a perfect day. If something screws it up, well, shit happens. I shall deal with it and move on. Tiny adjustments might be a small change for me, but a life-saver for someone else, and who does not want to save the world and help people?
“What stands in the way becomes the way” — Marcus Aurelius
The more insistent I am on a particular outcome, the more difficult it can be to achieve it. Doing the best possible job and not being obsessed with the perfect results can free me of the pressure and release the creativity to do things differently and better.
Notes to myself
- Embrace the change, that’s the only certain thing in your life.
Don‘t avoid new experiences or a different point of view. Change is not always a bad thing, and there is a lot to learn from it.
- Plan well and stay flexible.
The well-planned day is still the key as it will help me to stay focused. There is always a chance that nobody or nothing will come my way, and I can execute it in full.
- Focus on things that are important, not urgent.
Urgent matters have one thing in common — they come out of nowhere and need to be done now. I should not confuse urgent with important. Only the long-term plan really matters.
- Don’t be reactive when something doesn’t go as planned.
Help it, actively seek how to resolve the problem to move on with your day. Don’t leave it to others.
- Don’t shun people you disagree with.
In light on disagreement, it is always worth to listen and understand the other side. They have a different view about the same topic, and a healthy disagreement can only bring positive changes.
- Don’t be overheard complaining…even to yourself.
At the end of the day, I don’t want to focus my energy on complaining. Nobody ever said, “I love when people complain”.
- Ask questions…