Occasionally I feel inspired to begin a new project or try something unfamiliar. Oftentimes I charge blindly into it, fueled on the fumes of compulsivity. After awhile, I lose steam because the project becomes uninteresting either because I find no intrinsic value to completing it or the project doesn’t jibe with my personal philosophy in a major way.
I’m getting a little better at pausing before buying supplies or figuring out if it will fit within the budget of my disposable income. It’s becoming a bit easier to slow down and evaluate what steps will be needed to proceed, how much time it will require in order to satisfactorily complete the project or to maintain a good, new habit. Am I overlooking something important in my infatuation and haste to become involved in the project or behavioral “improvement”?
Like so many people, I’m vulnerable to “bright shiny object syndrome”. As I become acclimated to implementing the necessary requirements for a great project or personal change, another nifty project appears and tempts me to change my mental focus. When I was younger, I was more prone to starting one thing and jumping to another without finishing any of them, or half-heartedly completing one. It took a long time to acquire a modicum of control over this variety of “monkey mind”.
I finally began to realize that it is actually smart to strategically postpone certain activities in order to find out if the change is in accordance with my resources, my level of ambition, the ability to learn new skill-sets, and whether or not it is in alignment with my core values. This is not procrastination. It is serious analysis to help determine whether or not the new project or change is truly desirable or necessary.
If I determine to go ahead with the shiny new change, it will be after I assess how much discipline will be required, the level of physical strength and health is needed, how this will impact my emotional well-being, and whether or not the shiny new thing is necessary. When these major factors are in alignment, I’m in a good position to proceed confidently with sustained action. I will probably be able to undertake and continue with a healthy level of enthusiasm to empower progress.
Although I still might be distracted by other ideas and possibilities, it is becoming easier to remain focused on completing the prioritized task at hand. Knowing that I have given careful thought and consideration to maximize my efforts in a way that aligns with my overall life’s path and long-term goals. This focus enables me to complete the job before starting another one.
My favorite analogy in this respect is wheel alignment on a motor vehicle. When the wheels are aligned according to the car manufacturer’s recommended specifications, the vehicle requires less energy to move; travels down the road accurately; and does so by minimizing tire wear. When the wheels are accurately aligned, the vehicle is safe, efficient, and more pleasurable to drive. The same goes for having personal emotions, feelings, goals, thoughts, and values in balance. When our actions are in alignment with these aspects, we experience better quality, more satisfying living.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes billionaire industrialist and CEO of the Indian multinational conglomerate, Piramal Enterprises, Ajay Piramal. “I am humble enough to understand there are many people who know much more than I do on many subjects, so I listen to them. Integrity is also critical to leadership, so I believe there must always be alignment between what you think, say, and do.”