“Focusing is about saying No.” –Steve Jobs
The more choices we have, the greater the need to focus. - Tom Butler-Bowdon
I am a creative person and as a result, I never have a shortage of ideas. I can always find a subject I want to explore, think of a new class to create, and find a plethora of things I’m passionate about. The problem is, is if I want to manifest any one of my ideas (which I do)-I have to stay focused.
The reality is that we only have so much time, energy, and money which means we must choose where to put our energy. The year as I reflect on the New Year, I’m going write on a 3 x5 card all of the things I’d like to do this year and then ask myself these questions:
- How important is this to me?
- Why is it important? (Do I know why this motivates me?)
- Is this part of my life purpose?
- Would I regret not doing this?
- How much time and energy will it take? Can I schedule it in? Do I have the time?
After I do this I’m then going to prioritize them by importance. If I could only do one of these, which would it be? If I could only do two of these, which would I choose? I’ve learned over the years that I can burn myself out trying to do it all.
Then I’m going to put up an artful display board in my work space where I can connect to my vision each day. That way when the world begins to encroach on my vision, I can more easily pull myself back to center.
I’ve noticed over the years too that it’s also good to factor in the unexpected and to intentionally make time for important relationships. It helps to minimize the frustration and makes for a much more balanced lifestyle.
“Listen through your screams to the wind still whispering: Don’t give up — Surrender!”
~ Eric Ganther
“The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven’t yet come to the end of themselves. We’re still trying to give orders, and interfering with God’s work within us. “
~ A.W. Tozer
“The ego hates losing – even to God.”
~ Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life
Sometimes it’s hard to surrender and trust that God or our higher power has a better plan for our lives. Our little egos are sure they have it all figured out if only God would agree to the plan and then escort it in on our timeline.
I have to tell you I don’t want to move twice. Yet I also know there is wisdom in doing so. I would have never wanted to move in the dead of winter. Yet my inner wisdom told me to sell when I had a “hot buyer” and is telling me now to turn our house over to our new buyers as soon as we can (our goal at this point is to be out by the end of January.) Over the years I’ve learned to trust that intuitive wisdom.
I know from experience that it’s only when we are truly surrendered that the mystery can enter in. I don’t know how it will all unfold, or how long I will have to wait, or how much inconvenience I might have to endure, but I’m going to choose to do it as joyfully as I can and trust that God has a better plan. I will get down on my knees and pray for God’s plan to be revealed. I will wait. I will work the tools of my 12-step program and do my best to continue to surrender and to believe. (BTW, I am so grateful to be working this plan right now.)
Where in your life do you need to surrender? What have you learned about this place? What stories of faith do you have? (Please feel free to share.) I once heard that we don’t learn about faith so much as when our lives are working well, but when we are struggling and choose to believe. This holiday season…I’m grateful to have the opportunity to deepen my faith. I’m grateful for surrender.