Often when I don’t accomplish a certain number of tasks in a day, I feel guilty. And I know I’m not alone.
“Of course,” people say, “you’ve got to find when you’re most productive. If you get more work done before 10:00 than the entire rest of the day, then obviously you want to think about waking up earlier to further increase your productivity.”
That makes perfect sense. But I’ve come to realize that, in the grander scheme of things, it doesn’t even matter what you get done in a single given day. What matters is the long-term. What projects did you push forward this week? This month? The year, so far?
Truth is, we all have up days and down days, but what matters most is what happens on a year to year basis.
To Love is to Be Happy With
Take last Saturday, for instance. I didn’t plan on writing this article. In fact, for all intents and purposes, I had a lazy day. I made gluten-free pancakes for my lady and I; we watched Once More with Feeling for a second time; and I did some chores around the house. Pretty much the opposite of an earth-shattering day.
But I love to move. I love to have ideas. And the idea for this article popped into my head, and I wrote it with no premeditation or outlining, in under a half hour.
Why? Because the idea of it made me feel good. It made me feel happy. That feeling motivated me to act.
But not all of our actions are motivated by excitement, are they? In college, I noticed that most people were motivated by fear. Fear that they were on the wrong track, of not being “successful,” or fear of disappointing their parents (or worse, themselves). This fear grew within them, like a ravenous bear that seemed more powerful than anything else.
Yet there is another, more powerful way to motivate yourself.
It’s love. The opposite of fear is always love, and in this case, love is the happiness you feel when you do a task. In fact, many ancient Hawaiians believed that “to love is to be happy with.” That was their definition of love. Consider this for a moment.
Every time I hear that definition, I can feel my mind expanding. And having written two books, co-produced an audiobook, and written hundreds of shorter articles, I can personally vouch that happiness is a much better motivator than fear for actually creating a product of quality.
The key is to cultivate a state of mind where you are open to your creative nature. When I focus on what I’m grateful for, it grows my love of life, and creativity is the natural result.
Growing Disillusioned in all the Right Ways
Frankly, I’ve grown disillusioned with the cycle of shaming myself for having an unproductive day, and not only because it isn’t healthy. More importantly, it just isn’t effective in making me more productive!
What about you?
Is fear or guilt making you more productive?
Are you happy with your current thought-habits in your work? If you are, then you don’t need to change anything. But if something about this article gets under your skin or makes you question, what is that indicating? How many more years do you want to live with a negative thought-cycle? How long will you keep feeding the bear?
Shame doesn’t work to create something of true value. Excitement, happiness, and love are the highest energy motivations. To do it because you’re happy to is a force to be reckoned with. Realize the power you have in this present moment to tune back into joy, back into gratitude for what you have.
At the very least, you have Life, and that means you have power.
p.s. Over the weekend, The Truth Beyond the Sky (book 1) was accepted into all other major ebook stores, so now it’s available in: Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Kobo, Paperback, & Audiobook. Really excited to open up the book to entirely new markets around the planet!