How do you deal with life’s overwhelm? When there are so many things to do, that you can’t see your way forward, how do you keep from getting stopped by the sheer weight of tasks that demand your time?
Not long ago, our shipping container made its way from Texas to Central America, packed with everything we own. 39’ worth of “chunches” (which sounds much nicer than its English counterpart). It’s one thing to travel half a world away with your suitcase and it’s a completely different thing to be sitting on your own couch in another country. I guess sitting on my couch marks the point where we’re “all in” in Costa Rica!
As wonderful as it was to know that our things arrived safely, the thought of unpacking all of the “stuff” that, after living two months without, we had proven we no longer needed, was pretty overwhelming. That, combined with a big work launch, was enough to make me want to crawl back under the covers. It was a lot. Exciting, but it was a lot.
I found myself combatting my very human instincts to cut-and-run in the throes of the exciting-a-lot-ness of my life.
I love it when the right message finds me at the right time. Such was the case when I took Oprah and NFL superstar, Tom Brady, with me on my walk the day before my “chunches” arrived. I confess, I’m addicted to Oprah’s Super Soul podcast. How could any respectable leadership educator resist their conversation about “How to Reach Peak Performance?”
Oprah asked him “What are you thinking about when you’re 24 points down?” And he said that he couldn’t think about the 24 points. He couldn’t think about the outcome of the game. He couldn’t think about what had happened to get them to that point, or what would happen if they lost. All he could think about was the next right thing.
So, that’s what I thought about, as I sat here typing this piece, surrounded by cardboard boxes, on the day of my big launch. What is the next right thing?
The thing I know to be true in my life is that, long before I heard Tom Brady talk about it, I instinctively understood this truth. It’s been the case with all of the big projects I’ve undertaken. The only reason I’ve been able to do the things I’ve done is because I’ve learned to take my focus off of the things that scare me or overwhelm me. To take my focus off of winning or losing, or the possibility of making a mistake or looking the fool. I’ve learned to focus on simply taking the next baby step in my path.
The next right thing.
Then the next.
That doesn’t mean I don’t feel overwhelmed, it just means that it doesn’t stop me.
As you look at your life, I encourage you to examine your focus; to allow it to serve you instead of stop you. What is your next right thing?
For you will do extraordinary things in your life—you will amaze yourself—when you learn to be unstoppable.
One. Baby step. At. A. Time.
©A Thoughtful Company, 2021