I think a lot about resistance. There is so much that we know we should be doing and figuring out, so many important conversations that we need to have…and we really really really don’t want to do any of it.
I am no saint in this department. There is quite a lot of work that I know that I have to do, and some of it has been waiting years to be done. Years!
And yet, I find every opportunity available to find anything else to do.
It’s kind of like the opposite of the “burnt toast” method of passion-finding. Call it the “dish washing” method of avoidance. What do you loathe to do enough that you would prefer to wash dishes rather than do it? Because that’s what I mean when I talk about resistance. (If you love doing dishes, insert some other unpleasant task of your choice.)
In my last post, I talked about the important internal work of determining what you would need to feel financially secure. And to do that, I believe you need to identify the opposite: what makes you feel financially anxious.
If this process sounds hard, it’s because it is. And even though it might be one of the most important pieces of self-discovery you could possess, it’s overwhelming, feels like it might bring up some unpleasant truths, and, well, those dishes just have to be done.
But you could put it on the calendar.
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Take it on by putting it off
If there’s something that needs to be done, and you don’t want to it, you can’t really be compelled to do it now, even if it’s both urgent and important.
But you can put it on the calendar.
I don’t know how many of you use a calendar to schedule your life. I’m actually a fairly latecomer to the calendar, but I’ve grown to love it. It allows me to not have to remember as many things, and when I’m not holding as many things in my head, I’m not worrying about them so much. “It’s on the calendar” is a phrase I use to know that something will happen.
I think with the prevalence of smartphones and work-that-is-never-turned-off, most people use some sort of calendar for work, even if they don’t use one in the rest of their lives.
But you don’t even need to use a calendar; you can just use an alarm.
You want to set this alarm or calendar entry for a time when you have a relatively unbroken space of time. I recommend blocking out a few hours, even if you don’t think you need that long. You don’t want to be rushing off to the next thing; you want time to make this work happen.
We are using calendars because you are creating a commitment to yourself, while at the same time not forcing yourself to do anything right now. It’s a kind of mental trick too, in that it gets an issue out of the torpor of “I should do this, but…I should do this, but“, which can be exhausting, and in to the realm of potential action.
Notice I said potential action. It’s up to you to actually sit down and do the work when that alarm goes off.
(And notice that I’m not being specific about what the work is. You know what you need to do.)
If you’re worried you won’t be able to stick to your plan, put one extra entry on the calendar. One hour before your appointment with yourself, put the following: “wash the dishes“. You’ll have to come up with a better excuse.