“Most of us have two lives: the life we live and the un-lived life within us. Between the two stands resistance.” – Steven Pressfield
Let’s cut straight to the chase: being busy doesn’t equate to getting stuff done. You might be doing a ton of stuff every day, week after week, month after month, but at the end of the year, will you have achieved the one thing that mattered most? Not necessarily. You see, many of us think the reason we haven’t achieved what we wanted to achieveis that we’ve just been too busy, but the reality is that we’ve just lacked purpose.
Busy Doing What?
Let’s say it’s your big goal to lose weight. You join a gym and you’re there for at least a couple of hours every week. Week after week and month after month passes, but at the end of the year, you haven’t hit the target you were hoping for. Why? Well, going to the gym can only be of benefit if there’s a purpose behind every visit. Unless every trip to the gym is being used as a stepping-stone to get you closer to your target, there’s potential for being “busy” but not actually doing what needs to be done.
Doing is not enough, unless you’re doing what matters.
To be able to stay on track to any long-term goal, you’re going to need short-term goals in place. This means working backwards from your big goal, and breaking down what needs to be done into manageable monthly, weekly, and daily chunks…
What do you need to do today to achieve your target for this week, this month, and this year?
It’s easy to lose sight of long-term goals, and it can be all too easy to give up on targets that feel a long way off, but unless you take purposeful action on a daily basis, you’re never going to get there, right? This is what Steven Pressfield means with his “two lives” theory: the goal you’re failing to achieve is the un-lived life within you.
- Once a week, take a moment to sit down and write out a to-do list for the week ahead.
- At the end of the week, reflect on the list and consider what you did and didn’t do.
- Question why you didn’t do what you planned to do.
- Create a new to-do list for the week ahead, finding better ways to get over or around the obstacles (perceived or otherwise) that prevented you from reaching your targets for the previous week.
This is not about beating yourself up over things you didn’t do, it’s about learning to recognise the thought and behaviour patterns that represent your resistance to living the life you want – your un-lived life – and then making change happen.
Be honest with yourself. Are you really too busy to do what needs to be done to live the un-lived life within you, or is your lack of purpose in daily life leading to distraction?
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