On writing this, my first ever blog series, I realised it was likely too long for a single post so decided to split it into four parts in the hope that the time starved among us wouldn’t be dissuaded from reading it.
While reviewing and editing I noticed that each of the outcomes included in my review of This Year vs Last Year fell, without my thinking about it, as if by magic, into the conscious action categories for living and working a better life that I’d defined in my shiny nearly new Author Biography. I’d written and published my bio on my website and various other book retailers including Amazon over three months earlier and added these actions almost as an afterthought as I was rushing impatiently to get it live.
‘Broadly Richard’s writing, training, coaching, marketing and business courses and programmes revolve around The Seven Works, his core conceptual and practical blueprint for successfully navigating the High Definition Life. This extensive body of work explores how we can improve both our individual lives and the greater whole through Conscious Change, Creativity, Communication and Connection.’
Without much, if any planning, this post, that I’d resisted writing and delayed finishing for no good reason, seemed to structure itself into something much more aligned with my author Real Work than I’d originally envisioned. My hope is that now it’s organised into more meaningful parts is that it serves to be more inspiring to those that are in the market to create some intentional changes in their own life.
With the naming of the parts all covered off, I considered a number of titles for the series itself. I toyed with ‘A Year In Paradise’, ’City Boy To Cave Man’ and ‘What You Don’t Know Can’t Hurt You’. None quite hit the mark for me. I realised I was struggling with the title of the blog series because it’s attempting to serve a dual purpose.
Firstly it’s to let you know a little more about me and my journey by contrasting my first year uncoupled from the disconnected life I had created for myself with the previous year that led me to the crux of my Significant Life Change (SLC). This long overdue reboot started my eventual detox from the chaotic High Definition Life context and content that we are all party to, for good and bad, co-creating and enduring.
On reflection, it is plain to see that the contrast has been extreme. So much so my last year (pre-SLC) pales in comparison to this year (post-SLC) on many levels. It’s been a challenge to recall many specific and meaningful lows or forgotten highs from the year leading up to my SLC. That’s not to say this phase of my life wasn’t of any value. It most definitely was. How else would I, at long last, have reached the decision to make my SLC and be happier for it?
Secondly, it covers off a good chunk of what I want to say about the unpredictable benefits of Breaking Your Busy. As a result, I hope you’ll be inspired enough to want to learn more about and embrace this disruptively simple practice to create positive change in your own life in the knowledge that it has the knock-on effect of helping others directly and indirectly. Experience tells me that a consistent practice of Breaking Your Busy is a solid foundation for entirely more powerful, significant and meaningful changes still to come. It is nothing short of a no-brainer to facilitate proactive positive change.
Breaking Your Busy reminds us we must be alert to change in ourselves, others, and the world around us in both its natural and technological forms. We must be attentive to change in order to be able to lead our selves, and others when they need it, through the fast moving context and content of the High Definition Life.
We must do this undeterred from what we truly want while maintaining a strong connection to our Creative Core. If we don’t we’ll fall back into old habits, resigning ourselves to a stressful, overwhelming life of avoiding change at all costs, including our creativity and happiness.
With all of this in mind I settled on ‘Change To Changed’ as the title of the series because I feel it emphasises the most critical cyclical, persistent and repetitive component of maintaining purpose, creativity, connection and ultimately fulfilment in life.
My This Year vs Last Year comparison reports on the initial change outcomes of what has become my post-SLC author journey. I’ll leave my Work Life Wide Open Series of books to reveal and explore the inner workings, decision mechanics and creativity enhancing processes that lie mostly unseen or unrecognised behind the scenes of effective and successful Significant Life Change.
I’ll round off this first introductory post with my report on Last Year (pre-SLC). Here we go.
Last Year (pre-SLC)
I clocked on average between 50 and 90 hours of Busy Work per week for the entire year.
I lived alone in a two bedroom apartment that cost me over half my income despite only spending a maximum of 50% of my time in it, including weekends.
No matter how productive I was I felt unhappy, conflicted, stressed, disconnected and disillusioned most of the time. This was true even though by and large I was completely numb to these emotions, feelings and sensations in my body.
The one week holiday I managed to take snowboarding was spent overthinking (again) about how I could make positive change in my life. All I wanted to do was escape the life context I’d created for myself rather than unplug, relax and have some fun with with friends. Despite my efforts to be present I felt like I was always pretending to have fun.
The few dating relationships I experienced were disconnected and very short-lived. The intimacy I was yearning for seemed increasingly elusive regardless of how hard or how little I tried to get something started.
For the most part I felt like I was constantly living a lie.
No matter what I did I was constantly swimming upstream.
What happened next?
Watch out for Part 2 - Conscious Creativity where I’ll cover what triggered my Significant Life Change, and how it started to unfold.