Monday, September 08, 2008

Day 22. Is Your 'Should Do' Button Stuck?

Has this ever happened to you? You wake up refreshed. You're enthused, energized, and ready to begin your exciting project -- whatever it may be -- and then something shifts and your motivation level slides down somewhere around your ankles.

My inner critic thinks she's got the scoop on everything, always thinking my two or three items on a list aren't nearly long enough to be considered a 'real' to do list. She asks, "Don't you think you should be doing this too? Why are you wasting time on that? You are having way too much fun, it can't be right! You need dis-ci-pline!" (huffed out like a drill sergent)

As soon as the word "should" shows up anywhere in the vocabulary mix, that's exactly the time when my heart disengages and stops being connected to the project at hand. And, that's also when the day starts to feel heavier, harder, even 'should upon'. What's a girl to do?

Here are four ways that help me:
1. Turn a deaf ear to my inner critic. I turn the 'button' off and just quit listening. If guilt shows up, then I know for sure it's something to ignore. For my heart to remain engaged in the activity or relationship, it needs to operate from a love standpoint. Hearts are meant to work out of love, so my heart tends not to function correctly when guilt, shame or should get mixed up in it.

2. Look for the one thing that I am excited about right now. I've learned that wherever my passion is hanging out at the moment, that's where I need to hang out too.

3. Whenever possible, short-list the 'to do' list. If I've jotted down 17 things I think should be done, I pare it down and keep asking myself what really needs to be done today? (Now we all have those extra-high energy days when 17 things won't phase us, but this is for times when we're trying to boost our sagging motivation.)

4. Use this technique. I learned this from Mary Kay Ash. It's call the "Six Most Important Things" list. Each evening put down six items that need to get done the next day, and stick to that list. For me, the trick is to not add more to the list...or I start to bog down.

Turn off the should-do button. Live your life out of your heart, out of love for what you're doing, and you'll find yourself enjoying your life with more fun and enthusiasm.

That is what I call living the beautiful life!

Gracefully yours,

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To My Beautiful Readers,

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