What did you do yesterday?
Now let me ask you another question, why did you do what you did?
Before I start sounding like a bad Jermaine Jackson song, let me tell you where I am going with this.
What I am talking about today is thought and how little we spend actually thinking about why we do what we do. This is especially true when it comes to our work. We start a job or a business, we develop skills and get better and then we get paid for that work. That cycle or work is convenient and also dangerous. Pretty soon we just start running on auto-pilot.
This was my life six years ago. I got a degree. I found a job and I worked at that job for nine years. I wasn’t happy in my career but I started get better at it, got promoted, got fully vested, got married and had kids, etc. Pretty soon I felt like leaving was a risk. Now it’s not just me I have to consider, it’s also my family. Don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot and am grateful for the job but it wasn’t for me. My auto-pilot caused me to spend nine years doing something I didn’t enjoy.
See you and I, we live in a busy world with a lot of distractions. Thinking seems to be a lost art in our society. If you and I want to think, we have the media or a boss to do that for us. We just plug into “the matrix” and we are all set. This system is set up for mindless conformity. Mindless conformity creates bondage over freedom. Scarcity over abundance. Rules over choices. Do you want to a blaze a new trail and do something different? Me too.
Here’s what you can do about it.
First, start scheduling quiet time. I call this time a power hour. This concept was introduced to me by a couple of friends when I unplugged from the “career” matrix. A power hour is spending the time working on your mind, body and spirit. Connect to your body. Connect to your mind. Connect to your soul. This is a time for reflection, gratitude, opening up possibilities, assessment, etc. This time is critical yet so few spend time.
What else can you do?
Write. Four years ago, I didn’t fashion myself a writer. Today I believe it’s one of the most transformative things that I have done for my business. You know what’s great about writing? It forces you to reflect. It encourages you to be bold. It opens up the world to new possibilities. It helps you to recognize the problems that people face in the world and how your Soul Purpose was created for you to solve those problems. It’s only huge.
People avoid creativity. Not you and me but other people. They tell themselves they aren’t creative. They say that they are “left-brained”. They say things like: “I can’t write or draw or paint or create.” I’m just not wired that way. I say that you have been created in God’s image and God is the ultimate creator. Vishal Mangalwadi has this to say about creation in The Book That Made Your World:
“I imagine what could be or ought to be and try to change what is. That’s creativity. I am part of nature, but I am not merely and exclusively a part of nature. By using my imagination, I can transcend nature. I can change nature to become like my imagination. I can invent matches, candles, and electric bulbs. Is that what the Bible implies when it calls God “Creator” and says that I am made in his image?”
But even if you have talent, you certainly don’t have time. That’s the greatest lie this world has ever told about your ability to create value in this world. You don’t have time. You can play videogames, watch movies, read Harry Potter and watch sitcoms but you can’t possibly make time to create. We all have the same time in this world, we just all choose to use that time differently. Time can’t be the primary reason or excuse to not do things that are important.
When was the last time you sat and thought about your life and why you do the things that you do? What would happen if you did? It’s scary isn’t it? The truth can be like that. Now’s as good a time as ever to assess where you are at and why you are doing the things that you are doing. Life’s short. Do it today.