Laura Gordon: Work-life balance and Japanese ikigai
OPINION: I’ve heard so many people talking recently about reassessing their priorities in life. Without a doubt the pandemic has played a role in that. For one, the terrifying mortality rates remind us how fragile and precious life is. On top of that we’ve all […]
Left: Michelle Brenner cooking her sauce; A load of Michelle’s lasagnas ready to donate/ Finding Purpose during a Furlough
When Michelle Brenner moved to Gig Harbor, Washington, about six years ago, she did not realise that her new abode will open a mix bag and different chapters in her life. She was furloughed from her job at a menswear store after Covid-19 pandemic hit. She was not looking at finding purpose during a furlough.
Booted out of a normal routine, locked in like everyone else, she quickly realized that she is not very good at sitting around. She decided to use her extra time and a family lasagna recipe to create a free food movement in her Washington community.
So far, she has made more than 1,275 pans of lasagna for friends, neighbors, first responders, and anyone in need of a good fresh meal — without charging anyone.
For Brenner, this is a labor of love, and she has no plans to stop.
Is It Possible Finding Purpose During A Tough Time?
“I knew it was my time in my life to give back to the people who paved life’s path for me to have the 45 years of life that I’ve had,” she said. She decided she wanted to help elderly members of her community and those who could not get out and shop for themselves because of the pandemic. So, she signed up to work as a shopper for Instacart.
She only spent two days working with the grocery delivery app — but during that time she noticed one item her customers kept asking for: frozen lasagna. One of those customers was a man in his nineties. Brenner said when she delivered the frozen lasagna and other items to him, he confessed to her that he had not had any fresh food in nearly a month and a half.
That moment inspired Brenner to do some grocery shopping of her own and pick up the ingredients to make her family a fresh lasagna based on her grandmother’s recipe.
Procrastination is often a symptom of perfectionism. Because perfectionists fear being unable to complete a task perfectly, they put it off as long as possible. This stems from the fear that not meeting the goal means that there is something bad, wrong or unworthy inside of them.
Whaoh! Sixteen (16) days gone already. My last post was published sixteen days ago? It sure is a lot of work to write each post. But I flow so naturally and unstoppable once I start writing. Though I know it can be tasking, but am always unfettered and unruffled by the hard work involved. So, why did I stop for this long?
Not that I did not have a daily urge to write or at least a topic to write on. I have actually started a post and left it as a draft. But I could not just spare the time to write because I was not in the mood. I also seem to have a silent fear that I will not be able to deliver the kind of quality write up that I want without distractions from my other life pursuits.
But this gave me a sense of loss. Loss of productivity, loss of connection with my online friends and co-bloggers. And a loss of traction to the speed and momentum I was building up.
I will speak and write about succeeding and not failing. A failure is someone who has given up, who has not started, or taken a step. I only had a break. A failure will be the car maker stopping work in 1914, simply because he/she could get a futuristic glimpse of the fast cars of 2018. A failure can be likened to a snail that refuse to starts its journey simply because it sees ahead, a tortoise, then a turtle, then a cheetah.
Therefore today, I choose to direct just one deadly shot against procrastination. Just write! And guess what, I choose to write about that one thing that is holding me back, procrastination. I faced the elephant in the room.
I realize that I procrastinated on this very important journey because I allow it to drop in my order of priority. I allowed myself to be bugged down by the same old “other people’s very urgent and important businesses”, and things that are in my comfort zone, rather than push my limit in this one area of flow and joy. This seemingly unimportant and not so urgent area of my life, but where I want to start making the biggest changes and achieve the highest growth.
I understand your personal frustration as you too sit in the hall way of procrastination.
But you too can get up, dust off the lethargy, arm yourself with your clearly identified life goals, game changer ideas or pursuit and just go for it! Get on board that stimulating train or activity again. That one jolly train that was taking you on your journey of purpose and accomplishment.
So, what are you going to do, differently?
My one deadly shot against procrastination, was; just start, just do it.
