Embrace the Unknown

Ashlee Christian, at Freelancer’s Union:

Worry is commonly caused by a fear of the unknown. Which is of course ridiculous when you stop to think of it, because EVERYTHING is unknown to us.

The more time you spend using your time effectively, the less time you will have to worry and stress out.

Since pretty much everything in the future is unknown to us, we might as well embrace it. The unknown can be exciting if you let it. It’s exploration. It’s new experiences. It’s taking a road you’ve never taken before, just to see where it goes and what you’ll learn along the way.

Knowing everything, or thinking you do, is pretty boring. So, go forth and do something, rather than worrying about everything, and learn as much as you can from that experience. Spend your time doing, rather than worrying, and you will overcome your fear of the unknown and your fear of rejection.

I am a worrier, but I’m learning to embrace the unknown and be more deliberate (like writing every day). And it’s making me happier.

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Life Of A Drifter

Doctor or lawyer, I’ll never be.
Life of a drifter – only life for me.
You can have your riches, all the gold you saved.
Cause’ ain’t room for one thing in everybody’s grave.

Clutch – “Electric Worry

Ever since seeing Clutch at RiotFest in Chicago’s Humboldt Park, I haven’t been able to get these lyrics out of my head.

I fit no particular mold. I can’t come up with an appropriate job title. I have no specific niche. Most marketing gurus will tell you that’s not going to get me anywhere.

When people asked me what I did when we were introduced at Circles Conference this past week, the only answer I had was, “a lot of things.” And I’m okay with that. I help people, businesses and non-profits in many ways, but no one specific way. The jack-of-all-trades role suits me well because I can mix it up. As I wrote back in April, I strive for variety.

I quit my job two years ago to pursue no particular goal other than independence and freedom with a passion for helping people. So maybe that’s my niche – drifting around helping people with whatever they need in that moment.

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Time To Think

If you’re not already aware of Dave Pell’s Next Draft, check it out and get the app. He provides an excellent blend of news and interesting reading. This gem from yesterday’s issue came at the perfect time.

From the New York Times: “No Time to Think”:

But you can’t solve or let go of problems if you don’t allow yourself time to think about them. It’s an imperative ignored by our culture, which values doing more than thinking and believes answers are in the palm of your hand rather than in your own head.

We have given up too much of ourselves

We don’t have time to ourselves anymore. Must we always be doing? Going? Writing? Building? Designing? Networking? Working? No. We can break the cycle. We can make time to reflect on our most recent conversation. We can make time to read and make time to think about what we just read.

We make or break the rules

There’s this widespread belief that thinking and feeling will only slow you down and get in your way, but it’s the opposite.

If you only do what they tell you, you’ll never grow. You’ll never experience life to its fullest. I’m proof that you can make your own rules, or at least break a few of those imposed on you that make no sense. Who wants to only do what’s socially acceptable anyway? Society is completely messed up, and you want to comply with that? Determine what’s essential to you and make or break rules as necessary.

To think for yourself, you must make time

I’ve learned a hard lesson in the two years since I quit my “safe and secure” job. Sure, I’ve made plenty of time for things that truly matter, like road trips, exploration and game time. But I didn’t do that at the sacrifice of work, I did it at the sacrifice of “me” time: time to think and reflect, time to exercise, time to read and write. That led me into a bad cycle. I would learn, but I would not have time to think, reflect and apply what I learned.

Make a commitment

Do it right now. You can stop reading this. You’re more important. Commit an hour this week to nothing but thinking. Figure out a nice quiet place you can hole up and just think. Bring a notebook, because you’ll have ideas. Write them down. Then leave them alone and think some more. Next week, commit two hours. Then, start to work it into your daily schedule. If you have a one-hour meeting, add thirty minutes afterward to reflect on what happened. Empathize with those involved and figure out what you’re going to do next.

Process your thoughts and feelings

Finally, we need time for processing. We have wonderful days and happy thoughts. We have miserable days and sad thoughts. These are important to us as human beings. We can and should learn from all these experiences. But we can’t learn and grow if we don’t give ourselves time to reflect and think through things.

Make the time. It will pay off in your work, your relationships and your overall being.

Before long, you’ll realize it’s your favorite time of the week.

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