Working harder at not working harder?

Making change in our lives and the world is invigorating when we have the luxury of deciding with abandon what our next project or goal is. Ambition can be fun!

Other times, like when you find yourself with some diagnoses or health situation that isn’t going away, the opportunity for making change is in your face whether you like it or not.

viewing your life from above might reveal you're going in circles… (couldn't resist the snail slime!)
viewing your life from above might reveal you’re going in circles… (couldn’t resist the snail slime!)

So what to do?

For many of us aspiring go-getters, the default answer is to keep doing what got us the success we enjoy. That usually means working harder at this or that – doing MORE of something. So let’s run with that for a moment…

And add the twist of; WHAT are you going to work harder at/do more of? Make a longer to-do list? Work harder at “pushing through” your symptoms that are slowing you down? We can become kind of like the rat that just keeps pushing the lever one more time hoping this time will get us the vaunted food pellet.

Depending on what stage of chronic illness you’re at, you may have already learned that more of the same might be digging you deeper into a hole of denial and despair. That the gap between your dreams and your abilities just keeps getting wider despite all your best efforts.

If you haven’t discovered that, take it from those of us who have. Try taking the proverbial “30,000 foot view” of your life. Get some distance. Some of what has gotten you here will help you (e.g. good problem solving skills, networking etc.). Some of it won’t.

Try working harder at NOT working harder and see what happens next. I predict you’ll be surprised at what in your life is more negotiable than you thought…  ~Z