“So, when are you having kids?” my aunt asked me soon after I got married. At that point, I had just been married for a few months. I didn’t even know *if* I wanted kids, much less *when* I was having them.
Caught off guard, I replied matter-of-factly, “I have not decided if I want to have kids.” Little did I realize that I would spend the next hour listening to stories of women who put off having children until it was too late, as well as women who had difficulty conceiving for various reasons, with the implicit message being that I was going to regret it if I didn’t hurry and work on producing babies.
This would be my life for the next few years, where I would receive constant questions around “When are you having kids?” from relatives and random people, followed by a routine, almost ritualistic pressurization to have kids.
Lest you think that it ends after having a child, it doesn’t. The people who previously tried to tell you to have “just one kid” when you were indifferent to the idea, will now tell you to have a second one, along with reasons why you should do so. It seems like this questioning process never ends.
The problem with asking people “When are you having kids?”
I understand why people like to ask this question. Find a partner, settle down, get married, and have kids. This is the life path that we’ve been taught to follow since young. This is the life script that we’ve been told is *the* way of life, that would bring us ultimate joy and happiness.
This is especially so in the Chinese culture, where having kids is seen as the ultimate goal in life. There are even sayings built around this notion, such as 生儿育女 (shēng ér yù nǚ), which means to birth sons and raise daughters, and 子孙满堂 (zǐ sūn mǎn táng), which means to be in a room filled with children and grandchildren, used to signify the epitome of happiness.
So after you get married, people automatically assume that you should have kids. “When are you having kids?” they ask, somehow expecting you to give them a straight answer to what is really a personal question.
The problem with this question is that it’s rude. It’s presumptuous. It’s also insensitive.
1) There are many different paths to happiness
Firstly, everyone has their own path in life. Some people want kids, while some don’t. Some think that having kids is the greatest joy in life, while some see them as a burden. At the end of the day, having kids isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. There are significant ups and downs that come with having a kid, and for some people, the ups do not justify the downs. For these people, it may simply be better to remain childless, rather than having kids just to fit in or to fit societal expectations, and then set their lives up for unhappiness. To assume that everyone should have kids, just because you think that having kids is great and important, is rude and disregards that person’s own preferences in life.
For example, Oprah Winfrey is an inspiring woman and humanitarian who chose not to have kids, but has instead dedicated herself to her personal life purpose of serving the world. Oprah hosted her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show for 25 years, founded a leadership academy for girls and became a mother figure to the girls in attendance, and started her own television network. These are things that most do not get to do in their lifetime. Through the years, she has inspired millions and become a champion for people worldwide. As she says,
“When people were pressuring me to get married and have children, I knew I was not going to be a person that ever regretted not having them, because I feel like I am a mother to the world’s children. Love knows no boundaries. It doesn’t matter if a child came from your womb or if you found that person at age two, 10, or 20. If the love is real, the caring is pure and it comes from a good space, it works.” — Oprah
Is she not being a responsible or purposeful person or woman by choosing not to have kids? Definitely not. In fact, I dare say that she lives a much more purposeful life than many in the world, including some people who choose to have kids.
There are many famous celebrities who have chosen not to have kids as well.
- Chelsea Handler is a talk show host who chose not to have kids. She has said honestly in interviews that she doesn’t have the time to raise a child, and she doesn’t want her kids to be raised by a nanny.
- Betty White is an actress and comedian who chose not to have kids because she’s passionate about her career and she prefers to focus on it.
- Ashley Judd is an actress and politican activist who chose not to have kids because she feels that there are already so many orphaned kids in this world. To her, her resources can be better used to help those who are already here, and I respect her for such a noble choice.
And then there are others, such as Cameron Diaz, Chow Yun Fat, Marisa Tomei (the actress for Peter Parker’s aunt in Tom Holland’s Spider Man film series), Renée Zellweger, and Rachael Ray. These people choose not to have kids for different reasons, such as because they’re already pursuing paths deeply meaningful to them, because they do not wish to be tied down with a child, or because they just don’t feel a deep desire to have kids.
Not having kids has not prevented these people from being happy in life, and there’s no reason to assume why people must have kids in order to be happy. People need to stop painting this narrative that one must have children in order to be happy. There are plenty of people with kids who are unhappy, and plenty of people without kids who have found inner fulfillment in life through other ways. There is no one path to happiness, and people need to realize that.
2) You may well cause hurt and pain
Secondly, you never know what others are going through.
