Your mind is that distracting classmate your parents warn you about. The one that the teacher ensures you sit far away from because all they do is hold you back. We are weary of the company we keep yet hardly weary of the mind we feed.
Your mind would find every excuse to not do that thing towards your long-term goal. Your mind would find every reason to do something, that ‘now’ and ‘pressing’ thing, that pulls you away from your long-term goal. You decide you’ll clean on a particular day/time and just at that time arrives you start showing symptoms of “feelings”. I don’t feel like cleaning right now. No, you’re not busy. No, you’re not tired. You simply don’t feel like it. It could be cleaning, exercising, studying or any goal or habit you’re trying to achieve or formulate. Feelings just show up at the wrong time. And they are hardly ever good feelings.
It doesn’t have to be so.
A week ago I scheduled my daily activities. In my planner’s section for “This Week’s Focus” I wrote “to do w/o the feeling”. I respect the work of my magical mind (the good part of my mind) by not unraveling it later in the week with feelings. Another way to think of it is to use the machine mind. Here’s an e.g – Issue: dishes in the sink is not a welcoming morning gift. Plan: I will ensure that there are no dishes before going to bed.
Now, when it’s time to apply this plan, I may moan and groan or whatever non-action emotional sounds that come out at the sight of the dishes.
I quickly turn the machine mind on (and I honestly try to keep it in focus at all times) and walk to the sink with a focused purpose and with zero emotions. Not even an emotion of joy. It is the doing without feeling. I’m not saying joy is wrong but I won’t attempt to colour a task for the sake of making it feel easier to do. And I sure as hell ain faking it. I personally want to take a swift exit from our current world of sugar, colour and fancy with doing what must be done. I.e – Just Do It.
At the end of the day, all of this is for your own growth, progress and transformation. You get no points, payment or pats on the back.
Another real example … I walked into the living room and saw the basket of laundry I picked from the line two days before. I bent, picked up said basket, walked to the bedroom and dumped everything on the bed to begin folding. I say shut up to those feelings. In fact, they didn’t even come for the ride.
But how do you really get it right? The second you notice or remember your task, just get tuh hell up and do it. Machine style. Once you start in motion, there is no space for feelings to arise.
Secondly, examine whether your life is one by design or default. Then check whether you create goals, visions and tasks according to your design. Once you feel sure of the design, you can bring some presence to what you’re doing by remembering your why. Welcome alertness by slowing down. We’ll speak more about this in another post but this article is for the moments when that “presence” and awareness seems like a struggle. Don’t beat yourself up for not noticing the shape and shine or dullness of the pot or not massaging it with love (insert Echkart Tolle blink lol), simply finish the task.
What would you do if your phone didn’t feel like making that outgoing call? I know you’ll say it does that sometimes. lol. However, we spend a fortune on these devices because they are generally consistently reliable and do as asked. This is the perfect time to remind you that these devices need rebooting, recharging, servicing etc. Just like our bodies.
How do you know what’s important and what to plan? We’ll talk about that in another blog post.
Other things to consider/reminder: If you have strong resentful emotions re a task, it’s possible that you are not living your life but someone else’s. For e.g, if you cannot stand to do another calculation or accounting, then it probably means it’s not your life path. If you normally enjoy doing a thing but have strong resistance to doing it, it may signal a changed mental health state and it’s good to seek advice (psychologist/psychiatrist/friend etc.).
No, I’m not perfect with this method all the time but God knows I’m not where I used to be. The mere fact that I do this also improves my overall productivity. I get things done. I spend less time complaining and debating whether I should or must do x. I less and less have those shitty moments of feeling shitty from a wasted day. I am closer and closer to my goals.
And there is no getting off. There is no unicorn level to attain that would make this any easier or unnecessary. I have to do this all the time, even when I start making my millions. I think I’ll need it more then.
Finally, it’s not bad-minded people holding us back, it’s our own bad mind. The distracting troublesome mind that has feelings. Let’s try to use those feelings for when intuitive judgement is needed. There is nothing intuitive about folding clothes or writing an outline. If you’re showing symptoms of feelings, speak outloud with instructions to the mind and complete each step as asked.
“Ok Deidre, let’s stand up. We’re taking this nice short walk to the fridge for water. We need to increase our water intake. Get this glass. Good girl. Look at that, we did it.” – Sounds crazy to you but it works.
The only thing standing between where you and your goal is … feelings.
Someone once told me the definition of Hell: The last day you have on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.