Painfully obvious advice (that I needed to hear)

I recently had lunch with my good friend Joe, a freelance filmmaker.

Over the past few years, as Joe was making his transition into the freelance world, we would often grab a coffee or meal and share our joys and challenges in life and work. We were both receptive to generous feedback from the other.

As we have been texting these past few weeks I’m sure Joe could sense my stress levels rising.

I’m now a 34-year-old single father no longer on the company payroll.

 

Being a freelancer is so incredibly new and different…

… and different is stressful. Different is change. And change is risky.

 

Halfway through our conversation, I blurted out…

“What advice would you give me?”

And Joe replied…

“I’ll tell you exactly what you told me these past few years… you know what step you need to take next… so take it.”

 

You are probably in a different, but no less challenging, situation.

It’s impossible to know exactly what you should do over the next 6 months, let alone the next 6 days.

But don’t let that paralyze you like it has paralyzed me.

 

Today, take the next step towards your goal… reassess tomorrow… and then take another step.

Before you know it, your goal will be in sight. And we’ll have a dance party when you hit your goal.

Today, I wanted to quit

I was tired, my head was pounding and I just wanted more sleep.

And I almost threw in the towel. Not quitting forever, but on the remaining hours of my day.

I wanted to literally quit today.

 

To make matters worse, my to-do list was long. Now I was doubly frustrated — not only would I be wasting a day, I would need to readjust my schedule for the upcoming week to make up for my lack of productivity.

Instead of quitting, I convinced myself to do two things:

 

First, I acknowledged that I didn’t feel great; that things aren’t always going to be amazing or even alright. Some days will feel blah. And that’s fine.

Second, I decided to not let blah ruin my day and I gave myself permission to operate at half speed. There were four things on my morning to-do list and I was content if I only completed two of those items.

 

I took a deep breath, acknowledged my pain and got to work.

Over the course of my blah morning, I finished all four items on my to-do list! I couldn’t believe it — despite my headache, lack of energy and a piss-poor attitude, I was able to stay focused and achieve my goals for the morning.


The next time you feel blah and still give whatever effort you can, let me know if this approach works for you and how you would improve it. Send me email, I’ll reply and then we’ll be BestFriendsForever.™

The gift of frustration

What is frustrating you right now? What do you wish would change?

What really hurts?

Frustration is often a reminder that where we are isn’t where we want to be; that we long for a better future for ourselves, our family, our organization, etc.

People often experience frustration about their weight, lack of energy, failed relationships, boring job, lack of knowledge about a topic, etc.

“Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives.” — Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

No one loves change, but if you are frustrated enough and have had enough, change (or: doing something different) is the only way to move forward.

If you decide to change today for a better future, you are giving FutureYou a gift:

  • The gift of better health
  • The gift of less debt
  • The gift of a better attitude
  • The gift of a deeper friendship
  • The gift of new wisdom

What a beautiful opportunity for self-love: taking care of your future self.

Every decision you make, every behavior you encourage, every thought you cultivate has the opportunity to be a gift to FutureYou. That’s pretty awesome.

If your frustration is overflowing and it’s time to do something different… ask yourself these few questions:

  • What am I frustrated about?
  • Where am I right now?
  • Where do I want to be?
  • Why does pursuing this change matter to me?
  • What factors are within my control?
  • What should I do first?