Some people may want kids, but maybe they are facing fertility struggles. For example,
- Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan went through three miscarriages before having their firstborn.
- The Obamas had a miscarriage before they had their daughters via IVF.
- Friends star Courteney Cox had a total of seven miscarriages before having her daughter, as she has a MTHFR gene mutation which raises the risk of miscarriage-causing blood clots.
For some people, the journey to conceive is fraught with deep pain, struggle, and losses as they experience miscarriages, undergo round after round of invasive fertility treatments, and wait in hope of the double blue lines on their pregnancy kit each month.
And then there are people who cannot have their own biological children due to issues with their reproductive system, which could have been there since birth.
While you may be think that you’re being helpful or funny by asking people when they’re having kids, your question may well trigger hurt and pain. As Zuckerberg said,
“You feel so hopeful when you learn you’re going to have a child. You start imagining who they’ll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they’re gone. It’s a lonely experience.”
3) Not everyone is in a place to have kids
Thirdly, having kids is simply not a reality for some people due to their circumstances in life.
Some people may lack the financial resources to have kids, a reality in a place like Singapore.
Some people may be facing problems with their marriage, in which case their priority should be to work on their marriage, not to have kids.
Some people may be so burdened with caring for their dependents that they are unable to consider kids, at least not at the moment.
And then there are people facing chronic health issues, issues that you don’t know and can’t see, which make pregnancy difficult due to the toll it would take on their body.
4) Some couples could still be thinking
And then there are people who are neutral to the idea of having kids, like myself when I just got married. These people need time to think it through, because having kids is a permanent, lifelong decision with serious consequences. There’s no reason to assume that having a kid should be an automatic decision, because you’re bringing a whole new life into this world. This is a decision that will change your life forever, as well as the life of the child you’re bringing into the world.
For those yet to have kids, they need the space to figure out what they want, not have people breathe down their neck day in and out about having kids.
For the initial years after I got married, I just wasn’t thinking about kids. Firstly, having a child is a lifelong decision, and I wanted to enjoy married life with my husband before diving into a decision as serious as that. Secondly, both my husband and I were genuinely happy spending the rest of our lives with just each other — we didn’t feel the need to have kids at all, not in the way my culture obsesses about it. Thirdly, my husband was dealing with some personal problems, and I was fully focused on supporting him through these. These were issues that we needed to sort through before considering kids, if we were to want kids.
Yet I kept getting nudges to have kids, even though I never said anything about wanting them.
“So, when are you having kids?”
“This person’s baby is so cute, isn’t it? Why don’t you hurry up and birth a baby?”
It was as if I was some vehicle, some production machine to have kids, where my own views in the matter didn’t matter. The most frustrating thing was that I kept getting this question, while my husband would never get it (as a man), not even when we were in the same room together.
It was as if my sole reason for existence as a woman was to have kids, and until I had them, I was regarded as unworthy or incomplete.
The decision to have kids
Yet the decision to have children is a personal one. It is also a complex one. It is a decision that will permanently change the lives of the couple in question.
It is not a decision that one should be pressurized into making because their mom wants to carry grandchildren or their aunt wants to play with kids. It’s a decision that a couple should make because they genuinely want to nurture another life.
Because when a child is born, the people bugging others to have kids aren’t the ones who will be caring for the baby 24/7, whose lives will be set back by years (even decades) as they care for a new life, or who will be responsible for every decision concerning the child for the next 18-21 years.
It will be the couple.
And the people who aren’t ready, who were pressured into having kids because they were told that it was the best thing to do, may have to deal with regret as they are stuck with a decision they cannot undo. Because there are people who regret having kids, and we need to be honest about that. These people regret, not because of the child’s fault, but because they were simply not ready to have kids, be it financially, emotionally, or mentally. Unfortunately, the children are the ones who eventually suffer, from living in dysfunctional households to dealing with issues of violence, abuse, and anger.
We need to recognize these realities, and not make parenthood seem like it’s some magical band-aid that solves a lack of purpose or life’s pressures. Things don’t magically get better because people have kids; existing problems usually worsen as having a child puts a big strain on a couple’s lives. Digging into people’s plans to have kids, and pressurizing them into one of the biggest life decisions they can ever make, will only stress them out and perhaps push some into depression. As this redditor shared,
“I have a friend who went through 6 years of miscarriages and fertility treatments before the doctors figured out the problem and she had her son. The nosy ladies at her work and her in-laws questioned her constantly. The depression from that made it harder for her to conceive.”
