I was recently sitting in the ferry line watching the morning fog roll in when I caught hint of the most amazing sound. Amazing because it seemed industrial: metallic, clanging, rhythmic, and yet full of melody. The kind of musical moment that appears and then disappears, usually in some concert setting, leaving no trace of itself, but only wonderment - what just happened, what was that sound?
It was beautiful and haunting... and gone.
Life is filled with just such moments, and they're super important generally, but essential to those choosing a life of passion.
I know I made a nod last week to those moments when we've pulled out all the stops pursuing our desires, only to find that we're in a moment of uncertainty. Do I move forward, do I pause, do I go lateral or do I just indulge in a bowl of ice cream and pull out my last remaining hairs?
We talked about doing and not doing, and today I wanted to talk more about the doing part, but doing in a way that doesn't add to our depleted state, but in fact gets us primed and ready for when inspiration does hit.
It's true of the driven mind that every ounce of energy we conjure we focus on the thing we're pursuing. Productive time is seen as time spent on the myriad activities associated with our desires.
This is the great gift, and the great burden of passion, and why times of uncertainty are more apt to crush the driven than the dabbler. When the passionate don't know what to do next, because their passion is all they've been doing - or mostly so - they face a void of tremendous proportions.
Many passionate folk implode during such periods, taking bad risks just to create a sense of productivity, or sink so low emotionally that abandoning their dreams seems the most logical next step.
Passionate folk are not good at waiting.
But there is good news. Times of uncertainty actually require that we stay busy, but busy in ways that rebuild our strength and bring a flood of the new impressions needed to catalyze breakthroughs. And the best news? I'm sharing three such stay-busy strategies below.
Three Must-Do Activities for Those in Waiting (who don't want to be)
- Get out of your head and into your senses. What connects you with your senses, allowing you to perceive and be enriched by the wonder around you? Is it food, sex, exercise, natural beauty? Make a list of things you do to enliven these connections and start working down the list. Living from the senses is fun.
- Focus on the other things in your life that bring meaning and purpose. Strengthen your connections to them with concrete actions. Is it your friendships, your family, your hobbies? Make your action list and start doing. Caveat: The driven mind can get uni-directional and lose touch with the rest of their life. This is a good time to revisit connection to the other things that matter. It can bring a sense of well-being, insight and some fun.
- Relish what's working now. This is a two-step process, both to recognize and celebrate the good things. This is a time to work with gratitude and its twin, generosity. Is your health in good order? Express gratitude and celebrate by offering to help a friend move. Do you have enough resources right now? Feel that gratitude, and celebrate with a donation to your favorite charity. Celebrating through action which includes others not only takes you out of yourself - a needed balance for the driven mind - but provides the perspective to invigorate purpose and meaning. And it's fun.
And the great, even unexpected benefit to staying active using the above three must-do strategies is that you are not only replenishing yourself, you are replenishing those around you. A strong support network is one of the most critical protective factors and predictive factors for those who will succeed.
Join me in the comment thread below to share any of the ways you become energized during periods of waiting. I love engaging with your comments and insights.