“It is not the results that matter. It is the experience in attaining the results that is really important. We grow through experience, not through results.”
~ Don Francis
It is now 30 days since I started my second attempt at my 30 day challenge of simplifying my life and focusing on the things that are most important to me. This time around I had some better success, mostly due to the fact that I kept my focus better, and remembered that I was trying to accomplish something.
Still, I wasn’t perfect at this. I did manage to knock a few things off of my list…things that I did not replace, at least not right away. As I found myself freer and making more progress on the important items that I have in my life, I found myself almost bored.
My intent was first, to simplify, and secondly, to truly experience life, in the present, fully. Simplify I did. I chose things on my “to do” list that would take little time and I did them. I chose things that no longer served me, and I eliminated them, letting the people they would affect know that I was eliminating them (an interesting side note, a few people had forgotten all about what I had promised to get done, and so, they were quite fine with it, and impressed that I had actually taken the time to let them know of my intent to let these things go.)
With the time freed up, I did focus on an important item. I focused intently. And then things started to happen that I didn’t expect. My focus became almost a deterrent to continuing to work on the important project. I felt like I was forcing myself to work on it. When I felt his, I started to lose interest. It became a chore to work on it, even though I knew it was important.
Thus, as I tried to truly experience my task, I found myself almost despising it. I found myself unable to get to the place where I was fully experiencing it, and enjoying the experience. The focus had the opposite effect that I had intended by taking on this challenge.
The second part of “Experiencing” was actually aided by this difficulty with my “important” task. I started to enjoy the other things I was doing with my time. I reveled in them, finding delight in everything, as long as it wasn’t my important task. I found myself doing more of the things I wasn’t forcing myself to do, and less of the thing I knew I should be doing.
Even at that, I started to get bored. I am used to having a lot to do. I am used to having a variety of things I can turn to. When I am stuck on something, I can usually let it rest while I pursue other activities. I found this more difficult, with fewer items on my plate.
Finally, I started looking for other items (new items) to fill my plate. I know this isn’t what I was supposed to be doing, but I am so used to being busy that I just couldn’t help myself. I took on more things, even though I knew this wasn’t the plan.
I concluded that I will need more work, and to keep trying, if I am to be successful at my challenge. I did, however, gain some insight into my nature, as it currently stands. I did find out that I like to be busy, although I cannot be certain how pure my motives are. Am I running from something? Am I avoiding things by being too busy to address them? Am I covering fears and anxiety with activity? There are questions that I need to take some time for serious consideration of.
Was I successful at my challenge? What do you think? I didn’t get the outcome I expected, but does that make it a failure? Did you try the challenge with me? Were you successful? Leave a comment and let the community know what you think, either about my success/lack of success, or about your own experience. We want to know what you have to say. We’re listening.