Stop asking couples when they’re having kids
So, if you tend to ask others when they’re having kids, it’s time to stop that. It’s rude, insensitive, and it disregards people’s privacy. It’s also none of your business.
The reality is that if people want kids, they will work on having kids. They don’t need you to prod them about it.
If they don’t have kids, it’s either because
- they really don’t want kids,
- they are not in a position to consider kids right now, or
- they want kids but they are facing some struggles.
For people in group (c), they aren’t going to share such deeply personal experience over some afternoon coffee chat, and certainly not by you asking, “When are you having kids?”
The best thing you can do is to give people their personal space. Understand that having kids is a personal decision, and people don’t have to share or explain anything. Respect that others have their right to privacy. Respect that people are individuals on their own path, and this path may not involve having kids. And this doesn’t make them incomplete or lesser in any way.
Instead of asking women or couples, “When are you having kids?”, talk to them like how you would a normal person. There’s no reason why conversations should suddenly revolve around childbearing after marriage; it’s not like a person’s identity changes to revolve around having kids. A person still has their own passion, goals, and dreams. Talk to them about what they’ve been doing. Understand their interests. Know them as a real person, not some random being here to fulfill society’s checklist.
If you’re really interested in someone’s plan to have children, you can simply ask, “Are you and your partner planning to have kids?” If they wish to share more, they will do so. If they give a generic answer, then take the hint and move on.
Ultimately, having kids or not doesn’t change a person’s self-worth. A woman is complete with or without kids. A marriage doesn’t need kids to be deemed complete. Having kids should be a conscious choice, not a result of external pressure. Don’t judge people by whether they have kids or not. Some people will have kids, and some people will not have kids. Some will have kids early, while some will have them later in life. All of these are different paths and there’s nothing wrong with them.
For my husband and I, we eventually had a few discussions and decided to have a baby, and had our baby girl this year (2020). 😊 Yet other people’s comments and nudges to have children didn’t make me want to have children; it only annoyed me and made me want to avoid these people, because having a child is a personal decision between me and my husband, that has nothing to do with them. It was after we had the space to settle down and enjoy married life without kids, and took some time to actively pursue our goals and interests, that we finally felt ready to try for a kid last year.
In the meantime, I hope all of you are doing well. There are other things that I’m working on, other things that are happening that I look forward to sharing in time to come. Sending lots of love to you, and remember that whatever life challenge you’re facing, you have it in you to overcome it. I’ll talk to you guys soon! 🙂
Note: This was originally written for my weekly newsletter. You can sign up for it here.
Welcome to another Mindf*ck Monday, the only weekly newsletter where the ideas are as good as the jokes are bad. Each week, I send you three potentially life-changing ideas to help you be a slightly less awful human being. This week, we’re talking three popular ways to “get better” — 1) therapy, 2) journaling, and 3) meditation—and why I believe they’re all actually kinda the same thing.
Let’s get into it.
Why does Talking to Someone About Our Problems Make Us Feel Better?
Therapy, as a whole, has a great and reliable track record as a tool to help people. Most people who stick with therapy for more than a few months, reliably increase well-being and show fewer symptoms of anxiety/depression. What’s more, the longer people stick with therapy, the greater they tend to benefit. The research is overwhelmingly in therapy’s favor. It works. It helps people.
But… here’s the plot twist: we still don’t really know why it works.
Psychology has produced as many forms of therapy as Adam Sandler has cheesy rom-com movies. The field is an alphabet soup of modalities. You’ve got CBT, AEDP, DBT, IPT, ACT, CPP, SFBT and REBT. You’ve got gestalt, existential, schema, Jungian, interpersonal, Rogerian, humanistic, regression, psychoanalysis, and, of course, everyone’s favorite, family therapy.
Each of these modalities offers a unique framework and its own philosophy. Each one constructs a unique view of the human mind and creates its own approach to attacking pathology and mental illness.
With so many approaches to therapy, a few decades ago, researchers rightly became curious about which therapies were the most effective, which ones worked. So they ran hundreds of experiments to measure which therapies produced the best results. And the answer will probably surprise you.
All of them did.
All of them work, to some extent. Pretty much every modality produces, on average, relatively similar results. All of them work decently but not perfectly. Some may work slightly better for certain problems than others (i.e., CBT seems to be marginally better for anxiety). But on the whole, just the fact you’re doing therapy has way, way, way more impact than the type you choose to do.
