Sometimes we get stuck in the overwhelm of life. There are simply too many projects, too many things to do, too many people clamoring for our attention, and too much information. We aren’t at all sure on what we should do next, and so we retreat to the comparative peace and quiet of a game of Solitaire on our computer, or we check our email yet again, or we head to the refrigerator.
When we find ourselves taking the long way home to avoid dealing with the snarl that appears to be our life, we need to stop. Instead of avoiding the tumult, we need to dive in, looking for that one loose end that will unravel the mess and lead us to our goals. Sounds too easy, eh? It really is.
When you come to a stuck spot and you are baffled as to what to do next, or you are tempted to run away and hide in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey, ask yourself this question:
What is the one thing I could do today to move myself forward?
Sometimes the answer is a big task – “Buy a ticket to the $1000 conference.” But most of the time, it’s something very simple: Make the phone call, buy the book, answer the email. In fact, the answer is often so simple that we’ve discounted its power, which is why we’ve been feeling lost. Just like with a knot in a rope, sometimes it just takes a bit of wiggle room to make the whole thing loosen and come free.
Remember, you’re not looking for the grand gestures or huge movements (“I need to sell my house and move to Idaho”); you’re looking for one thing you can start and accomplish TODAY that will let you make progress. Often, it’s something you knew you needed to do but were avoiding; other times, it’s something you hadn’t realized was holding up the works. In either case, identify it, write it down, and make it happen.
If all you did was ask yourself this question day after day, and then take action on the answers, you’d soon find yourself closer to your goals than you ever imagined.