The Secret to Success: Care Less?

{Etsy print by Art Problems}

{Etsy print by Art Problems}

I always believed if you work really hard and you really, really wanted something, you’ll get it. If I’m going to be honest, it’s how I’ve gotten everything I wanted or avoided what I didn’t want. It’s how I’ve accomplished the big things like get my first copywriting job with no prior experience and get out of things-paying tickets/admission/etc.

Besides that, it just makes sense.

Hard work = big pay off.

But there’s another important ingredient in the recipe of success that I often forget and that’s much harder than any time you put into working.

Doing. Nothing.

It’s something I don’t do enough of. I actually created a challenge for myself and you guys to do more by doing less in 2011. I can’t believe it was 3 years ago! It’s still an important reminder.

You can only do so much before you reach that point where you’re either going to burn out or become ineffective.

During moments when I’m feeling desperate like I’m trying to force something to happen, I take a breather. If you’re like me, you’ll need a little push to do nothing.

Nothing, after all, feels like failure. It feels like laziness. It feels unproductive.

But when we give ourselves time to sit and stare off in space, to read a book just for the fun of it, to draw even if our scrawls resemble our child’s, we open the door to inspiration. And in that place, life rewards us with the thing(s) we really needed anyway. So let this be your excuse to play.

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What’s Vital to the Success of Your Dreams

Every day a million dreams are dispersed around the world. I like to think of them as seeds awaiting their potential, having faith in nothing, but the wind to carry them far and love to embed them deep.

Think of a dandelion with all of its individual seeds. If it sits safe, it will never grow. Taking that risk and flying in the wind it could be eaten, it could disintegrate. But if it never left, it would perish anyway.

This weekend I went to a Buddhist Retreat where I remembered the price we pay when we forget to breathe.

In an attempt to make something of your life, you work against time, you fight your competition, you struggle with any obstacle that confronts your path. But at what cost?

How many times have I made that mistake? How many times have I forgotten and had to be reminded that the price I pay for overworking myself isn’t worth the sacrifice?

It’s one thing to work hard towards your goal. It is quite another to work hard regardless of your health, your relationships, your livelihood. I must continually remind myself that I am only responsible for myself, that the only goal in my life is to be happy, that my life will not be more meaningful based on the job I have, the house I don’t own, the book I didn’t finish yet. But how much I’ve given to others and most importantly myself.

Right now you may be throwing yourself in your latest endeavor. And you are proud of what you’ve accomplished and excited about the prospect of finishing it. And that’s good. We all need dreams. But remember that the risk of not doing, the risk of having faith that the wind will carry you through is also necessary.

It’s not just all that you do, but it’s giving yourself time to not do that is important.

You will never finish that book or complete that daunting task unless you put away that computer, turn off that phone and sit and be for awhile. So do it. Do it and be comforted in knowing that your life will be waiting for you when you return.

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