This is kind of stunning. Because it suggests that for all of the theorizing and frameworking over the last 150 years, from Sigmund Freud to Dr. Phil, the content of the therapy itself isn’t that important. In fact, dozens of studies have struggled to find much measurable benefit to the therapist’s training or credentials. Many studies show that people benefit speaking to amateurs just as much as they do professionals. So, not only does the modality seem to not matter, but the therapist’s credentials don’t even seem to matter that much either.
What’s important is simply getting a person in a room regularly to talk about their problems to another human being who is thoughtful and listens well. That’s the 1% that drives 99% of the results. The value of therapy isn’t the therapy. It’s the context. It’s the environment. You’re paying to have a place to go where you can sort out your shit in front of someone trustworthy and not be judged for it. Everything else—the fancy acronyms and degrees and frameworks—seems to merely be an excuse to get you into that room and into that social context.
Why does Writing Down All Our Crazy Thoughts Make Us Feel Better?
So, if most of the value of therapy is merely getting into a room and critically discussing your own thoughts, ideas, and emotions, couldn’t we reproduce that in other ways? Couldn’t you simply call up a trusted friend and do that?
Sure, many people do. But there’s another way that maybe isn’t so obvious.
For most of human history, journaling was not something you did for mental health or self-care, it was simply something any educated person did to help themselves think. Benjamin Franklin, Charles Darwin, Leonardo Da Vinci, Marie Curie, and Winston Churchill were just a few of history’s avid journalers.
It wasn’t until the 1960s and 70s that psychologists considered the idea that journaling may offer therapeutic benefits. Many started to experiment with the practice with their patients. The research caught up and showed that indeed, journaling is very effective at promoting mental health and well-being. Today, many therapists and counselors actively encourage their clients to journal as a supplement to their sessions.
The mental health benefits of journaling likely mirror the benefits of talk therapy—there is something mysteriously powerful about verbalizing your thoughts and feelings; it somehow causes them to lose their power over you.
But let’s go one layer deeper. Why does verbalizing our thoughts and feelings somehow make them have less of a grip on us? If you’ve read my shit for a long time now, you probably already know what I’m going to say:
I’ve got a theory.
Why does Sitting on the Floor and Counting our Breaths Make Us Feel Better?
I remember the first time I meditated, it was this kooky “eastern spiritual” thing that one of my high school teachers thought would be cool to show us. It was the late 90s and back then, meditation was still an exotic novelty, a weird thing reserved for hippies and mystics. No one I knew took it seriously.
Twenty years later, meditation has gone mainstream. It’s now regularly practiced in board rooms, conferences, seminars, prisons, schools, and churches. Meditation apps have taken off and become a multi-billion dollar industry. Today, meditation is not only normal, but it’s hip. It’s something you kinda brag to people about the way people used to brag about going to the gym.
So far we’ve covered that therapy works because you are verbalizing your thoughts and feelings (therefore loosening their grip on you) and receiving non-judgmental feedback from another person. Journaling works in a similar way—it allows you to verbalize your thoughts and feelings to yourself and then respond to them nonjudgmentally.
I would argue that meditation is effective because it does the exact same thing, it just skips the verbalizing.
The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer wrote that consciousness consists of two parts: the subject and the object. Think of the subject as “the seer” and the object as “the seen.” Both aspects are required in consciousness—there is always something being “seen” and always something doing the “seeing.”
Generally, we are the subject of our consciousness and some external thing is the object. This keyboard I am typing on is currently the object of my consciousness. The food I will have for dinner tonight is the object of my consciousness. The buzzing of my phone is the object of my consciousness.
As long as *I* am the subject and some external thing is the object, then all of my thoughts, feelings, impulses, and desires are bundled up into some intangible subjectivity known as “I” that is not analyzed or considered. This unexamined subject is often referred to as “ego.”
It’s only when we turn our focus on ourselves and make our thoughts and feelings the object of our consciousness that we are able to differentiate them and put them into perspective.
“Oh, I’m feeling sad today and didn’t realize it.” What was once subject (my feeling sad) is now the object of my consciousness, and is thus separated from me. Once separate from me, I can consider my sadness as though it were not me. I can ask why it exists, towards what purpose, is it useful, do I care? This practice of turning one’s subject-base consciousness into the object of one’s consciousness is how self-awareness is formed.
So what do therapy, journaling, and meditation all have in common?
All three are techniques to help us convert what is usually the subject of our consciousness into the object of our consciousness.
