“What do you want?”
Day one of a five day challenge.
OK? Next question…
“What do you *really* want — what’s the invisible voice behind your response to that first question saying?”
The example response for the first question was “I want more money”.
For the second it was “to be recognised” and “to escape the fear of needing”.
We’re now onto Weds and the third of five challenges for the week. Today’s target is to sit still for an hour, no distractions, no agenda.
You then write down what you thought and felt — articulate the ‘experience’.
I haven’t done it yet, and I’m not looking forward to it.
Time is precious
I’m unfamiliar with the simple discipline of being still.
There are many reasons for this, the strongest of which are a busy mind and the pressing awareness that time is precious.
Having a busy mind means I’m forever thinking up questions that must be researched and answered right now. The second is interesting, as it assumes sitting still, doing nothing, is a poor use of time.
Reflecting more deeply, perhaps the main reason I’m uncomfortable with sitting still is that it’s not a habit — it’s not part of my everyday life — I feel no need for it.
A friend once suggested our best ideas often occur when we’re doing nothing — when our brain is idle and we’re simply existing. I believe someone termed this ‘hammock time’ – the simple act of gazing up at the sky, letting thoughts wander.
If you’re anything like me, you’re used to filling every moment with doing something. The wonderful gift of technology plays a significant role in this, allowing us to attempt many things at the same time. For me, this typically plays out as:
- Jumping between multiple computer-based activities — today it’s email, video calls, project management tasks, writing and social platforms
- Walking whilst listening to a podcast or audio book
- Cooking whilst catching up on the latest drama or documentary
- Flitting between the TV, smartphone and a conversation I’m only half attentive to
It’s funny isn’t it, how the slip into new habits and ways of being happens slowly. Unlike falling asleep, there’s no ‘falling off a curb’ moment — it’s gradual and subtle, until a wake-up call happens and you realise how far you’ve shifted.
Time for change
Globally, more than ever before, we’re facing a critical juncture — a place where fundamental change is already happening and fundamental decisions need to be made. We cannot remain where we are and there’s certainly no going back. We’re at crisis point.
Rather than add to the noise here, I’ll recommend a podcast titled ‘Where Is My Mind’ by Niall Breslin (latest season available on Spotify). The most recent episode ‘The Great Realisation’ is more than worth a listen, especially the opening poem by Tomos Roberts.
Connections and conversations
We’ve all been having conversations about this stuff. For me, the subject of habits often comes up, especially how difficult it is to change them. We say we want change, but then we struggle to be part of that change ourselves — “old habits die hard” as the saying goes.
A change I’d love to see is a reimagining of virtual community — the way in which we communicate and interact online. But—you’ve guessed it—one of the biggest obstacles to seeing this happen will be the willingness of people to acknowledge and change their existing online habits.
For example, how many of us check social platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc) habitually throughout the day, with little conscious thought? How tough would it be to consciously reduce this, and how long before you no longer felt the urge?
Back to the challenge
Back to today’s challenge of sitting completely still with no external distractions for one whole hour.
I’m actively resisting this right now.
Maybe one day it will become a new ‘lifeline’ habit.
Especially for you…
I have a vision called MakeLifeClick, an invitation to reimagine online community together.
Rooted in the benefit mindset, we’ll connect around the more fundamental questions and challenges of life; things that typically go unspoken; things that stop us taking that extra, purpose-filled, step. Things like habits!
I’d love you—yes, you!—to join us, though the invitation comes with a warning…
You may be required to think about some of the everyday habits you currently have, and reflect upon how you could play your part in being the change we all want and need.
You can let me know you’re interested by visiting makelife.click (invite at foot of page) — the next update will go out on Friday this week.
Get in touch?
Fancy a coffee and a chat about people, purpose, vision, business ideas/opportunities and perhaps even life in general? Drop me a message — you never know, we may have a few things in common…