Goals in a Basket

Note:  This will be a longer post.

Hope everyone is doing as well as possible in the chaos of Covid if not winter in North America which seems to be particularly crazy in some places.

I’ve been keeping busy – working on current projects and also laying the foundation for one scheduled for late spring/early summer 2022 launch.  

There’s more work to do but so far so good in terms of bringing the vision to life.

That  doesn’t mean there haven’t been challenges.  

Challenges I expected.  Everything grinding to a crawl?

The process of laying that foundation exposed an issue I wasn’t aware of.  Thanks to the help of two friends I was able to ferret out what was going on and come up with a way to deal with it.  As it’s a challenge I think many may face in life I decided to share the details.

It may help.

It all started when I mentioned to a friend there was a career goal I hadn’t yet met. 

 I was pretty disillusioned about it.

In a reply she wrote:  “I don’t think I understand.  From where I am you …”

She went on to describe how she read the situation.

I’m very grateful to her for taking the time. It really helped me.

As I read the words I couldn’t help thinking how we may not see ourselves as others see us.  For me this is more that I don’t feel as others see me.

For an empath this wording is significant.  It definitely affected how I approached closing that gap.

To start I asked myself why I didn’t feel like the writer I appear to be.  

And am.

What was missing?

After a bit of introspection I decided that in spite of the fact I am prolific working on the couch in pajamas, it wasn’t sending the right message.

I’d tried remedying this situation before but the desks were always too big or too small.  Same with the chairs.  

As luck would have it my son found a desk and chair for himself that is the perfect size for me.  Using those measurements I found a desk and chair I liked, happily set it up in a place in the dining room that seemed the perfect location.

I take a variety of factors into consideration – the most important being – how does it feel?

After a short time, perfect as it seemed, I realized something was off. The space felt wrong. Too traditional. 

My inner vibe is urban loft.  

Having lived in one I drew on what elements I loved most to try to accent the space.

Without having it look ridiculous as the styles were different.

Turns out some of what I had in my room in high school fit perfectly.  Specifically, a Sad Cafe album cover that I always loved.  Aaron, who is good at hunting down vinyls in good condition, ordered it for me.  I framed it, set it on a very cool easel in the space.

I then added Martin Briley’s One Night With a Stranger.  I love that artwork too as it’s such a talking piece.

But something was still off.  So much so that my career efforts ground to a crawl.

At least they weren’t a halt – that would have really amped the stress.

About this time I heard from a friend who recently achieved a major life and career goal.  An engineer, he synthesized my frustrations in such a way I got the next piece in the puzzle.

The puzzle of Why is this happening?  Why don’t I feel like the writer I am?  

After all, I had my cool space.

At the same time he wrote of challenges he was dealing with.

Many were parallel to mine.

In writing a response I stumbled on the answer to my problem.

The Basket!

I explained it like this.  Let’s say we have a goal.  

We know what we want or who we want to be as a result of the goal. 

 Now let’s say we’ve been given a basket to use to attain the goal.  In it are the following items:

  • Items to help
  • Items to block
  • Items others added

I decided to focus primarily on the first two, paying particular attention to the block.  Why didn’t I feel the way people saw me?

It isn’t that other people’s opinions matter more.  The way my friend laid things out it made it seem I was closer to that career goal than I realized.  That made me ask how come?  How come I didn’t see it that way?  

I went to a pub I prefer for occasional working lunches and listed items in my basket into a file.

The two types of items.

I listed what is working, followed with what is a block, and then listed actions I could take to address the blocks.

It wasn’t just getting rid of them, it was addressing them.  Resolving the situation may not be “getting rid of.”  Semantics but important, I think.

 I invited Aaron up to go over everything.  After much discussion it became evident the work space I made for myself wasn’t doing it.

It didn’t feel professional which meant I didn’t feel professional.

He listened while I outlined what was off about the space and offered a couple of suggestions.  They seemed a lot of effort for something that might not work so I tried to think of something to try first.  

In lieu of adjusting the space, I mentioned moving the desk yet again. Liking the idea he pointed out the benefits of putting it in a certain location.  While I agreed on moving the desk, I hesitated on the area he thought ideal. I’d tried it before – twice.

After turning it over I saw that those other two times were with pieces of furniture that did not fit my needs.

A table and chair that were too big and another setup – a lap desk and chair that didn’t provide the right support.

I was also ambivalent about the specific part of the room Aaron suggested. I worried it would make me feel as if I’d been shoved into a corner, an afterthought.

Not a good career message

But it was simple enough to try so I went ahead and moved the desk and chair. 

As I told Aaron, I’m an Occam’s Razor kind of gal – the simplest solution is often the best.

Turns out not only did the new room work the location he suggested is perfect.

The exact vibe I needed!

I moved the accents to the new space and went to work.

There’s More.

While all this went to address the issue I was focusing on – one of the blocks – it’s only part of the process.  There are other blocks I’ll need to address and I may lack a few things that I need in that basket.

Things that will help me move closer to the goal.

Anddddd 

There’s that third item.  

It Ain’t Mine!  There are things in the basket I didn’t put in.

Things that won’t help me.

  • Who/What someone else thinks I should do/be
  • Dramas that aren’t mine
  •  Burdens that are not mine to carry.

These are things that need to be dealt with.

Usually return to sender works.

All that Clutter!

Another problem – for me – is that I put so many “helpful” things into the basket it had become cluttered.  So much so, as a matter of fact, I couldn’t see the blocks, let alone have the space or energy to deal with them.

Some of the clutter came from books I own.

Books on Goals, Visualization, Law of Attraction.

Yes, these books are filled with good information.  Helpful, even.  But that wasn’t where my energy should have been spent.

I was likely unconsciously avoiding dealing with a block or two by busying myself with these books.

I thinned out the collection and deleted other books that were taking visual space.

More organized and less cluttered translates – for me – to less stress.

And now?

There’s more to do but I have no doubt I am closer to the particular career goal I’m working on.

Anddd

I have a valid tool in my arsenal to address areas of my life that may need cleaning up.

I hope sharing this story helps others.

I am grateful to my friends for taking the time to share their feelings with me.

Be well!