Knowing What I Know
Houston — we have a problem, and it is not awareness.
In my last “bridge building” post, I talked about shifting my focus away from motivations and goals and toward purpose and actions. I defined my purpose (authenticity), and I identified my first action: I would spend the next several days practicing mindfulness around all of my purpose-related decisions. Well, it’s several days later, and I can tell you this: I’m not making any of these poor decisions blindly or on autopilot.
In very few cases, pausing to really think about what I was doing caused me to make a good decision, or at least a not-as-bad one. Most of the time, though, I stopped and thought about my options (to eat the cinnamon roll or not, to drink a beer or sparkling water, to watch another episode of Billions or go to bed) and then I consciously chose the option in direct opposition with my stated purpose.
Why? Why?! I know why. And if you’ve ever tried to do anything hard, you do too. Laziness. Rationalization. Comfort. The ease of walking the well-worn path. The reluctance to do what is right and difficult in the face of what is justifiable and effortless. Instant gratification. In other words, it’s back to that old evolutionary pull again.
But knowing this about me — facing it head-on (and, more importantly, airing it here) — is its own valuable tool. So, while the past few days haven’t done much to move me forward, they haven’t been a total waste. They’ve allowed me to get honest with myself, identify some of my own B.S. and cross the easiest action off of my list.
That tees me up for the next one: For the next several days, when confronted with choices I know are not in line with my purpose, I’m going to practice saying “No thank you,” to myself and to whoever else is involved.
I can already feel that this is the real, mucky work down in the rancid water. I’m building those support columns brick by brick now. It’s hard. It’s messy. I don’t like it. And it’s the only way across the divide.
Photo credit: Pixaby