“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
— Ursula K. LeGuin
So here it is; a secret, simple and super effective state of mind that helps you go about your daily activities with purpose, passion and patience. The mind-set you are about to learn will allow you to relax at the right time, and be totally focused when needed. This is one of the most important Yin and Yang’s to master in one’s life;
~ The balanced ebb and flow between focused-purpose and relaxed-rejuvenation. ~
If you can be in one of those states at all times, while balancing your time between them, you will be damn happy, productive and healthy.
I am not one to waste time; in fact wasting time is one of the few things that really gets on my nerves. So you know what I’ve done? I’ve figured out how to go through life and not waste ANY time at all, BOOYAH! Super productiveness and happiness at its best.
For all you ADHD and visual people, skip to the bottom of this article to see the big picture.
My friends used to tell me “just wait till you have kids and a family and we’ll see how productive and relaxed you are then.” Ha ha, well, I have a beautiful family now, including a 10 year old, and NOTHING has changed in that arena. I am as productive as ever, and better yet, I am happier than ever.
How do I do it? Well, simple really; I make sure that whatever I’m doing has purpose, no matter what, and that I balance these purposes between journeys and destinations. Even if I’m stuck in traffic or waiting in line somewhere, I find some way to connect with myself, relax or just be in the moment and observe what life has to offer.
Why have purpose all the time? Because the other option is to sit in traffic or wait in line and be totally pissed off or frustrated and miss the subtle lessons that life is constantly providing for me. No thanks. Been there. Done that. I’ve learned and am ready to move on to constant self-improvement and awareness. And oh yeah, sometimes the purpose is to not have any purpose or destination whatsoever.
So why is purpose so important?? How about this?
|CORE VIRTUE||ACTIONS CREATED||PROTECTS AGAINST|
|Purpose||Diligence, enthusiasm, passion, excellence, focus, courage, commitment, confidence, determination, perseverance, valor…~This means that without purpose, the above are virtually impossible to obtain~||Cowardice, confusion, lethargy, apathy, fear, low self-esteem, depression, loneliness…|
For those of you who don’t like the structured sound of this and think it will interfere with your ability to be a free spirit, don’t worry, that is me too and this will only help you be freer than ever.
The purpose (I just can’t stop saying that word!) of this philosophy is to help you live in the moment and give you new and fresh perspectives on your daily activities that may otherwise seem mundane and annoying. For instance, what if you changed your outlook on grocery shopping and renamed it “gathering things to nurture myself and my family?” It’s the same damn thing, but now it has a purpose; to nurture.
Do you think hunters and gatherers ever thought “crap, I have to go out and hunt again, this sucks”? No, I doubt they did. They were masters of being in the moment and alternating between totally focused and totally relaxed.
Seems a little silly maybe, but this kind of perceptual shift can alter your state of being from “ugh, going shopping again” to being in the moment of 1) gratitude for being able to afford to go shopping, 2) enjoying the convenience to get basically whatever you need without having to kill it, milk it or harvest it and 3) feeling the love of nurturing your family and yourself. Can you imagine how differently you would be walking around the store? One is peaceful and the other is…well, not so peaceful.
Here is the most powerful way I use this philosophy…
Imagine that you are going for a walk with your loved one(s) after dinner, the weather is perfect, love is in the air, yet your mind is elsewhere on a deadline at work or a phone call you need to make or a person who annoyed you earlier or whatever it is, you just aren’t in the moment. This walk now becomes a wasted moment that you can’t ever get back. You can create new ones, but you can’t get this one back. Think for a second how many of those moments you have had….and we have all had.
This is where balancing your purposes helps you to create magic in your life. If you had set aside that time for an evening walk with the purpose of a rejuvenating journey, i.e. being in the moment with your loved one(s), then you would have received the magic of the moment, which could be a look, a feel, a sound, or the simple feeling of love and peace. These subtle little feelings are what feed your spirit and recharge every one of the trillions of cells in your physical body. Think of them as energetic nutrition.
Once this simple walk/journey with your loved one(s) is over, then you can go back to handling any business/destination that needs tending. And when you are doing that, you are in the moment of that task. And then you move on to the next thing, and the next, all the while being focused on what you are doing because you gave it purpose.
Sound exhausting? Quite the contrary, actually. Being in the moment, no matter what that moment is, allows the brain to be in a very efficient mode and focused on one thing at a time. This is much more beneficial to the body than trying to do or think about many things at once.
With a little practice you will master setting aside time for journeys and destinations while constantly transitioning from focused to relaxed throughout the entire day and week.
Below is how I balance my daily activities….Oh wait, I forgot one thing, the X-FACTOR. If you are not on a journey or do not have a destination, then you are wasting time. This is known as being stuck in the WASTELAND. Common traps to get caught are; T.V., not having a purpose, computers, video games, drugs, partying, etc.
This is not to say that these things are all bad. What it means is that if your goal is to improve yourself, yet you spend time watching T.V. instead of exercising, cooking nutritious meals, stretching, writing down goals, etc., then you are not balanced between purpose/destination and rejuvenation/journey. Once you are balanced, then you can enjoy such things, ideally with your friends and family so that they are “quality” rejuvenation times and not avoidance or wasted times.
Remember, if something is not improving your well being, it is taking away from it.
There is no neutrality in evolution.
IMPORTANT NOTE: perfection is not the goal here, enjoying the journey and learning from it is.
So here is what helps me balance my journeys and destinations. I encourage you to make a similar chart (keep the “Energies” the same and create your own “My’s”) so your vision and purpose are strong.
JOURNEY – YIN
Energies of the Journey
- In the moment
- What am I enjoying?
- Virtues to focus on; love, hope, gratitude, purity, forgiveness and prudence.
My Journey Components
- Family and friends
- Being in service to others
*All of these are focused on rejuvenating and nurturing me by being in the moment.
DESTINATION – YANG
Energies of the Destination
- Takes energy
- In the purpose
- What is my purpose?
- Virtues to focus on; purpose, temperance, humility and wonder.
My Destination Components
- Work/commute/emails – (focused on fulfilling my professional mission)
- Binge eating – (rewards)
- Shopping/cleaning – (focused on peace of mind and gratitude)
- Working out – (focused on health, strength and confidence)
- Computer – (focused on research and marketing)
- Research/writing/studying – (focused on fulfilling my professional mission)
WASTELAND – WASTE
Energies of the Wasteland
- Out of balance
- No value
My Wasteland Components
(things to beware of)
- Poor sleeping patterns
- Internet surfing
- Bad eating habits
- The 7 deadly sins
- Dwelling on the past
- Worrying about the future
- Comparing myself to others
- Alcohol abuse
- Judging others
- Anything else that takes me away from my journey and destinations.