“Did I achieve anything today?” As soon as I asked myself that last night, I promised I would not ask it again for a while. If you are getting immediate gratification and payback all the time, could it be that you are missing out on long term integrity and growth?
In my new and unfamiliar setup of no job, no office, no defined plan of action, I can unsettle myself if I start thinking in terms of daily achievement. It’s more difficult to be obviously productive with no clients or colleagues, and the habitual fixation on ’getting stuff done’ runs deep.
But thankfully, an artist I recently got to know suggested that things that are more productive in the long term are often less productive in the short term.
Maybe there’s important but less noticeable groundwork that’s required for a meaningful journey, that gives you the necessary sure footing and clarity to enable you, in time, to accelerate. For example, reading a rousing article, having a thought-provoking conversation, or just having gone for a wander (when you should have been working!) could have been the most important bit of your day if an idea is imperceptibly percolating as a result – you might just not realise yet.
Right, this needs a bit of science, so I have invented a graph. It’s an S-curve approaching an asymptote:
Suddenly this all feels more convincing. But that’s me, way over to the left, unfortunately.
I believe too much obsessive ACHIEVING can limit a person’s view of what is really achievable.
So I am delighted to have achieved nothing today – it’s a great sign.
I have come to experience that reinventing oneself feels or might actually be ultimately harder than achieving. Why? I think we have been raised to conform so only few dare to rock the boat! So I can only hope that your example will inspire many more to follow their hearts and do what is right for them, their family and most importantly their kids.
Thanks Antje. I have several books on the subject you mention there – on what kids are really taught in school. They are currently in a small pile next to my bed. I intend to devour them in the next few weeks, after which I will be able to have an intelligent conversation with you I hope!