It's amazing the messages we encounter in daily life. We hear words like "hard work pays off." And it's true to some extent. Some grunt work may be necessary to accomplish what you want to create.
There are two issues with working hard (really hard) to accomplish what you want whether that's an income level, career benchmark, creative endeavor, etc.
1) You may be able to do the same thing (or better) if you let the process be fun, joyful, and easy
2) The majority of the time is spent on the journey...if you're miserable on the journey...well that's most of your life
Those of us who have the general tendency to be perfectionists, self-critical and/or achievement oriented, it may be an interesting question to ask, "what's your motivation?" Or, "how is this serving you?"
What are your underlying motivating fears, beliefs, and values that drive you to achieve or create results?
There is another approach to creating what you want. The path is the path of ease. We might squirm a little or immediately dismiss the idea that ease could help us manifest the job we want, the income level we want to attain, or the goal we want to accomplish. But, is it possible that being kind to ourselves and letting the process be fun could lead to what we want (or something better)?
The type of ease I'm talking about is an ease grounded in integrity, self-love, and leveraging your natural talents. It's not about taking short-cuts, avoiding confrontation, or being careless. It's about leveraging your strengths, tapping into your natural creative process, and dropping the inner critic (at times).
This talk of ease can start to sound abstract so let me give you a recent example of how I work with ease.
When I was planning the 2017 Earth Medicine Women's Gathering, it was the biggest endeavor that I have ever conducted. There were many (many) emails to write, important decisions to consider, and questions I needed to answer. I really wanted to create a beautiful, powerful experience for the participants and at times I was swimming in anxiety. I felt like there was no way out. Then I remembered Danielle LaPorte's question she asks in one of her books (Fire Starter Sessions), "how can I let this be easy?" Thus, I began to orient towards ease by brainstorming how this might look if it were easy.
My list looked something like this:
How might this be easy? How can I let this be easy?
-remembering why I'm doing this (to bring women together and make the world a better place)
-recognizing that I'm going to learn much through this whole process
-remembering that this is the first iteration of an annual event...the next event will build off what I learned from this one
-working in blocks of time (rather than all the time!)
-realizing I'm human
-realizing people can help me with things I'm not great at
-letting the daily tasks be fun (not everyone gets to put together a women's gathering!)
Reflecting on Ease in Your Life
The path of ease shows up in how we work, why we work, and the words we say to ourselves. If you'd like to explore this further, think of a specific area in your life that feels difficult, challenging, overwhelming, or tough, apply your situation to these questions for reflection:
-How can this be more fun, joyful, and even playful?
-Is there a way to view this situation less harshly? lighter? With a sense of humor?
-Is there a way I can tap into my strengths as I move through this task?
-Am I identifying with the outcome of the task? (we almost always are)
-Are there people I can hire, collaborate with, talk to, work with, who can make this easier?
-How can I be kinder to myself through this process?
-Is there something I need to forgive myself for to make this easier?