Overcoming BLOCK: How I Moved Past the Mental Musak

When I have a BLOCK, it’s like the mental equivalent of hold music. I know there’s something there that needs to get done, but there’s no voice talking me through it, there’s just infuriatingly cheerful musak playing, regularly broken by static. Today that mental musak was broken by an epiphany.

Today started well, very well in fact. Yes, I stayed up too late and woke up a little more tired than I’d like, but overall it had an amazing beginning. Despite that, once I had shared a leisurely carb-filled breakfast with the family, this wave of lazy hit me.

Now, by now you all know I am the list lady. I have a list for everything: groceries, priorities for my spare money, tasks for the day, professional and personal development priorities, even movies that I’d like to share with my partner. When I write a list, I also decide which things are most important. There is some flexibility in the order I do things if they are of equal import, but once I have decided a particular task is the most important, I don’t do anything else until it’s finished.

Today, as it has in the past, that became a problem.

I sat down to write a few blog posts, as I mentioned, and I had major writer’s block. I keep a list of things that inspire me, things I want to write about. I seriously stared at that list for at least 10 minutes. I tried to start writing to see if I could get in the swing of things. I tried taking a break. I tried making more coffee. For nearly 3 hours, I tried to force myself to write so I could move on to the rest of my list. Of course, the more I pushed myself, the more frustrated I became and inspiration moved farther and farther from my grasp.

Until… SMACK. I had this thought: “I can move on. I can finish the rest of my list instead of wasting my whole day waiting for inspiration to hit.”

This may seem simple to some of you, even obvious, but for me it was an epiphany. I accepted that I couldn’t get this thing done, and just get something done.

This isn’t how all of my blocks work, and I have other insight for other types of block, but when I really hit an immovable wall, accepting that I should do other things was an epiphany I needed to share with you all. I know the frustration that comes with that BLOCK, and if giving yourself the permission to move on for now can alleviate some of those icky feelings, please give yourself that permission!

Priorities should only ever help you be more successful, never make you less successful. Don’t let your priorities stop you in your tracks.

Do you experience BLOCKS like this? If so, how have you moved past them?


On the Uninspired Days

leaves-smallRemember, every great musical piece uses the pauses and the notes to equal effect. If there were no pauses, a symphony would just be raucous noise.

As someone that regularly practices my leadership skills, it was particularly distressing for me early on in this journey if I had days where taking a break was the most important thing. Thankfully, I have come to embrace these times as a necessary part of my journey.

Even in these times, I am acting as a leader by setting the example of healthy priorities for those around me and by doing what’s necessary to care for myself. Everyone needs a break, everyone needs to have fun and relax in order to get through the rougher parts of life. This week the break was about taking a pause from constantly working towards a better me and just embracing who I am RIGHT NOW. Continue reading

On What Drives Us

Please do not copy! This is original work by the author.According to the latest research in motivation science, what drives us is a combination of three types of motivators. In my opinion, the easiest to understand synthesis of resarch in this area is Daniel H. Pink’s Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us.

No one has put my feelings on this subject into better words than Pink. He separates motivation into: Motivation 1.0 – basic human needs, Motivation 2.0 – the carrot and the stick, and what he dubs Motivation 3.0 – a desire to direct our own lives. Motivation 3.0 is made up of a combination of:

Continue reading

On Finding Passion – Be Brave, Don’t Be Stupid

leaves-smallIgnore what everyone else needs, what’s practical, and what’s coming tomorrow. Set it aside and think long and hard about what makes you feel alive. Only once you’ve found it should you worry about how to make it work. It won’t be easy, but you will make it work because it will bring you joy that far outweighs the difficulty of making it happen.

Now, bear with me. I do know that you can’t just throw out everything practical and chase a dream that may or may not make you a living. This post is just about FINDING your passion(s), you can come back down to earth and figure out how those things fit into your life, whether personally or professionally, after you know what your passions are. Continue reading

On Passion

leaves-smallPassion is a fire that burns deep in you; its light shines through your eyes and the warmth of it emanates from you in every interaction.

One of the easiest ways to inspire others is to be inspired yourself, to have passion about the thing at hand. This is especially true in discussions about goal-building or vision setting, but it’s something that will shine through on a daily basis around the things most important to you. Now, I have found that I am a highly passionate person, and for me it is easy to find new passion around a subject whether I’m intending to or not. I am also aware that the identification of passions is not so easy for some other people so I will address both types of people, but first, let’s define passion so we’re all talking about the same thing. If you use a different word to describe the definition below, that’s fine, but know that when I say passion what I mean is the following. Continue reading