“I’m terrified,” a friend texted.
She’s growing her business, creating an event, and needed to write her marketing materials.
Right? Just freaking do it. There is so much to learn and experience and try in this life and it’s that doing, giving energy to the things we are curious about or compelled by, the things that we value and care about that adds meaning to our lives.And meaning? Well, that adds years to our life and increases well-being. We are happier and healthier when we do the things that matter to us, according to Michael Steger, director of the Center for Meaning and Purpose at Colorado State University.You see? It isn’t the sitting around talking about it for 4 years that adds the meaning. I know. Because I gave that a good try. I spent years talking about creating my podcast, Polly Campbell, Simply Said. Wrote notes about hypothetical episodes. Talked about the interviews and content. A lot of planning. But little doing.
Then, I just freaking did it. I signed up for a class, bought a mic and earphones, and launched the show in about three months. It isn’t perfect. And that almost kept me from creating it at all. But, it’s good and fun and I’ve learned so much. And here’s the clincher, it has been so fun and meaningful. I’ve heard from listeners that they like it too, downloads are tripling each month, and all of this feels good. Worthwhile. It’s been running almost two years now.
It’s the process that matters most. The doing. And that’s where we get stuck because the process is imperfect and messy and scary. We focus on the end-game, outcomes because that seems clearer than the muddle in the middle.
Think parenting. It no-kidding sucks at times, keeps us from sleeping at night, so we focus on how in the end, we’ll have a happy adult. Yet, it’s the raising the child that adds so much meaning and value to our lives.
Think about your job or volunteer efforts. These things take effort. Hard work. We don’t always want to do them. We have to confront heartache and fear and frustration. But, there is also purpose and meaning. Satisfaction. Resilience. The day-to-day doing is the payoff. The participating is where the satisfaction and vitality and inspiration and joy reside.
And it’s not hard all the time. We feel better when we get going. When we contribute and learn and grow. When we are a part of something. Making something. Because this is how we are wired, to engage and play and create and connect.
Life isn’t in the talking about. It isn’t in the planning. And perfection? Not an option. Life doesn’t work that way. Growth doesn’t work that way. This is why doing the thing that feels meaningful or important is also scary, because it matters and we want to get it right. And we won’t. Not every time out. And that will challenge us to keep going, try again.
When I was so stuck and frustrated, I decided to investigate and practice ways to recharge. Ways to get unstuck and enjoy my life again. What I learned has helped a lot during the pandemic. And I detail my story and the practices I used in my newest book, You, Recharged How to Beat Fatigue (mostly) Amp Up Your Energy (usually) and Enjoy Life Again (always). I hope you like it. I hope you use it. To get unstuck, to recharge, to find joy.
Because, as I’ve learned, it isn’t only the reading or the researching or the thinking and talking about life that inspires us, it’s the doing. It’s the living itself.
What will you freaking do today?