They are three tools for building self-awareness and chipping away at the ego. Therapy does this by some thoughtful person inviting us to express our thoughts and feelings. Journaling does this by eliciting us to write about our thoughts and feelings. Meditation does this by teaching us to observe our thoughts and feelings as though they are separate from ourselves.
This is how to get better. To turn the subject into object. To transmute the implicit into the explicit. To shift the internal into external. To move from subjective to objective.
And then, once our thoughts, feelings, and impulses are separated from our “I”—from our ego—we can choose whether we want to keep them and reintegrate them or to simply let them go.
If you could go back in time and give advice to yourself right before the pandemic hit, what would you say?
Here’s my answer. Let’s assume it’s January 2020, just as we’re beginning to hear news about a strange virus in Wuhan, China…
Welcome to the beginning of the strangest year the modern world has ever known. You don’t realize it now, but life as you know it is about to change drastically.
Remember how you’ve been talking to everyone about “working from anywhere” for the past decade? Well, now the entire workforce will be leaving their offices and telecommuting. One problem: they can’t actually go anywhere. Working remotely usually implies freedom, but in this case it points to constraint. Simply put, the workforce is working remotely because it’s not safe to work together.
Most of the world’s borders will have closed, though if you want to visit the Maldives, you can buy an unlimited pass to a luxury hotel for all of 2021.
So that’s what you’re looking at! Let’s make a plan. Making plans is something you’re good at.
STEP 1: LOGISTICS.
First things first, buy stock in Zoom and Tesla. Pretty soon the whole world will be using Zoom, even kids in elementary school. “I think you’re muted” will be the new “Can you hear me now?” No one knows why Tesla’s stock keeps rising, but buy it anyway.
Next, start wearing a mask sooner rather than later. Wash your hands frequently, and stop touching your face ten times an hour. Oh, and forget about that forty-city tour you’ve been planning for six months. It’s not going to happen this year.
STEP 2: LET GO.
This time will be unlike anything you’ve experienced. Weirdly, it will be unlike anything that anyone has experienced.
You might feel disconcerted or worried. You won’t understand why other people don’t feel the way you do. You’ll be mad at the people who say it’s all a hoax, and frustrated at the ones who are so afraid that they let it affect every part of their lives. At times, you’ll feel more or less optimistic, but these times won’t always coincide with how other people feel.
You’ll try to see it as an opportunity. Lots of “we’ll get through this together” posts and articles will be published, some even by you. Collectively, you’ll cheer on healthcare workers from balconies.
All of this will be in April. But then comes May, June, July, August, September…
STEP 3: LET GO MORE.
Okay, fine, you think. We’ve all had to struggle through this, but now we’re ready to get off the train. It’s time!
But it doesn’t stop. A bizarre class conflict breaks out over whether or not we should take measures to reduce the number of people getting sick. Meanwhile, 400,000 people ride motorcycles to South Dakota. What could go wrong?
It’s hard to relate to the statistics you hear. Well over a million people are dead from something almost no one thought anything about when the year started.
Then you’ll go into winter with higher numbers than before. It’s discouraging, no doubt, but you’re starting to hope again. There are vaccines on the way.
Is it dangerous to hope? Time will tell, but either way, you still have a next step. Your next step, once again, is to use this time to improve yourself.
STEP 4: RESOLVE TO BE BETTER
Yes, hope is on the way, just as it usually is. Some countries are already distributing these vaccines, and it seems it’s just a matter of time. We will once again be able to have concerts and conferences and hugs with strangers, at least the strangers we want to hug.
The goal now is to see it through. Remain vigilant, but don’t put your entire life on hold. Be cautious but not afraid.
Stay tough during the holidays and do whatever you can to find moments of joy. Put yourself first, and you’ll end up being a better support to others.
All the while, keep your head down and work on something to share with the world in 2021.
It really will come to an end! Hang in there, everyone.
If you could wave a magic wand…
What kind of world would you want to live in?
Change-makers Tammy Tibbetts & Christen Brandt dream of a world where every girl is educated, respected, and heard. A world where women are able to create change. A world where girls everywhere are safe and loved.
For 11 years, they’ve worked toward that vision, leading social change through She’s the First — a non-profit I’ve supported since 2014 alongside Michelle Obama, the United Nations, Diane von Fürstenberg, and more than 200 campus chapters worldwide.
She’s the First finds, funds, and supports local organizations to educate and empower girls, so one day we can live in a world where every girl can choose her own future.
