What a week! Like so many of you, I began my week with a long “to do” list, and found myself wondering what happened to the lazy days of summer?!
Our days are filled with things that need to get done, and projects that we’ve committed to doing. While having a full plate can certainly be a good indicator that we are making a difference and experiencing success, it’s important to also create the time to “zoom out” and look at the bigger picture.
As someone who is a great multi-tasker and a new solo-preneur who wants to over-deliver for my clients, and who experiences joy when my clients succeed, developing this skill for me is definitely a work in progress. Yet over the years, I’ve learned it’s critical to step back every so often to ensure we are indeed spending our time doing what will have the most impact, and ideally the impact we are meant to achieve.
Because, if you don’t…who will?!
Here’s something from the brilliant author Stephen Pressfield that I continue to find inspirational when it comes to making sure we are doing the work we are meant to be doing in the world.
When you read this passage from The War of Art, substitute what you do for the word “writer” if that word doesn’t apply to you.
The Artist’s Life
an excerpt from Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art
Are you born a writer? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end the questions can only be answered by action.
Do it or don’t do it.
It may help to think of it this way. If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don’t do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself. You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet.
You shame the angels who watch over you and you spite the Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter farther along its path back to God.
Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.
I think of “creative work” in the broadest sense.
- When an Executive Director enrolls and engages others by telling a story with a budget, or connects their organization’s impact to a special donor who shares those values – that is Creative Work.
- When a parent offers a child the opportunity to make an empowered choice with a keen awareness of the consequences – that is Creative Work.
- The way you choose to conduct a meeting or lead a team is Creative Work.
When you do what you do, in that unique way in which you do it, with your unique viewpoint, and with the meaning you give it, you create a ripple effect. Some people call this living in your purpose. And therefore, it is your responsibility to create the causes and conditions for it to occur.
SO! Go look at your “To Do” list. Look at how you move through your days. Look at what projects you take on. Look at what organizations you choose to work for, and what relationships you choose to cultivate…
And please – make SURE that what you are doing today, and every day, is creating the possibility for you (and your organization) to have the impact you are meant to achieve.
Give us what you’ve got! The world is counting on you.
To your success,