The concept of stress has been on my mind lately. There were times when stressful situations didn’t bring up automated feelings of anxiety but lately this has been the case. Just a few years ago I was a full-fledged stress junky craving the rush of adrenaline pumping through my body. I had so much energy and just didn’t seem to run out. Like the human version of the Energizer bunny I just kept going…and going…and going. It was so easy to find and keep motivation and at times it seemed like I was able to get more than 24 hours out of a day.
Not so much anymore although – in theory – I currently have much more spare time at my disposal. This is a trend I’ve been observing for a couple of months now and I started to ask myself why I had turned into such an unmotivated bum? So I started a “to do list”, hoping to beat my inner procrastinator.
After a few days I realized that instead of checking things off the list, the list kept growing and growing and growing. I didn’t understand because I had been quite busy the last few days and wasn’t just sitting around doing nothing. It took a little while until I realized that I had been putting all sorts of tasks on the list and instead of accomplishing anything from the list turned around and did something else. I kept myself very busy and the days went by quickly. However, the heap of unaccomplished list tasks kept getting bigger.
I took a closer look at my list and all of the sudden it hit me: Every single item on the list was a ‘must do’, at least things I thought I had to do. But do I really have to do these things or is it just my subconscious mind telling me what I’m supposed to do?
I remember times when I used to be in the flow. I was very busy and quite ‘stressed’ but it was a good kind if stress and it didn’t even seem like I was working. I liked what I did and therefore procrastination was an unknown. My heart and my mind were involved to the same extent!
And suddenly it hit me again: as long as you put your heart into an idea, a task or whatever project it is, external motivation is no longer needed! This is when you can’t wait to start working on it, do research, make phone calls etc. Because all the motivation you need is already there and doesn’t need an external jump start to get you going!
Please don’t even worry that you might be missing one of these moments! Whenever a heartfelt project/idea comes along, you just know! And you know exactly what you have to do right then and there!
And so did I: I went into the living room, grabbed my to do list and ripped it into pieces – right then and there without any procrastination!
Relieved I returned to doing things I wanted to do. Without a list but with a lot of heart, motivation and energy!
“If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” – Steve Jobs