068 – EN One of the many business tenets that piss me off goes like this: Success means to achieve your goals. To achieve your goal, you need to keep that disciplined focus on your plan and at best master that state of creative flow every single day…
Don’t get me wrong – goals work, being in that state of flow makes work seem effortless, focus feels great and having a plan makes you feel in control. For a while at least…
Until life happens and you’re thrown out of your paradise of flow and focus and the distant promise of maybe achieving your goal once that miracle moment happens when everything goes according to plan.
For now, you may feel like a failure and in need of ‘more focus in your work’, whatever that may mean.
But there are many other ways that work, there are many different ways that work for different people. In this episode I will introduce you to two alternative ideas about the state flow and goals that work for me to stay focused in my work.
The be in flow just stay with the flow
You may believe that to stay in that promising state of flow you need to be in a constant battle with interruptions and distractions. The trancelike state will break and we will wash back ashore.
What if all you need to bin in flow is to go with the flow that life offers you in form of your daily factor X – the unpredictable. The unpredictable is not the exception. It is the rule. It is life
And being alive does not mean to have to predict and control what happens at all times. Especially not predict and control other people.
What if instead of fighting what life surprises you with you embrace reality and work with what’s there. Don’t sit and wait for that perfect moment of life leaving you alone or working according to your plan.
It will never happen.
And the thing is you don’t need it. Real focus is to embrace reality and go with the flow of what happens.
Your kids interrupt your work? Take a break.
A guest writer doesn’t deliver the promised blog article? Write a spontaneous one yourself?
You printer breaks down? Buy cake as a thank-you-gift and get to know your neighbour.
Focus means to stay with what is. Not with what you think should be.
The same is true for goals. I don’t like them because they keep me focused on some future and not on what is right now. They keep me in a constant state of ‘not-enough’ washed down with a promise of happiness and fulfilment that my happen later when I’ve done, when I’ve achieved, when I’ve earned…
I want to be happy and content now.
I want to do and create not out of a state of not-enough but out of a state of abundance and being in love with life.
So what would happen if you let go of your goals and maybe throw in your plans for good measure?
Go with the flow of now. Be alive and hungry and inspired in the now.
Create out of abundance while working with what is there right now in front of you.
‘A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.’
And maybe you after some time you won’t even remember to ask for ‘more focus in your work’ because it will be your constant state of mind, because of constantly working, constantly living in the present moment…
Leo Babauta – Zen Habits (a blog that inspired and inspires so much of my learning)