Take Action When You Really Feel Inspired;
When the Time is Right, Enthusiasm Appears
I am discovering that it is better to embark on projects when I really feel like doing them. Ok this does not apply to all areas of my life, because sometimes I have to complete tasks immediately, whether or not I feel motivated.
Yet, there have been countless times that I beat myself up for not completing a project, only to complete it quickly and seamlessly later when I feel inspired. This is especially true for creative projects. Initially, I either procrastinate and don’t make any progress, or the progress is so slow and unsure, it seems like I’ll never finish. In both scenarios, the process feels painful – I don’t enjoy the work or the procrastination, and I judge myself harshly for what seems like inertia and laziness.
Yesterday, one of my coaching clients mentioned to me how she is increasingly open to allowing events to unfold in her life naturally. She will make a list of goals for the week, but give herself a month to complete them.
Intrigued, I asked her to explain her thinking behind this. She said that she is never sure what competing demands will arise, nor when she will feel inspired, so rather than trying to hold herself to a strict schedule that feels stressful, she prefers to follow her energy and go with the flow. This enables her to be productive AND relaxed. And of course, she ends up accomplishing other things not on her list, and setting new goals the following week that are also given a month’s time to unfold.
If we stop trying to force things to happen on an imposed timeline, then imagine how our stress levels would go down and work would feel much more joyful and natural. This would require that we trust things to occur at the right time. When the time is right, it feels right; our desire to perform the action increases, and doors open, people come out of the woodwork to assist us, ideas pop into our heads, and the work is fun, playful, creative, and inspired!
The right time is not about dates, rather it is the convergence of when we are ready, when others are ready, and when the world is ready for what we have to offer. It is also about quality over quantity – the quality of our output, the quality of our conversations, interactions, and relationships that we nurture with others, the quality of our work, our passion and the overall experience.
Recently I realized that I often interpret slow progress as rejection. If I was better, more qualified, truly worthy, then things would move more quickly, more opportunities would appear, more clients would seek me out, more projects would be created. I forget how much I have accomplished, grown, changed, and I lose touch with my intrinsic value, which is not dependent upon recognition from others.
Ultimately, my responsibility is to my work and to the people in my life, but the outcome of this work is beyond my control. Therefore, my self-worth can only be tied to my sincere efforts, not by how they are received, or by the opportunities that come my way.
Yes, in order to make progress, it is important to be disciplined, work hard, cultivate positive intentions to be of service and to do good, and continually learn and experiment. But this must be tempered with rest, relaxation, downtime, celebration, and above all, kindness and patience with ourselves. Because the best projects will be the ones created out of pure passion and joy -expressions of who we are at our most centered and the love we have to share.