1. Pick your poison – this is about focus and choosing/ prioritizing on ONE thing.
2. Start today – taking immediate action.
3. Five Minute Miracle – taking a small doable chunk, or identified small action.
4. Do a Power Hour – put away all distractions and work in concentrated chunks of time.
5. Kill it With Kindness – forgive yourself for past procrastination.
6. Have a Procrastination Power Song – get a song that really gets you energized.
7. Get under the hood – understand exactly why you’ve been procrastinating a specific task.
8. Let It Go – decide if this item need to be dropped off the ‘to do list’.
9. Make a bet – have an accountability buddy and have a bet with the person.
10. Make it fun – create a reward for yourself if the procrastinated task is completed.
Finally, I have done it again. I have gone a long way writing another blog I can be proud of simply because I took the first steps.
Prior to now, I had finished some other “pressing” priorities. Yesterday, I had a very lively and stimulating conversation with a colleague about my blog. This spurred me into action and made me refocus to do just this ONE thing that I have procrastinated doing for so long. I had the conversation yesterday, failed again (did not succeed) to start yesterday even though it was on my ‘to do list’ for several days. But I took action today. At least, today is closer to immediately, more than tomorrow or never. I just wanted to kick start it. But I went more than 75% with the first shot. I did not just do a five minute miracle slot, I used a two hours online meeting to multitask.
Surely, according to the research referred to in the Forbes write up,
“… once you start something, you’re much more likely to finish it”…
This is a psychological phenomenon called, the Zeigarnik effect. With two hours spent now, I had moved from a five minute miracle to doing a power one hour. I have also forgiven myself (maybe not totally), for procrastinating this long. I also overcame the lethargy of not wanting to fail. My accountability buddy sent me a reminder email this morning, funny, just remembering. Did all these seemingly unconnected actions actually contributed to me writing this post today? Maybe.
What are you currently procrastinating doing? What will you do now, immediately, to make a difference? What can you advice to help someone stop procrastinating? Are you been daunted by procrastination triggers?
Chris Bailey’s Harvard Business Review write up on 5 Research-Based Strategies for Overcoming Procrastination listed Pychyl’s seven triggers that make a task seem more averse. They are, if the task is, boring, frustrating, difficult, ambiguous, unstructured, not intrinsically rewarding, or lacking in personal meaning.
SPARE ONE HOUR – For Additional Knowledge From Multiple Videos
I started with my ONE shot, 5 miracle minutes, 2 hours of multitasking doing this post, and ended up spending additional hours to learn more.
I realized from Robin Sharma (How I Beat Procrastination) 2WW, that my walking exercises over the weekend could also have aided my “readiness” to write today.
Rafeal Eliassen sounded so persuasive in Killing Procrastination – COMPLETELY Eliminate Putting Things Off, FOREVER. He talked about how most of us do to tap into our potential and talent. This is the same damning verdict I got yesterday when I finally made a so long procrastinated call to someone. Again, perhaps another unknown and seemingly unrelated shot that may have helped me to write this post.
Mel Robbins TEDxSF How to stop screwing yourself over came late, but made me realize that I stopped screwing myself when I pushed my ONE first shot and started to just write. I actually talked and opened up to a friend over the weekend. This is someone who had always harassed me that I don’t talk freely. Someone I can call a close stranger. I said I was not FINE! That I needed to do things differently. This is the same person who helped me get back to my exercise routine, just been an exercise buddy.
Mel Robbins piece in Retrain your Mind, and The Secret to Self-Motivation is also fantastic. The question, “why is it so hard to do the little things that will change my life”, struck a deep cord down my heart. The importance of the DECISIONS or INDECISIONS I make, daily, the 5 seconds rule, etc also corroborate the other advise from other writers or “coach”. Then comes again that powerful fact of, JUSTDO IT NOW!
DON’T wait for TOMORROW before you ACT.
Infact, don’t wait for the 6th second after now.
Within 5 seconds from now, DO SOMETHING POSITIVE to move your life, task or project FORWARD.
Beat the procrastination triggers off this game.
PLEASE, don’t throw away tomorrow.
(By the way, that’s the title of a great book by Robert H. Schuller, you need to get one and read.)
Or, if we neglect today, can tomorrow be better?
I started in the morning with a first shot.
I have done several reviews and rewriting all day, actually dropping everything else.
It’s evening and am beginning to get a bit frustrated that I have not been able to finish the post. I feel like just publishing it as is. But I can’t. It’s not yet good enough. Is it my perfectionist self at play again? Now it will want me to procrastinate on publishing this for you to read. Why should there be so many obstacles and barriers towards a good cause? At every new turn, after one other victory, why is perfectionism and procrastination there, standing in the way of my tomorrow?
