Reflections at 40 – Magic Bullets – 11/40

To celebrate turning 40, I’ve challenged myself to blog for each of the 40 days leading into my birthday. This is post number 11. You can read all the posts here.

Whenever I’m really struggling, I go searching for magic bullets and secret sauces. I become convinced there’s ‘one thing’ that’s just going to ‘change everything’ for me; be ‘the’ solution to all my current problems.

Today, that search is a ‘tell’, something that lets me know: ‘Hey, you’re grasping. It’s time to re-calibrate; get back in touch with where you’re going and why you’re going there.’

Five or six years, however, I didn’t realise I was grasping. I thought I was being pro-active; taking responsibility for my happiness by taking action. So …

  • Free resources that made big promises? I downloaded them.
  • ‘Opportunities’ that might turn into something down the track? I said Yes to them.
  • Random ideas that popped into my head? I actioned them.

I was too scared not to do something just in case it was the thing. The magic bullet that was going to make all the difference.

Eventually, I ran out of hours in the day to Do. All. The. Things. That would have been a good time to check in with myself and ask some hard questions.

Instead, I created more hours by sacrificing sleep.

When I felt I couldn’t give up any more sleep, I got super-mega-uber-organised; scheduling my days down to the minute and running life like a military operation.

This made life pretty stressful, (<<understatement) and left no room for contingencies.

Little things like spilling my coffee.

Big things like a client project going really pear-shaped.

I had time for neither but they happened Every. Day.

Which lead to me sacrificing even more sleep and running even tighter schedules.

I kept looking for magic bullets right up until I broke down.

That slammed the brakes on all the Doing.

Then therapy stepped in. It helped me stop looking for secret sauces and instead focus on living more intentionally. It taught me the difference between action, and meaningful action.

Action can see you doing, doing, doing … but staying in the same spot.

Meaningful action takes you forward.

The first step in taking meaningful action? In living more intentionally?

Getting an understanding of what’s really important to you.

 

Comments 4

  1. Your comment about no room for contingencies reminded me of your word for the year post on buffer. We just went overseas for a week, and what made everything work (as I’ll be honest, I can get stressed on holidays) was allowing for a lot of time buffers- time to drive to the airport, time to be ready for the tour and so on. It was easily the best holiday my husband and I have had and that had a huge part of it.

    1. Post
      Author

      Buffers are EVERYTHING. Especially on holiday! Those people who like to cut everything fine – I think you have to be a very certain type of personality for that to not stress you out

  2. A thousand times yes to this! I’ve found myself spinning my wheels and looking for those magic bullets for the past 6 months. Ugh. I finally stopped and asked myself – what are you doing? Where are you going? Get back to what you’re trying to accomplish, stop clouding up the waters with what everyone else is saying. I told myself just do you – what’s your next step.
    I’m loving this series Kelly – I feel less alone in what I’m struggling with right now.

    1. Post
      Author

      I’m so thrilled to hear that Michelle – helping people feel less alone is definitely what I was hoping this series would do!

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