Where are you headed?

by Cathy Paper Bottern on November 30th, 2009

Ok, I admit it, I try to do too many things at once. I was on vacation with my family and squeezed in an early morning business meeting and this image of the praying monk on CamelBack Mountain in Arizona was in front of me. I was excited so I decided to snap a photo with my iphone. It was a complete violation of my headset use-ony cel phone rule in the car but I was so psyched about this image! I nearly crash into a cactus. And, I will pull over next time.

It made me think, do we do too much and then nearly crash to wake up and focus. I work with people on goal setting and prioritization and yet sometimes I too get my "undies in a bundle" with too much to do and that not enough time feeling. I prescribe to others that those moments are the perfect time to stop and do nothing. Seriously, STOP ALL ACTIVITY. Look around and ask yourself what is bugging you, what is exciting you or driving you, what do you want to be doing? Write down all your to-do's, all your goals, all your obligations, all your dreams etc. Just get it all down on paper. Draw a 2x2 grid if you like with family, personal, work or projects as the headers, but stop doing and start writing. Then, after you've exhausted yourself and the self-inflicted heartbeat/adrenaline rush chaos has passed, look at it. What is going to be an easy thing that can be solved in the next hour but has been bugging you for days or weeks? What are the top three activities that will move you closer to your goals? If your goals are not clear, put getting clear on goals at the top of the list and block time on your schedule to do the same day when you feel the fire. What deadlines are looming that you haven't planned for? Map it out backwards as my sister Anne always does. It really works.

Stress and unfocused enthusiasm created by not knowing where we are headed or by trying to do too many things at once causes us a bizarre, and often negative energy rush. Stop doing and step into your own power. Look again at that praying monk. I don't think the native Hohokam tribe that used to worship this beautiful orange rock formation was ever driving and making a mental image of it at the same time. Spend 15 minutes to get clear of where you are headed and you will be amazed at the results physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.


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