I ve been trying to resist the urge to make a plan for the upcoming 5 weeks.
Should I focus on publishing my books like a mad woman? Especially since I ll probably take on a regular job soon, after being an entrepreneur for 20 years.
I don’t want to leave those books unfinished, clogging up my mental bandwidth.
I want them done.
But on the other hand… I do want to stay in touch with my new coaching business. I don’t want to drop that now because I m in over my head on my books. And then keep on dropping it because I m in over my head on a new job.
Speaking of which, exactly how badly do I want a job?
When my coaching business takes off, shouldn’t I consider doing that full-time?
Instead of squeezing it in after work?
Because in that case, I should definitely prioritize messaging and blogging for my coaching business!!
But here’s the deal, and this is such great news for everybody not knowing what to prioritize:
It’s not up to you and God can’t get on your calendar.
If I make a rational decision, draw a plan, and stick to it, there is no way I can register warning signs the Universe is giving me. Or more specifically:
I will register them, in the form of resistance, failure, a general sense of sluggishness of things just not being right.
But I will no longer be in the position to navigate around them, or interpret them properly.
Planning your route, in the form of:
Get shit done.
Eating two frogs before breakfast. (if you re familiar with that expression)
Means that you are connecting yourself to the how, to the path.
And this may seem like a good idea, but it comes at the expense of two things.
1. planning the how of your dreams, prevents you from seeing other unexpected ways to get there
Last weekend I made my first coaching sales page, which then resulted in me clearing out my basement, which then resulted in MASSIVE flow publishing my books, which I had been trying to achieve for over half a year, by all kinds of rewarding and disciplinary measures.
What I wanted (to publish my books) ultimately didn’t catch flight until I let it go, and did something completely unplanned.
2. planning the how of your dreams, prevents you from staying connected to the goal it’s supposed to be serving
Last year I had a brief period where I thought I wanted to start running. I bought shoes, made connections, made plans, did some running too.
Did not take flight.
Another example is how I toyed with the idea of doing local things. Become a speaker, interview people, that sort of thing.
A Dutch YouTube channel for this account LS Harteveld.
But no response.
Now I m happy those two things (running and becoming a local celebrity) didn’t work out.
But at the time, I was slightly embarrassed!
Because I wanted something, and I was enthusiastic, and then it just died out.
When in reality, it would be way more embarrassing if I had actually succeeded. If I had pushed it through.
The best things in life, are never planned.
The person you meet on the train, the hobby you pick up and spend hours on, without even noticing it.
The conversations with friends that go on for hours, and you lose track of time.
ALL those things, will NOT have a way of getting on your calendar if you’ve blocked it with things you already know, the things you value so deeply, and that you know you’re here for on this earth.
Or so you think.
I think it’s a Buddhist story, about a wise man illustrating to a new disciple a cup already full, and yet the wise man keeps pouring tea:
Illustrating that the wise man can’t put new knowledge into an overflowing mind.
The same way God, or the Universe cannot put new adventures, new life’s purposes on your calendar, if that thing is full.
Nor can he or she offer the right path to your dreams if you keep insisting it has to happen a specific way.
If you keep scanning the horizon for elephants, you could be missing one standing right next to you. Or if a gorilla jumps in your car, takes the wheel and drives off, you’ll be shouting: “Hey! Stop! We’re here to watch the elephants!”
Before I close this post (with the punchline lesson) I ll give you another example. A decade ago I was scanning a dating site. My best friend wondered why I was spending so much time on there. Perhaps there was some mild desperation in my scrolling.
“There could be a next Valentino in there!” I said.
Valentino was a gorgeous young man, about whom I wrote an entire book.
For me, the thought that I could be missing out on my new muse, was enough reason to keep mining through the entire database.
But my friend answered:
“If the next Valentino is in there, I m sure you would have noticed.”
Because that’s the thing:
If something really is important, it will reach you.
Yesterday, I introduced one of my keys to a better life:
Always eat the marshmallow.
Follow your desires, don’t postpone, just do it and feel that rush of energy and satisfaction. That deep fulfillment when you’re doing something your heart desires.
Because I have been guilty of toying with the idea of planning, Facebook keeps showing me these productivity planners. And one of them suggested labeling your daily activities with E energize. D, draining, and N neutralize.
Energy tracking combined with my observation that the best things in life are never planned, made me realize that planning really is a very dangerous way to go about life.
Instead of planning, just follow the “E”s: What energizes you.
Avoid the “D”s: What drains you. Even, and especially, if the D is something you think you have to do, because it’s how your dream is supposed to come to life.
Only follow the E’s, regardless of how far out they appear to be.
And don’t be surprised if God gives you what you want, through a totally unexpected scenic route. Or through the basement.
Or if he or she intervenes, and breaks off your plans to follow up on your dreams by refusing guidance and only bringing skeptics or negative experiences on your path.
Yesterday I wrote: Always eat the marshmallow.
And I referred to the experiment, where children who choose to not eat the marshmallow immediately, get a second one.
And the ones who eat it right away, don’t.
I said to always eat the marshmallow because life doesn’t work that way:
If you patiently wait within your relationship, or your job, you will not get a second marshmallow.
But secondly, and more importantly:
If you eat the first one, you’ll immediately see the next!
God will set out this trail, your path, walking from marshmallow to marshmallow.
From energizing activity, to energizing activity.
You don’t need to plan anything, you don’t need to E/D/N plan nor track your route.
God can’t get on your calendar and he can’t fill an already full cup.
In fact he or she is powerless to help you, if you are paying more attention to your agenda than to Life.
But he can show you the way:
Just follow the marshmallows.
Follow the marshmallows.
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coming soon: new books
1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2019
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4. Blote Kont- verhalen over mannen, macht en dagjes uit (Dutch)
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