About this time every year, people see a new number looming on the horizon and think, “Geez, another year gone? I didn’t do everything I wanted to with this one. I’ll have to do better next time.” Maybe it’s just me. But I doubt it.
I’m not really one for resolutions. I don’t like them to be formalized like that because it makes positive change into A. Big. Thing. and I don’t find that attitude very conducive to me actually making changes.
Lots of people adjure you to make your resolutions SMART. This works for lots of people. God knows that if I don’t know what I’m aiming for it’s pretty hard to hit it. But I find that concrete, measurable goals fall short for me in one very important aspect: inspiration.
And where I look for inspiration might not be a place you’ve thought of before: I look at those I envy.
Come to me, green eyes
Envy means that I want what I see but subconsciously I think I can’t have it. (Seriously. If I thought I could have it, it would already be on my todo list. Very Important Distinction.)
Havi Brooks at Fluent Self recently posted that she was letting her body become her CEO for the next year. Aside from admiration for the brilliance of promoting deep awareness of her personal needs, knowing that taking care of the golden goose will ensure even bigger eggs, I was insanely jealous. Why? Because she’s going to do exactly what she wants. All year. Naps. Playtime. Walks. Yoga. Trampoline jumping. No flack whatsoever from the people around her.
Is anyone else screaming with frustration and rage? Yeah. Me too. She’s so lucky. She’s “lucky” to have built an environment around her that totally supports her. She’s “lucky” to only have people in her life who think whatever she decides is awesome, and the best choice she could possibly make. She has built a world where the ONLY pushback she receives from changes are from herself.
I think I can’t have what she has because I’d have to fight a two-front war: one from within, one from without. And even with the goodwill of all concerned, that is a hard, exhausting campaign.
In 2011 I am developing supportive internal and external systems that allow me to initiate and maintain change with minimal resistance.
Havi also has a kick-ass community that is highly involved. So does Naomi Dunford. And Trent Hamm. And Charlie Gilkey. I want that. It’s sort of on my todo list, (meaning I think it’s achievable as I am.) but I’m kinda stuck on why people would hang out here. What are they getting out of it that they wouldn’t get elsewhere? (Please comment if you have insights. That would be greatly appreciated)
In 2011 I am building a virtual watering hole (like a coffee shop. Or Cheers) that is conducive to thoughtful, stimulating, fun conversation and a breeding ground for ideas and growth. I will concentrate on holding that space in order to give people room to settle in, get comfortable and feel at home.
I am also deeply envious of people who lead balanced lives. Also, of people who are super-productive. Especially when they are both. I don’t feel this is a possibility for me. But I want to explore what I could change to make it be more of a possibility.
I see these things as being mutually exclusive. In the words of Naomi Dunford, “If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re not working all the hours God sends, then you’re not doing it right goddammit.” (She was lamenting about the general dysfunction of our attitude towards work, by the way. Not advocating it.)
This attitude is so ingrained in my lifestyle, family and culture that I’m going to have to change some real bedrock things about how I was raised in order to see working “only” 40 hours a week as anything but the most ridiculous sloth. In fact, I’m probably going to have to over-correct (think 4-Hour Workweek) before I find the most comfortable slot.
In 2011 I am exploring my issues surrounding balance and overwork and unearthing the many unseen paradigms that rule my life.
Try it for yourself
Who or what are you envious of? What does that mean for you and why do you think you can’t have it? What might have to change for you in order to have those things?
I don’t do more than three (and two would probably be better) because this stuff is hard work requiring focussed and intensive thought, and if you split your attention too badly you won’t make any progress with any of them.
I adjure you: Comments please. I know you’re reading this. Participate! It’ll be fun. I’m getting bored playing by myself.