What’s one thing you could do to make your life better?
Last week I had a realization.
I had been avoiding getting outside and moving in the woods during the day—one of my favorite activities—because I thought it was going to distract me from getting my work done.
I’d be losing time!
But I decided to start getting up early and going out anyway, and when I did, what I realized was this: I was more focused when I was back at the computer. I wasn’t checking Facebook or my email as often.
Whatever time I “lost” moving out there was easily offset by my productivity gains.
And of course, that time wasn’t “lost” at all. Moving in the woods is a freaking blast. I feel great—calm, focused, energized—for the rest of the day whenever I get out there.
On Tuesday, I went out twice. The second time, in a rainstorm. I got all my work done in a focused and productive way. I checked Facebook… twice, for maybe 15 minutes total?
I was taking a risk by choosing to spend more time in the woods instead of at the computer—at least, that’s how it felt.
That (perceived) risk was the possibility that going out would just suck even more time out of my day—time I didn’t think I could spare, because I was already feeling unproductive every time I sat down at the computer.
The worst case was that this perceived risk would come true. I would have wasted time I could have spent trying to work. I would have been just as unproductive as I worried I might be when I did get back to the computer.
The best case? I would feel great, and I’d be more focused when I did get back to work.
Thankfully, the best case is what happened.
I could go on about the benefits of moving outdoors, and there are plenty, but instead I’ll just pose you a question:
What’s one thing you could do right now that would make your life better? Make it easier, simpler, more enjoyable?
And what’s stopping you from making that change?
Often, the catalysts to powerful change are hiding in plain sight. They’re hiding behind our fear, or a sense of guilt or denial about what might be possible if we’re willing to shake up our routine, get out of our comfort zones, and question our assumptions.
Okay. Let’s revisit the two questions I posed a moment ago, and expand our line of inquiry a little bit.
Now that you’ve had a chance to chew on the concept a little, go ahead and ask yourself these three questions:
- What’s one thing I could change to make my life more enjoyable—less busy, less stressful, less complicated?
- What’s the worst thing that could possibly happen if I were to implement that change?
- How likely is that worst-case scenario to actually happen?
Here’s where the magic starts to happen. Because chances are good that:
i) The worst case isn’t that bad.
ii) The worst case is pretty unlikely.
If your worst case isn’t that bad, and it’s also unlikely, then making that one change is probably worth the risk, right?
Now ask yourself one final question:
- What’s blocking me from making this change?
Here’s where we get into the meat of things, so be really honest with yourself on this one.
Often the things we *think* are blockers aren’t really blockers—they’re fake blockers, excuses that are obscuring the true blockers.
(By the way, the biggest fake blocker? “I don’t have the time for that.”)
What was blocking me from going out into the woods was guilt and fear. Guilt about the possibility that I’d be “getting away with” a) taking time away from work to enjoy myself and b) still being even more productive at work! Who deserves a win-win like that?
We all do.
The problem with this kind of thinking—the guilty sense that you’re getting away with something in a scenario like this—is that there’s absolutely no one else who’s being negatively affected. All that guilt is going right back to… you.
And the fear? That’s fear that the worst case is going to come to pass, the one that probably isn’t as bad or as likely as you think.
This simple process can help you demystify what’s blocking you, and perhaps make some breakthroughs that will have you scratching your head, wondering why you didn’t make them earlier.
You know what they say: If you don’t feel like you have 10 minutes to meditate/read a book/run in the woods, you need to spend 1 hour meditating/reading a book/running in the woods…
Want to get unblocked? Let’s talk.