“No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.” @shesthefirst
Click To Tweet
After more than a decade leading the way, Tammy and Christen know what it takes to create positive lasting change and that everyone’s contribution matters. They’re on MarieTV today debuting their new book, Impact: A Step-By-Step Plan to Create the World You Want to Live In.
If you know you’re meant to make a difference but aren’t sure how, this conversation is a must-watch.
- Three reasons well-meaning people get stuck.
- How to discover your own special gift.
- A visualization exercise to uncover your calling.
- How being voted “most shy” in high school inspired a global movement.
- How to hold healthy boundaries without becoming defensive.
- What to say when someone “shoulds” on you.
- The difference between a Band-Aid and a long-term fix — and why we need both.
- Why good intentions aren’t enough.
- The critical difference between helping, fixing, and serving.
- Why 2020 is our “masterclass in resilience.”
Tammy and Christen walk their talk and will inspire you to make the difference you were born to make.
But don’t worry — they won’t tell you to find the perfect cause, donate all your money to charity, or volunteer every night and weekend.
As Tammy says, “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.”
Hit play to watch now or listen on The Marie Forleo Podcast to find YOUR something.
DIVE DEEPER: Learn more from Tammy Tibbetts of She’s the First on how educating girls changes the world and then finally find your calling with Rha Goddess.
Feeling inspired? Profound change only happens when we turn our inspiration into action. In the comments below, let us know your biggest insight and how you plan to act on it now.
If you’re not quite clear on your vision of the world, try this exercise to discover what Christen and Tammy call your “North Star.” It’s one of my favorite chapters in the book, which goes deep into uncovering your personal experiences and how they’re connected to the change you want to create in the world.
Close your eyes and think about the world you want to see in 10 years. Then 20 years. What kind of world would you hope to see 100 years from now? See it vividly like a movie in your mind.
Now on a piece of paper, write down your answers to these two questions:
- Describe in detail your vision of the world you’d like to see in 20 years.
- What are the biggest differences between your vision and the world we’re living in right now?
Your path of impact lives in the gap between the world you want to see and the world you live in now.
Use that clear vision as your goal, but don’t be overwhelmed. Progress happens one tiny step at a time.
As Tammy says, “If you have a setback, don’t feel discouraged. This is a long game, and it will take a lifetime. You’re building a legacy.”
The post How to Maximize Your Impact with the Founders of She’s the First appeared first on .
By Leo Babauta
I have a couple of clients who’ve been stuck in inaction for months now, and they’re desperate to get into action.
So we’ve set up structure and training so they can train themselves to be in action much more of the time.
It’s trainable, if you’re willing to commit yourself.
In this short guide, I’ll talk about how to train.
Commit to Possibility
When we are not feeling motivated to take action, and we’re feeling burdened or bleh about a task … it’s because we aren’t connected to some possibility in our lives.
What is it that you want to create in the world? What do you want to change in your life, or in the lives of others?
If you get clear on that possibility, and feel connected to it, you’re going to feel much more energized and inspired to tackle your tasks.
Some examples of possibility:
- Create an income with my new business to support me and my family
- Help people overcome their feelings of inadequacy
- Help my team feel more energized and connected to meaning
- Help keep my family safe and happy
- Help 100 million people change their lives with uncertainty training (my mission)
There are lots of other possibilities, but the important thing is to connect to yours, before you even take on a task. And reconnect when you’re feeling like not doing it.
Then commit to creating that possibility, even if it feels difficult or scary.
Create Daily Structure
Once you’re connected and committed to that possibility, it’s important to have some structure. Some examples:
- A schedule with blocks for your meaningful tasks
- Accountability with a group of people
- A session at 10am every day where you write for an hour
- A video call every day at 8am with an accountability partner, where you do 2 hours of focused work on the call together
- A commitment to check in with a coach, and a consequence for not doing your commitment
What structure will help you be in action? Create it for yourself, and then train.
Train Your Action Muscle
This is the important part: you can connect to possibility and be committed, create a structure … but then you have to actually put it into action. Nothing else matters but this.
So train yourself for a week, and each day be in action. Be doing stuff. Get shit done.
Take on the hard tasks, in small chunks. Check things off your list, while feeling the meaning and possibility you’re creating.
Be in action, over and over, and you’ll train the action muscle.
After a week, review: how did it go? What needs to be adjusted? What did you learn? How can you keep the training going?
So with this in mind: what would you like to commit to today?