Could, should, must!

crisisheaderCould, should, must !
I have a large tender to complete. I have known about the deadline date for some weeks. I have completed the necessary research, sought advice from colleagues, connected with relevant social groups and completed a complete draft proposal document.
But . . . I have not completed the formal documentation. I MUST do this today.

In fact, I have been telling myself that I MUST do more. I must do more research. I must start it today. I must talk to Mr X, I must get it done. Now.
I have spent much of the last decade balancing my life, time and energy. I am far more discerning about how and how much of these elements occupy my time each day. In general terms I wait for the right muse (or mood if you prefer).I have a muse for writing, a different one for reading (research) another muse is better at organisation and structure, another still at thinking. The muse for ‘doing nothing’ is most evasive!

But . . . and there is usually a ‘but, there is always a spectre lurking in the shadows. The spectre of ‘must’. Considering just when to attack the tender with commitment and zeal, I have been wrestling this spectre once again. I do not have to do it. I want to do it but it is NOT a must. It is a ‘won’t I feel good when it is done’. Considering the following journal entry from my travails with Dr Deepak Chopra, maybe I have made progress. I do not ‘musterbate’ anything like as much as I used to. And feel more peaceful and balanced because of it.

Day 205 How often do you musterbate?
I have both a confession and a commitment to make.
My confession: that despite my many readings, listening to, course attending and writing I have still yet to fully immerse myself in practicing what I preach. I know. Shocking isn’t it?!
My commitment: to do just that!

As usual, being human with all it’s inherent insecurities, paranoia and reservations, I will temper this commitment with a ‘but’. But, I will not must-erbate about it. By this, I hope you understand, I mean not to burden myself with too many ‘musts’. I know that I want to apply these principles. I very much suspect that they will improve me on many levels. I will try to adhere to the program but I will not ‘must’ everything that I plan to do. I came across (pardon the pun!) the word ‘musterbate’ just last week on an NLP course with friend and expert Kath Temple. She explained many NLP principles in an eminently accessible way and supported her teachings with scientific research and case studies. All good for my logical, ‘prove it’ mentality. Yet it was the section on musterbating that caught my attention; partly because of the ‘Carry On NLP-ing’ play on words and partly because it resonated significantly with me. I frequently musterbate, procrastinate and then vegetate. Quite frankly, it does my head in!

I cannot necessarily reduce my workload, there are huge developments ongoing in my business ventures and some short-term investment should start to yield results very shortly. I try to not procrastinate and, truth be told, I am better at doing this. Next on the hit list, excessive musterbation. If everything that we set ourselves to do is a ‘must’ then it seems to me that we are inherently introducing pressure and stress because:

– we cannot possibly do everything, so potential disappointment beckons;
– we are not prioritising effectively, so unnecessary tasks get done with the same zeal (or lack of it) than the necessary, or worse, the inspirational, ones;
– time management goes out of the window, with the respective impacts on work/life balance, relationships etc;
– frustration reigns, efficiency drops, effectiveness reduces;
– the joy of the creative and inspiring activities gets lost in the melee;
– life becomes a trial of force, a battle to be won.

I am pretty convinced that life should not be like that.
So, a re-commitment with full responsibility is in order. Responsibility for doing not just talking and responsibility for NOT musterbating. I know myself enough not to set absolute goals. You may think that this method introduces an element of built-in failure but we are all different. For example, I do not say to myself that ‘I must lose 10lbs’ because I know myself well enough to know the repercussions if I do not – strops, sulks and verbal flagellation being typical reactions! What I do, and will apply to this particular issue, is say something along the lines of ‘I will feel better if I drop a few pounds; 10 would be great.’

I have not been a total hypocrite, however. I have changed many of my thoughts and actions and am seriously better at mood swing management. I do not judge, or at least stop myself immediately that I spot myself so doing. I give as and when I can. I am even better at receiving. So where does my frustration lie? In meditating, in detaching (chapter to come!!!) and in ‘believing’ which I guess is a bit of an insult to the universe! I will be responsible for more meditating and less muster-bating. Too much musterbating make us blind (I am sure you have heard that somewhere before!?). Blind to what we do actually achieve, blind to our little successes on the way, blind to the beauty of the world, blind to others.
So, a commitment to commit and no musterbating about it. This is what I want to do not what I MUST do. I am sure that you have opinions on this subject. I am glad, us all being the same would make it a tedious, uninspiring world, but I need not defend my own personal approach (or so Dr Chopra advises). I will, of course, update my progress.

Take care, don’t blind yourself by too much musterbation.

 

More excerpts next month in the3rdimagazine.
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