Yes, no, maybe so.
There’s a thing in NLP about outcome based actions, that what we do should be based on the outcome we desire.
But recently I found myself thinking about how it’s important to not be too attached to the way things turn out.
At least not to the point where you crash and burn when things don’t go to plan.
It’s an interesting balance between action and outcome.
Sometimes we do things we wouldn’t normally do in the hopes of getting what we want. Sometimes it works out in our favour and other times not so much.
I believe that your actions should be done in support of your desired outcome but you shouldn’t be so attached to the result that you’re disheartened if things don’t work out.
Because no matter how hard you try, wish and will, their is only one single factor that you can actually control.
There’s probably around 1-3 things that are priority but 101 things that you could be doing.
So of course you do the 101 things that aren’t particularly important and spend the day flitting between them all. But then later comes, the things you should have been doing are now even more urgent than they were earlier when you had more time.
You got so caught up in things of little significance that you barely have the energy left to do what actually needs to be done.
More often than not you’ll get it done but it won’t be as good as it could have been, not by a long shot.
Here are is one of the most useful questions I ask myself when deciding what’s important.
Does this thing matter in the grand scheme of life and death?
It might seem bleak or a little full on but sometimes we need something extreme to snap ourselves out of a cycle of unhelpful thinking. As someone that is prone to getting anxious I find that seemingly small things are amplified in my brain and I do genuinely feel as though they are life and death.
Asking the question above allows me to think more consciously and clearly. For example being rejected, failing an exam or having a crooked nose are all things that are easy to worry about but do not matter in the grand scheme of life and death.
The things you focus on and put your time and energy into are the things that grow and thrive. So if you decide to give more to how you feel about your crooked nose over focusing on the book you’ve always wanted to write, it’s your choice.
I was daydreaming a few weeks ago and I had this idea about what to do with all the thoughts whirling around in my mind.
Get a piece of paper.
Draw a line down the middle.
On one side write the title ‘things that matter.
On the other side write the title ‘things that don’t matter’
Write down the stuff on your mind into one of the 2 categories and then make a promise to yourself that you won’t allow the things that you know don’t matter to consume your time and energy.
For everything else on the other side, try and sort it out.
Maybe it’s bothering you that you haven’t spoken to a friend for a while so instead of just dwelling and probably making up a bunch of scenarios, just give them a call.
The point of the exercise is to be more practical with the things that are on your mind and to remind you that just because you keep thinking about something, it doesn’t make it important.