You Already Know What You Need to Do


On my last birthday, I shared 29 things that I'd learned over my 29 years. As a forgetful person (i.e. a human being), I thought I'd expand on those lessons to remind myself of their value. Here's one …

You already know what you need to do before you can articulate it in your mind. Your body communicates it through unease, discomfort or even pain. Everywhere you look, there's a disharmony that, when interrogated, leads right back to the thing that you know you need to do. Even though at first, they seem completely unrelated.

Anxiety? Fear. Your present circumstances might be bad but change is infinitely worse. Having to back down on ideas, situations or people that you've been standing up for so long. Having to admit that you were shortsighted, or naive, or impulsive. Or that you weren't loving yourself enough. 

Having to do things differently. To step aside, to step back, to start again. To try something new. Uncertainty. The possibility that you may well make the same mistakes again. The dread that you'll find yourself in this precarious situation all over again.

Difficulty. Life is already difficult as it is without having to admit your vulnerability. WIthout having to admit that you are indeed human, just like everybody who will judge you, talk behind your back and secretly be pleased by your difficulties.

Then you dare to get past the discomfort, fear, pride and the challenges (and it is daring because you've got to just leap into that murky, scary territory). You realise that in fact, the magnitude of it was imagined. It's not actually as bad as you feared and people don't actually care half as much as you thought. Things are actually easier, now that you have surrendered to what wanted to be.

Now there is space for all the goodness that wanted to come to you but never had the chance. Goodness that you didn't even know existed, manifested in ways you'd never predict.

You already knew what you needed to do and you ask yourself, "why didn't I act on the knowledge sooner?" Alas, all that matters is that you are here. Now.

View the full 29 lessons from 29 years here.

Quote of the week and being open to opportunity


"A challenge is simply an opportunity in disguise."

— Scott Dinsmore. From an article he posted on the inspirational Zen Habits.

With the interview series, I've been asking the passionate artists and entrepreneurs about the challenges they've faced in pursuing their dreams. Reading about how they've dealt with and overcome these obstacles, the wisdom and insight they've gained as a result of them is wonderfully apparent. It's so easy to look at a challenge as an end but too many people have moved through these temporary walls and onto the beautiful pastures that they sought. If they can, you can and I can.

It's all about reframing the level of water in the glass. You can either be open to opportunity or quick to discount trials as impediments. Retrospect is a luxury but in the meantime, we've got faith.