One morning last week I happened upon a Facebook post by Liz Gilbert. I scrolled on and didn’t read it at the time, but the opening phrase stuck with me so I later went back to check on it.
As usual her thoughts are down-to-earth. She’s not really offering anything astoundingly insightful. No lightbulb moments or answers that will have us all feeling better about our lives or 2020.
In fact the phrase….
Do something different till better comes along
could be seen as a bit of a cop-out. Like the notion of merely biding our time.
But it’s not. It reminds me of one of Mark Manson’s mantras…. the “do SOMETHING principle”.
This has worked for me in the past. I might not be in the mood to write a book review, or exercise*. But I convince myself I’ll give it five or ten minutes. And next thing time has passed and I’m too invested to give up.
Here Gilbert is saying exactly that. If you’re stuck or hamstrung in some way; then try something else.
So it’s less akin to a holding pattern and more in line with: What you’ve done in the past hasn’t worked. Do. Something. Different.
I’ve talked in the past about not being good at knowing (or articulating) what I want, but knowing what I don’t want.
The big life decisions I’ve been making in recent years have certainly been evidence of that. It hasn’t always been easy. And the result hasn’t always been without issues. And while there are some things I wish I’d done differently they aren’t the things I regret. In fact, regret is diminishing as I move further and further from the path I envisaged for myself.
A lot of people suggest the ability to eschew the norm (worry less about what others think and be willing to take more risks) is something that grows with age. I was reminded during a sleepless night last night (though) of decisions I made when young (in my 20s), including that to go and volunteer overseas despite never having travelled out of the country (or even the State) before.
So I’ve been pondering if I have become more comfortable with uncertainty, risk or change as I age. I still worry about finances and all of the usual stuff, but—though I still wrap myself in self doubt—I’ve also been feeling an increased sense of freedom. A willingness to do something different. Unlike Elizabeth Gilbert though I’m not necessarily expecting something better to come along. Different is enough.
Do you relate to the “do something different” principle to get yourself out of a rut?
* Actually it’s a long time since I’ve done the exercise thing, but recall it used to work!
Image: Javier Allegue Barros via Unsplash