Starting is just the beginning. There should be no delusion that there is always a lot of hard work involve in delivering our goal.
See you tomorrow, with your yesterday’s goals achieved, as you fiercely progress towards your life purpose and as you brighten up the world around you with the smile of someone who has had fulfilling today.
Why should the “grey matter” inside the skull be called a brain and the whole system not called a thinking box? And why not call the long fluffy end of a female hair, a mop stick end. You got it? Ok. So, why can’t the teeth and mouth joint structure be called speaker, chair called floor brush, toes called floor rake and breakfast called dinner?
When I shared with a 14 year old who is learning the rudiments of coding how a blog or website can be created from a WordPress theme template rather than from the scratch, I got what I did not bargained for. I was questioned why anything on the internet should be believed. She wondered if a “toddler professor” or an “acclaimed academia”, “subject matter expert” or anyone that simple want to expresss his/herself can’t also just pick up some ideas and share on the web. This can be picked up by someone else, and used as from an “authoritative source”.
Before I started this post, I asked WordPress support team to assist with a theme customization that I had struggled with for a while. And bingo, within minutes, I got some tips, applied it myself, and I got the result I had struggled to get on my own. So, there are tested hands who know their onions and should be listened to.
My co blogger who is battling with PKD go regularly to see medical professionals who are helping her with her health challenge. I read HBR, Forbes and other magazines to enhance my knowledge since the articles seems to make some sense. And just yesterday at a meeting, the coordinator said some words and some others also said theirs, … and am suppose to believe they will all come to pass? They call it prayers!
The last time I checked, there is still no border wall separating America from Mexico, but it may come tomorrow. During the last American election campaign, that seemed like a given, just waiting to happen, a day after inauguration.
And if a total stranger or familiar acquaintance just yell at you now and call you stupid, big piggy fat-liar, a slob, disgusting animal, a beautiful or ugly piece of ass, a failure, or a wasteful spender who will not amount to anything; am sure your emotions will hit the roof. Yet, what authority has this abusive stranger or acquaintance? Who submit “power” to this person by a “supportive emotional response” and thereby validate the negative venom flushed out?
Emotions don’t ask for a degree, experience or reference to believe or react so passionately to junks – spoken, acted, or written!
I hope you are not at a loss now as to which “professional” you should believe or doubt. I know you don’t easily believe one, that’s YOU! You possible rarely even trust YOU enough to speak, act or write down who YOU truly are. Including who YOU are now compared to who YOU used to be, and who YOU will be soon in-spite of all the nay sayers, self doubt, obstacles, current realities and negativities that surround YOU.
The ability to create is in the mouth, the mind, the head or “thinking-action-box”. You’ve got all these as an individual, great, frail or small. Privatelyme and you, we need to take more control of our life, our actions, reactions, responses and behavior. Each of us is immensely qualified to. If YOU are gone today to the great beyond, no matter the best of wealth or medical expertise, no one can be you again. At best a close clone, an imitation or a recasting of your past or possible future by an actor. Definitely, not the reality that could have been, with you in control.
Switch on to maximum pitch
So, what 3 steps are you to follow to maximize your brainbox especially when it comes to maximize your life? In this issue, I will give the top headlines and expand on them in subsequent issues;
1. Control your environment
2. Know your planned destination
3. Follow the law of Jordan to Galilee to a Life sea
Next time your brain wants you to freeze, run or stay your ground and fight as is normal for a particular situation; pull the nerve trigger, stop all motion. You are the “toddler professor” in-charge here. You are determining the right next step. You are the one writing, telling, yelling, ACTING OUT the post and story of your life for a better and greater future, and clicking “publish”.
Catching Co2, dropping Oxygen – while in Pursuit of life or emptiness.
If I can, I will live. If to live is the rarest thing in the world, if most people just go about all to exist, then if I can, I will help someone else too, to live. I want to live and go beyond mere making a living. As Winston Churchill wrote, “we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”.
Is all life efforts for (tweet) attention, post mortem praise, life time gifting or to be big bucks champion? As guru with the answer, if Elon Musk is to regenerate himself, whose body should he take, Kofi Annan, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos or Donald Trump?
