Life is not a straight line. Instead, it’s a series of steps forward and then back again, then a sideways maneuver that makes total and complete sense at the beginning, but yanks you back in the opposite direction at some point. In order to achieve any one thing, or more specifically your ONE Thing, it’s all about productivity and approaching life experiences as being the same, but different.
I made this discovery quite by accident. These days I have more free/spare time, as well as more disposable income than almost anyone I know. Why? Part of the answer is because I’ve chosen to become an expert in the areas of time management and productivity. But the rest of the story is that I credit my decision to embrace and wrap my mind around a creative way of thinking that changed my life…
The Same, But Different
We are all busy with the business of getting on each day in our lives. Early on, we develop likes and dislikes, preferences, beliefs, and goals. Chocolate ice cream was my favorite as a toddler, yet my cousin would only eat vanilla. We settled on neapolitan and avoided the strawberry section altogether. As we grew older, our taste buds matured, we became more agreeable, and the flavor of the ice cream became less important than the time we spent together. It wasn’t so much a compromise as it was a realization that chocolate and vanilla are the same, but different.
Let’s go back to productivity for a moment so I may give examples of this strategy that will be more relevant to your life. Being “busy” does NOT translate to being “productive” and I’m able to say this based on my decades of staying busy and accomplishing very little. My life changed only when I implemented these strategies. This is a five-step process I share with the people whom I mentor and work closely with in their businesses:
- When you want to achieve a specific goal, how do you approach it? Then, how do you move forward in action? Think of every goal as a project to be completed within a specific time frame. Then, reverse engineer the goal to get more detailed and creative in your thinking and approach.
- Make a few notes about how it will feel to move forward and near completion of this goal.
- Power through to the end the first time, whatever it is, and then put it away and don’t look at it for at least 24 hours. I do this will all of my writing, products and courses, and projects I’m involved in with the non-profits and service organizations I’m a part of in my daily life.
- After at least 24 hours have passed, go back through what you’ve written or otherwise created with a more objective perspective. Find the mistakes and the parts that don’t make sense. Don’t delete them; simply redo them so you’ll have both versions.
- Then, do it again, whatever IT is for your project.
The second time around you’ll begin to see the project differently and as you work you’ll get into a rhythm, an ebb and flow that feels natural to you and at some point will feel like someone else is guiding your hand, heart, and mind. But there will still be the awkward, clunky parts because you’re not yet a seasoned creator. At this point you’ve gone far beyond what most people wanting to achieve a similar goal are willing to do… to do it all over again, the same this time, but different.
“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” ~ Meister Eckhart
More About the Rhythm of Achieving Your Goals…
Over the years I’ve discovered that there is a three-rhythm process for effective results. This concept goes like this:
- The “Thinking” Rhythm: A rhythm of strategic thinking to keep your teams focused and working on the future of your business.
- The “Planning” Rhythm: A rhythm of planning that will allow you to choose the right priorities and get your departments or divisions aligned with those priorities.
- The “Doing” Rhythm: A rhythm of executing your plan and making effective and timely adjustments on a very regular basis. This process applies to any individual or business and ensures that you get into the habit of achieving success, week after week, quarter after quarter, year after year.
Over time you will proceed more directly towards your goal and destination. You’ll smooth out the rough edges and refine your strategies. At some point, you’ll realize that your process is almost nothing like what you started with.
Remember the natural flow of thoughts => feelings => beliefs => actions => results that determines the lifestyle design that works best for us. We must all contemplate our actions and habits and life choices with a specific intention, I honestly believe. Think deeply about this concept of life’s events being the same, but different and please let me know what comes up for you.
I think about the powerful book, The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington when I write about this strategy and way of living to reach your full potential.
I’ll use my writing as an example to flesh out what I sharing with you here, so that you’ll be able to at least emulate my steps for whatever direction you’re headed in your life experience…
Once I reached for and found the feelings that had bubbled up inside me over the years, in regards to the stories I wanted to share, it made the actual process of writing flow more easily. Writing every day is now a joyous process for me, and one I find quite fulfilling overall. I mentor people who want to write, but typically do not make time for it each day.
~ Chuck Palahniuk
I’m Connie Ragen Green, the same… but different as I grow and change and experiment and shift my thinking on a variety of topics.