When Henry Ward Beecher was asked how he could accomplish so much more than other men, he replied:
“I don’t do more, but less, than other people. They do all their work three times over: once in anticipation, once in actuality, once in rumination. I do mine in actuality alone, doing it once instead of three times.”
How many times have you created a list; or just did not put something on a list? Maybe you’ve sat outside a customer’s office because you were playing out in your mind what might happen when you did the thing you knew you needed to do? Chances are you have procrastinated before. I think Nike took Mr. Beecher’s sentiment and condensed it and gave us the phrase, “Just Do It.”. If we want a balanced life, we need to stop projecting our thoughts on something before it happens and learn to stop worrying about what we should have done after it has passed.
Three Ways to Break This Cycle:
1. Change your thoughts. I know this sounds oversimplified, but it is true. The best way to change your life is to change your mind.
- Seek people who affirm you. When we have other people in our lives who affirm us, we think better about ourselves.
- Seek out books on your profession that can help you become better. We all need coaches, and sometimes those coaches are in book form. Everything we learn about our profession helps stop us from having to think about our next move so we can just make it.
- Think about what makes you happy. Wife, husband, family, art, music, football, animals, whatever it is. If we focus on the good in our lives, the negative thoughts begin to change and we can see what once looked like obstacles as advantages.
2. Keep A Journal. Putting things down on paper helps get them out of our heads. During your morning routine, journal about your day and any setbacks you see that may arise. Put them on paper so when you start your day, you can just do what you need to without thinking about what might happen.
3. Meditate. Meditation can make us about 10% Happier (Affiliate Link) according to Author and ABC News anchor Dan Harris.
“Meditation is not about feeling a certain way. It’s about feeling the way you feel.”Dan Harris
Meditation and mindfulness create space so we’re not always living for the next answer or the next thing on our plate. When our minds start to clear up we can focus on what need to be done and not the 100 other things our minds are telling us to do.
So What’s Next
Plan out every day what you are going to do and do your most important things. Don’t spend time wrestling with the; “should I do this?” or “I wish I had done that.” Make quick but solid decisions and trust your gut. Always focus on the task at hand.