In case you haven’t noticed yet, I’m not a big proponent of sacrifice, giving things up, or neglecting parts of yourself in order to achieve or reach a goal.
I’m all about joy and freedom now.
Sacrificing and putting things off creates an endless pursuit of delayed rewards and deferred life. It leads to what I call “Preparation Syndrome” — constantly preparing to live some day in the future.
The most common example of this in our culture is the act of sacrificing and working for years to attain a degree in a certain field, to get a so-called good job, to be able to afford the so-called good life.
Another instance is neglecting your social life and relationships for the pursuit of a self-centered goal, only to find that you have no one to share your happiness with when you achieve it.
This leads to compartmentalization and rarely to true lasting happiness.
On the other hand, suspending major transformations in the short term to make a permanent transformation can be a very noble pursuit.
For example, if you want to make the transition to working for yourself, you may need to put a hold on goals that aim to make major breakthroughs in personal fitness or a new relationship.
For a short period of time, you might choose to give up mastering the djembe? — a goal that may be deeply important to you — in order to focus those energies on building your business that will, in turn, give you more freedom to pursue your goal of Rasta Rockdom with more ease.
In short, deciding what you will give up for a year can result in you making a transformation that will lead to you never having to give up anything again for the rest of your life.
So, eager adventurer and fellow escape artist, what will you choose to give up in order to transform your work into one of deepest joy, meaning and contribution to the world?
Please know that while this might include giving up pursuing your goal of becoming a Jeet Kune Do master for a year, it need not be limited to shunning the pursuit of deeply important goals.
Every day, there are many ways we waste time (not the good kind of “doing nothing”), doing things that do not move us forward on our journey or further our higher development.
Like a gnat on amphetamines, we bounce idly from one superficial rush to the next. We put off our important work in place of short-lived pleasures. We feel a rush checking our Facebook profile for the seven hundredth time today, but we feel empty at the end of the day.
These fleeting diversions are the bane of our deepest development.
They keep us trapped in the same patterns, living the same safe, predictable, mediocre life, day after day.
These are some of the mindless amusements I had to give up in order to become the master of my own time.
- Idle banter around the coffee machine with coworkers.
- Pointless meetings that I had no real benefit or need in attending. (I found lots of clever ways to excuse myself from these meetings, like needing to meet deadlines for important clients.)
- Mindless checking of things. You know what I’m talking about: blog sub- scribers, new comments, Facebook likes, Twitter replies, email, Instagram.
- Reading blogs and mindlessly consuming media. (I chose classic books instead.)
- Mental masturbation that caused me to put off making important decisions. (“Should I choose that WordPress plugin, or this one. Hm, maybe I should ask Twitter. Oh look, squirrel!”)
- Endless planning. And revising plans. And then forgetting I made them and creating new, better plans.
- All of these things I found necessary to give up, and I shudder to think about how much time I regularly wasted on these futile pursuits.
So, what black hole, time-sucking activities do you need to give up in order to make this transformation?
Say goodbye to them for good without sorrow or second thought, and you won’t regret it.
What’s more important to you, freedom or email?