If you’re anything like me, you’ve read countless books on everything from personal development and self-help, through spirituality and psychology to business and marketing searching for ways to solve your life and work problems.
With over twenty years of business experience and forty years of life lessons to draw from I found I could solve all kinds of problems and achieve a level of success in the process.
But, there has always been something I couldn’t solve. This persistent, recurring issue was no ordinary common or garden problem. Until recently I could never quite put my finger on it. As far as being able to put my mind to unearthing it so I could break free from its annoyingly elusive and persistent hold over me, that’s a different matter entirely.
Sure, indulging in the Endless Search via these books, courses, seminars and workshops can be useful and empowering to some degree. Employing a process of elimination is a proven way to bottom out many a situation to reveal the core underlying causes of the undesirable effects they create in our lives.
And yes, like you no doubt, through continued work I was able to glean some insights, strategies, and tactics to make small changes and improvements in my life, but to what end? Despite my continued and long-suffering efforts I found myself at best only treading water. For the most part, I seemed to be taking two steps forward and three steps back!
Little did I know what was waiting, impatiently, in the wings of my deeply frustrated, disillusioned and I don’t mind saying it now, unhappy and often depressed life experience.
No matter what I did, or didn’t do, I never really seemed to ‘feel’ any better. It was like I was always waiting for something to happen before I could start doing what I wanted to do. The problem, I thought, was I didn’t know what the ‘doing’ of what I wanted to do might be. I was suspended in an invisible holding pattern forever waiting in the queue for a time slot and available space to land.
To compound the situation, logically I believed I was doing what I wanted so that couldn’t be the problem, could it? For most of my career, I’d not only been working in but was also building and leading successful businesses in the creative industries. I didn’t even have the excuse I wasn't creative. I’d made my bed and was sleeping, literally, in it.
Of course, I’d experienced moments of creative problem solving and creative doing from time to time. You know, the sort that keeps you up late at night and gets you up early in the morning. So what was my problem?
If I had a gun to my head and my life depended on my delivering an honest answer, I'd have to say that despite everything, I’d stopped feeling creative and free in my work and my life, and there was no apparent reason for it.
No matter what I tried to rectify the situation and reverse the feeling, the effect was short-lived. I couldn’t see that I’d been trying to scratch an itch that couldn’t be by just doing more of the same, creative or otherwise, in the traditional sense. To say I’d been working harder and not smarter is an understatement, to say the least.
I used to wake up, as early as I could, get straight out of bed and be out of the house as quickly as possible, weekends included. I was motivated by a deep-seated low vibration stress to get on with work, no matter what it was, to ease the pain and conflict I was experiencing.
The closest I came to verbalising what was going on for me at the time was that I felt like I was wasting my life. A tad melodramatic perhaps but it summed up the symptomatic experience I was living, or more precisely, dying, day in and day out.
Change now. Unlock your time and creativity.
If I looked too long at reality, as far as I could see it, regardless of my achievements, I’d feel uneasy, uncomfortable, off-centre, and quickly revert to negative thought and feeling patterns. These depressive undercurrents were nothing short of a downward spiral into stress, overwhelm and busy workaholism.
I believed that if I just did more of what I was doing my results, the outcomes in my life would be different, better somehow. I think it was Einstein that called this behaviour and belief system insanity. I know now, without a doubt, he wasn’t wrong.
This daily dose of trouble and strife led to nothing but a constant conflict that I tried to cover up as much as possible by putting on a false happy front so that I didn’t appear like an ungrateful, negative complainer. The sort of people, even friends, soon tire.
I would never have guessed what the first thing my friends would say to me after I made my Significant Life Change. It started with ‘At last! You’ve been talking about this problem for years…’
I’d always thought I was discreet when talking about my issues. You might be able to convince yourself some of the time, but you’ll never convince everyone else all of the time.Your friends really can see right through any facade you put up to disguise the truth even if you won’t.
This unresolved conflict battling between what my habits and expectations believed I should be doing to achieve ‘success’ vs. what I wanted to do and be played out for a long, long time. It was a never-ending story. Just ask my friends and family!
In the end, after a few bouts of isolated depression, phases of waking up frustrated and angry, I started to realise what the problem was. The cracks were beginning to show, and they were now getting bigger, wider and more visible each and every day. I couldn’t hide from my self anymore.
This unwanted breakfast, lunch, and dinner I was force feeding myself continued until I’d taken the most important step in my life to date. It was a change that would pave the way for everything good and great that followed.
From that point on I was able to start clarifying the exact steps that worked to give me more peace of mind, self-acceptance, deep-seated self-confidence, energy, time, unbridled creativity and freedom to be my true self.
These essential life qualities had eluded me to the point of desperation, despite my seemingly never-ending, necessary (who else was going to do it for me) extreme effort, hard work, and persistence.
Before I knew it, I’d created the biggest Work Vacuum of my life and effectively ‘streamed’ a book all about life and work and the recurring traps into which we lure our selves.
These mental constructs and behavioural mazes forged in relationship with those we interact with on a daily basis unbeknownst to us establish our lifelong, ingrained limiting habits and beliefs.
Worse still, the symptoms of these self-imposed limits are amplified by the High Definition Life we are hell-bent co-creating at breakneck speed. Stress, overwhelm and busyness is the order of the day. Otherwise, success is unattainable, right? Wrong.
I could not stop writing this book, my magnum opus until I’d finished. It took a year, full time and then some to create. It turned out to be 1200 pages long! Combined with my previous journaling and evolving concepts revolving around unlocking time and creativity through conscious change, creativity, communication, and connection meant I had five books worth of transformative content to give back to the world.
By just making space, allowing what is, without forcing the situation my Real Work of the moment had emerged. With my Busy Work exposed for what it is I could see more clearly what I simply must do, not what I should do.
Believe me when I say this felt far more satisfying and rewarding than waking up every day to the traditional way of doing, doing and more doing to solve the largely self-inflicted problems we force ourselves to endure within the High Definition Life.