Seemingly nothing new added to creation, but it waits patiently for man to catch up with its attention grabbing acts, great inventions and discoveries and exceeding wealth..
I crave exceeding wealth and comfort, and snooze my nose at Olusosun’s rubbish dump and Ojuelegba’s park confusion and falling articulated vehicles. If Italy’s sectionally collapsed Genoa bridge had given out as much “molten lava” like Italy’s Mount Vesuvius did in A.D. 79 eruption that buried two cities, Pompeii and Herculaneum, Sororities and fraternities would have been curated to extol mans ingenuity since just like millions still live near Mount Vesuvius.
I am young. I need help to breath. Am suffocating, catching Co2 and dropping oxygen. I need guidance to purpose and meaning beyond the pursuit of deserted life and emptiness.
All aquired , and then given away. What folly in pursuit, in sweats, weariness, hurts and endless pursuits. The richest does not gubernare a city. The peace man, world arbiter cannot stop a war. Who rampaged, who pillaged, who cried for mercy, who ate their words?
I am young. I need help to breath. Am suffocating, catching Co2 and dropping oxygen. I am just me, little I think. But it doesn’t matter. Nero, Napoleon, Augustus, Alexander… bigger mightier I think. But gone, enough left behind as memory in my history – books, monuments and artifacts.
If I can breath and refuse to suffocate, if I won’t get guidance and life giving value based mentorship from the biggest “players” of finite now, I will still not forget that I am still one of a kind. I encourage you too therefore, noble and lowly, “… never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person (for a positively good change)” – R. Buckminster Fuller
The journey begins, make it leisure, whichever the road, rough or smooth. And, thanks for joining me! The journey begins, yes, we all begin our journey in life like the toddler with the tiny first steps.
Those first steps that gets all first time mothers screaming. To the start of your first real corporate job, your promotion to that first leadership position. And of course, the bubbling millennial’s first taste of responsibility and success.
I started writing when I was a teen. I actually finished a whole play, all hand written. Since then, writing has been a part of me. I write on anything and everywhere. During my university days, I remember creating a hand written journal/magazine that I paste once awhile on notice boards for students to read.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
The journey begins with your strength
Unspoken Conflicts, Unusual Victories. Some types of communication skills can be a weakness, especially in a corporate setting where the preference is for you to pick up a phone and make a call. Make it leisure they say, take a walk over to the next guy and have a decent conversation. It has nevertheless stayed with me – communicating by writing.
And thank goodness, it’s finally having an outlet. And that in a public domain! I think that’s a big huddle crossed. It’s called courageous, and marks a new era, the start of a new life, a new person, and a totally different journey. Whoah! Make it Leisure!
Where will inspiration comes from?
There are so many themes that I have in mind. But for now, my focus is shaped by a recent event. I realized that the “double life” that an individual live may shape the life outcome of some others; positively or negatively. It’s a journey for me, and I sincerely believe others can benefit from what I can un-earthen. In fact, writing for you is the reason to start, endure and make this meaningful. Let us make it leisure filled ride, together.
Life’s inspiration. How things affect me and you privately (Privatelyme) away from prying eyes. How what we do is derived from more private (Privatelyme) reasons than the outwardly seen or spoken one. How this relates with psychology, self awareness, self consciousness, and authenticity. How they show up in the lives of leaders, celebrities, and the common you and I.
My hope and joy will be that by virtue of the words that will flow from Privatelyme, not a few, but many, will come to find meaning and purpose. My expectation is that you will come to understand better, the why of your actions. My hope is that you will experience a difference, have knowledge impacted into you and leap out into a more fulfilling and rewarding life.
How do you make a new start?
So how do you start a journey? Just get on the road and start. And once you have started on the path chosen, make the trip a leisure. Just make it leisure.
The world is the oyster for this blog, even though it’s about individuals, private.
Thanks for coming with me on this journey of growth, discovery and change.
If we do not achieve any of the above goals in the next twelve months, I will have to go under the rubble. I may just have confirmed that life is a waste where only a privilege few succeed. But that is absolutely false.
Together, within the next twelve months, we will grow, and make awesome discoveries. We will make changes in all areas of our lives and that of others.
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