A young woman got married at the age of eighteen (like her mother had and her grandmother and all the other women in her family before her). She had five kids in quick succession. “And when the oldest child was ten, and the youngest was three months old, this woman’s husband left her.” (E. Gilbert)
To make a long story short, her heart was broken and she cried in despair. But then – that very day that she realized her husband was not coming back – she decided that the vision of her being poor and pathetic for the rest of her life was not to be. She was going to see the world someday.
The woman decided to save $1 every single day. It was not to be touched under any circumstances. This was her promise to herself. It was not emergency money.
She saved $1 every day for twenty years, filling many coffee cans.
And when the last child left the house, she went on a cargo ship (it was the least expensive way to cruise around the world). It stopped every few days and she’d disembark and see a new country.
“Perfection is the death of all good things, perfection is the death of pleasure, it’s the death of productivity, it’s the death of efficiency, it’s the death of joy. Perfection is just a bludgeon that goes around murdering everything good. Somebody once said I was disingenuous for saying this, because surely I try to make my work as good as it can be. And that’s absolutely true — but there’s a really big difference between ‘as good as it can be’ and perfection.” – TED, September 2015
I’ve always been a bit high-strung. I’ve always been a worrier.
I used to spend more time worrying than taking action to stop the worry.
As I begin the last half of my life, I want to be a warrior.
I’m reading Tolle, Singer, the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.
I’ve read all kinds of books and learned a lot. But I heard Elizabeth Gilbert the other day on a podcast and she said something that clicked (!)
She was talking about her writing process and she said she writes in seasons….you know, as in nature. She said something like this (totally paraphrasing): There’s the quiet (winter) phase, where’s she’s in between projects and thinking, getting inspired. Then she begins research (spring), and she writes (summer) and then does the whole marketing tour bit (fall). And the cycle begins again.
The part that struck me as shockingly KIND to herself was that she gave herself time to just think, rejuvenate, get inspired. She sees it all as an integral part of her creative process.
You mean, you don’t have to keep working and sweating?
It made sense to me. Of COURSE, even nature takes breaks. Parts of it die in order to enable other things to grow. This applies to every career, every job, every role in life.
So yes, make your To Do lists and set goals. That is important. But be sure to take the time to relax, re-energize, and follow the cycle. Calmly get each step done. No need for stress.