Let’s check in with ourselves…
Bored? Listless? Excited? Time starved? Ready to start the week?
I’ve been them all on any given Monday. There are those times I just want to crawl back in bed with zero desire to head out in the world and then there are the times where I simply can’t wait to get the day started.
How can one person vacillate between listlessness and excitability? In my humble opinion, it comes down to passion and focus. Just like we can choose to be happy regardless of our circumstances, we can also choose our focus/passion and where we spend our life force.
Life force – not some otherworldly phrase. I’m talking about the very essence of who you are and what makes you tick. As defined in the dictionary: the spirit or energy that animates living creatures; the soul. The force or influence that gives something its vitality or strength. You only have so much, making it imperative that you spend it wisely.
Let’s look at this parable:
Swordcrafter’s Parable by Robin Sharma
Many, many years ago, there was once a sword crafter, and he was known worldwide by his reputation for creating these swords that were genius level. People revered this man. He was the master crafts-person of sword people. He was BIW, he was best in the world at what he did.
One day there was a great king, and the great king had heard about this sword crafter, who was playing at Picasso level, and he said, “I must meet this man.” So the king’s people went out and found this sword crafter in a very small village, and they brought the sword crafter to meet the king. The sword crafter came in and he was very humble and he was very gentle. The king, in return, was also very gracious and welcoming.
Then the king asked the sword crafter his favorite question when he would meet a master. He said, “Sword crafter, what is the secret to your extraordinary excellence at what you do?” The sword crafter said, “Well it’s very simple, King.” He said, “Ever since I was a young child, I was exposed to the craft of making swords.” And he said, “I fell in love with it. It didn’t only speak to my head and my logic, it spoke to me at the deepest and soulful level. It spoke to my heart.” He said, “When I was a young child, I made a decision that I would be the master sword crafter.” So he said, “As I grew up, I read books on sword crafting, and if something did not relate to sword crafting, if it did not have the word sword in it, if it did not look like a sword, if it had nothing to do with the art of sword crafting, I did not spend my time with it. That is the secret of my mastery.”
The critical lesson of this parable is discovering passion AND applying focus.
Great – we know we need to be focused on our passions – how do we even begin?
Let’s start with time. To start this journey of self-discovery you’re gonna need to set time aside to, well, discover. It’ll most likely not be a linear process. It may also take longer than you anticipated – or maybe not, you may already know what makes your heart flutter. I suggest you find or purchase a blank journal (I’m fond of – The Mastery Journal) and commit to at least 10 minutes a day of dreaming and writing. No rules, just write your frustrations, your joys, ways you feel stuck, when you feel happy, etc. This is for your eyes only – don’t hold back.
And along with Time – Abandon social media and tv. It’s a tough one and you might not be able to go cold turkey – then cut back to certain times of the day. Social media is the largest time suck out there – with tv in a close second – and more and more studies are showing them as a cause of anxiety, depression, and boredom. Who needs that?
Be a Master. We simply can’t do it all. This is what I refer to as the Best Yes. Devote your life force to the things that really matter to you. Let’s go back to that journal. Take a moment and look at your day – jot down how you spent it and then analyze.
Maybe it looks like: went to work, kids game, home late.
And of course there will be days like this but maybe you ARE living your passion in this season. The job? Do you love it? Is it something you believe in and can grow with how you tick? The game? Some of my happiest memories as a young mom were my kid’s games. Why? Because I loved spending time with them. I loved seeing them learn new things. There was a greater purpose than the game itself. Home late. There is the trade off. I value meals at home and want to eat healthily. The drive thru is not conducive to those values. I’d have to take a look at that and figure out a solution.
Or maybe it looks like: went to work, watched tv all evening, snacked for dinner.
Pretty easy to see that life force slipping away due to inactivity. Unfortunately, most of us have to work – up to that last example, is it something we love and believe in? But the evenings are ALL ours! Families, hobbies, dreams, exercise, healthy living, giving back, etc.
I know these are simple examples and life is more complicated – I’d love to chat if you need someone to bounce ideas off of or just need some help getting started.
Be OBSESSIVE about how you are spending your time. We all have seasons where we are just surviving and sleepwalk through our days. But the majority of our days are wide open – let’s spend them passionately becoming masters.
Looking for a new journal? Want a jump start?
This Mastery Journal is a great companion on your discovery journey!
The legal stuff – I’ll never write nor promote a product I don’t believe in…with that said, this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission – we’re talking small – like less than a dollar – these small commissions simply help me finance this blog. Thanks for being here.