What do we try to do whenever something huge becomes overwhelming?
Well, we usually focus on 'littler' milestones. We take a more manageable approach. We search for division; and we conquer in a series, such that many attainable tasks should offer energy toward our quest for the end game.
I think it was Mark Manson who wrote about action being both the cause and effect of motivation? Yes. Yes, it was. And - Yes! It sure is! I believe this truth is one of the reasons that chipping away at things is such a valid approach to our lives. It's the 'do-something' principle. A few, in fact, have authored books on it. (BTW, if you haven’t yet read Mark's most recent: ‘The Subtle Art. . . ‘ – try to conquer that one pretty soon. It’s entirely life-changing.)
Now – I’m goin’ about the process, checking-off self-assignments, feelin' GREAT about what lies ahead. . .until I met my first setback:
Like, an entire day’s worth of regret, rumination, and ultimately self-doubt.
I sold $3000 worth of super-awesome bicycle stuff for $450.
Oh. . .
Man. . .
Did I ?!?!?
I let the buyer smell my 'desperation' and then I just rolled over. It was such a whirlwind transaction that I even stood there in a stupor for a minute - questioning his sense of embarrassment, and my own faith in humanity; especially considering the discussion we’d just had about my ‘upcoming journey’. God, I felt small. . .anything but GREAT.
I laid awake that night searching for solace. And, I tried to remember if The Minimalists taught me anything about seller’s remorse. I couldn’t recall any specific excerpts, so I formulated my own theory on the topic. (Ryan, Josh – please chime-in if you think I could still benefit from some coaching on this one!)
A 30,000-foot view kinda scratched its way into my conscious before lights out; and then came the early morning - for an Estate Sale ‘Party’, as I now call it. (Thanks, Ryan!)
Sleepy times. Coffee. Moonlit setup. Freshly 'littered' driveway. Sun rising. My entire life for sale. Calm before the storm. And - a recurring, shameful attention to my actions of the previous day.
Then I wondered – why was I beating myself up over such a 'small bite'? Why was I doubting another victory on this amazing path of mine?
I put away my magnifying glass. .answered those 'whys'. . .and thought about my ultimate goal, realizing how thrilled/thankful I am to be experiencing the piecemeal affairs leading up to it.
Here - my big picture brought me gratitude. Gratitude brought me levity. Levity allowed me to return to the present - a new effort, towards the same end; and I was gonna be damned if I couldn’t be positive about it. More importantly, I had long since promised to embody excitement about my life; and I needed everyone in this day to feel that. I needed them to see it. To understand it:
Nine hours later - call it a success! A triumph which may not have been possible without a clear mind and a free heart. . .
I guess the moral of the story, for all who struggle a bit as they part with their ‘things’ – is to try stepping out of the episode . . .to remember the commitment that pervades. . .to consider not the details, but the inspiration found in sequential steps - and the value in the final, assembled result.
In keeping progress - we emphasize events.
Though, when it comes to keeping our focus - sometimes, actually, it IS IN the big picture.