“The gap is too big. I can’t see the path. I don’t see how it all fits together. Maybe I am making a mistake. I don’t really want it anyway. It doesn’t matter if I do or I don’t. The outcome isn’t important. It’s fine if it doesn’t happen”
These are some thoughts I pulled out (or rather they spilled out). They were things I was thinking when I was feeling a bit low a few days back, and I finally got around to processing them.
I’m going after something really big. Perhaps some people don’t have to convince themselves that they can in fact do big things. At one point, it seemed obvious to me that I could too. But life has a way of making you… tired.
Kids, jobs, responsibilities, a constant buzzing stream of distractions and little things. Do you really want to put in another effort to get that one thing done today that might make a difference? Maybe it _can_ wait until tomorrow. Maybe you can wait until you’re in a less busy season of your life. Besides, you’re going to die anyway, and you can’t take it with you.
The problem with thoughts like these is not that they’re false. It’s that they’re not very constructive.
Yes, things can wait, but if you are in the habit of always waiting, then you will also be in the habit of not doing a whole lot.
You are busy, and you are tired, but you’ll always be busy and tired – even more so if you aren’t doing anything to change your situation that’s making you quite this busy and tired.
I wanted to share some of the very short applications of The Work that I did on these thoughts. I didn’t do all of The Work on all of these thoughts because (surprise) none of these thoughts are strictly true, and I didn’t have all day… And for your sake, dear reader, I skipped most of this because it was a bit repetitive (even for me).
“The gap is too big for me” ← the original thought (slightly expanded). Now, turnarounds.
“The gap is not too big for me”
“I am too big for the gap”
“The gap is too small for me”
“The gap is the right size for me”
Who am I with that thought? Discouraged. Daunted. Inactive. Inert.
Who am I without that thought? Curious, playful, possible.
“I can’t see the path”
“I can see the path”
“The path can’t see me”
“I know the path”
Who am I with that thought? Uncertain, unmoving.
Without it? Exploring
“Maybe I am making a mistake”
“Maybe I am not making a mistake”
“Maybe a mistake is making me”
“Maybe I am exactly right.”
“Maybe a mistake is making me” This is a good one! Are my mistakes building me? Are they making me into something new? How exciting!
What to think instead? What are some better beliefs? A better narrative?
Here’s what I came up with.
“I would like this outcome. I am willing to work creatively to get it. If I move, the Lord will direct me. The outcome is important to me. It matters to me that I really try and really commit to getting there. I can find or make a path, and big gaps are just a lot of little gaps. It would matter if it happened, and it would be good if I succeeded.”
These sentences don’t exactly contain earth-shaking profundity. But what is profound is recognizing you can just think something else. And I have decided that when confronted with choosing between stultifying, discouraging thoughts and inspiring, encouraging thoughts, that I will choose the latter.
Our goal is not to have an easy life. It is to see how much life we can have. I want to choose a perspective that drives action.