This is a Talking Typewriter Production – Which means this video has also been turned into text. So…you can read this video below or you may watch the video itself, above. It’s the same stuff. It’s your choice.
Today, we’re going to concentrate on information from our insight series, series of information and videos on observations and things to know about being stuck and getting unstuck.
The deeper reasons we don’t work mainly come from the unconscious. They come from a place we don’t know much about. They come up in an unexpected sort of way. We don’t know that they’re even happening frequently. They come from more of a visceral place, a place of feelings, a place from our heart that really set us up to either move towards something or in this case we go in sort of the default stance of automatic avoidance.
The thought comes up, an idea comes up about doing our work or an idea, and from our depths from outside of our normal conscious reach, comes an avoidance saying don’t go there or pull away or wait.
We begin with The Comfort Watcher. The Comfort Watcher is something I haven’t heard other people discuss, but I certainly have seen within myself and with other people. The Comfort Watcher I think is there to keep us within our boundaries, boundaries that are familiar to us. It’s constantly observing. Any time we step or start to push those boundaries or step just beyond those boundaries, the Comfort Watcher wakes up and starts to hit us with all sorts of logical arguments of why we can stop going beyond those boundaries or how we can pull back or how we can reassess and come up with new goals that there really isn’t any need to push those boundaries.
Perfect example when outrunning, and these set up the next step sort of goal for myself, nothing too far-reaching but the next logical goal for myself. While I’m doing that frequently, the Comfort Watcher comes alive and starts giving me persuasive arguments of why I’ve done enough for that day or is this safe or aren’t I feeling so uncomfortable or this is so odd, it’s time to stop or I can come back tomorrow or I can just stop and no one is going to know. I don’t have to tell anybody since it was a personal goal. Here’s been so many logical reasons to pullback and to stop. Comfort Watcher can come up and keep us from doing our work.
Another part of us is just ready to come alive is what I call the Inflator. The Inflator immediately reacts as though something is very large, it’s huge, and usually clicks in. I think when we’re looking at something it’s unknown or something we haven’t looked at for a while, suddenly it’s very big, it’s overwhelming, it’s so big. How do we tackle this? It just balloons up faster than we have a chance to really say what’s involved here or what can I bring from my past or what resources can I bring to this to bring it down to size, but it gets blown up and that big can be scary, and we’re going pull back.
Just as the Inflator can make things big in a matter of split-second, the Overwhelmer can do the same thing. Thinking my god there are so many details, where would I begin, there are just too many going that direction, this direction. There’s too much to know. It’s too much to figure out. It’s just too, too much, and we’re overwhelmed. When we’re overwhelmed, the human psyche, the mind does not like that at all. It’s threatening, it’s confusing. Above all, it just splits us apart. We just don’t know where to turn first or next.
At times, there’s something within us that isn’t ready for any movement or any movement beyond what we’ve already done, and when we approach it with a new idea or a new request or a goal, it just cannot start moving and it sounds like hard work even though we may have done it before, even though we may want to do it. The immediate visceral response, this is hard, maybe it’s too hard. I’m not ready to move. I don’t want to move. Moving is beyond my imagination at the moment.
I gave at the office attitude or stance beings, “Look I’ve done everything that people were expecting of me or that I’ve promised people or what I can do within a typical day. I made it to work. I made hundreds of things happen at work. I finished up. I’ve done this and this. Day is over. The day is finished.” Now, that is a personal contract. It’s not unusual, but we make sort of unconscious personal contract that may say, “You know once dinner is done, that’s it folks. Nothing more is going to happen” or some other line of demarcation that we have established saying, “Nothing happens beyond this point or only things I feel like doing that I’m up for happens beyond this point. Period.”
99% of us 99% of the time will have to change to be able to do our work. We will have to find ways that we are moving at the pace of our work. There’s lots that we can’t rush. Some things are highly complex. We need to change to fit it. If we can’t do that, if we can’t be malleable, then we’re not going to work.
Of course, we need to make some comparisons of how other people have done things, how well other people have done things, how they approach something, but a lot of us get locked into over-comparing that we can’t really get beyond comparing. Sometimes we compare ourselves as beginners against the most masterful people within our field. It’s illogical comparison. We have to get beyond that because self-comparison will slow us down. It’ll be too self referential always referring to ourselves, we can’t be free to open up, to be malleable, to learn about our project, to learn about our field.
We’re always looking over our shoulder or looking out of the corner of our eye of what other people are doing when a lot of the time we have to be here and now and focused on what we’re doing and focused on how we are doing it in the moment. Being locked in comparison doesn’t get us there. It doesn’t keep us focused and usually it keeps us down. It demotivates us. It discourages us.
Most of us want to take on projects we’ve never done before or not really clear to us or of a scale that we’ve never approached before or a frequency of turning out something much faster than we ever have before. We just don’t know all the details. The path is not clear because we haven’t been on the path before. If we don’t like that ambiguity, if it makes us totally uncomfortable, and we don’t like feeling that loss, that out of control, we’re not going to do work. We’re just not going to pick up our project. We’re going to pull away very fast.
Many of us have never followed paths that have not been well defined for us or maybe we’ve been given help or instructions to follow particular path that when we’re not following path that’s been given to us, default is to wander.
Some of us manage our time by chasing only those things that are urgent. The bill is due or is past due or the boss tells us something must be done, so it’s deadlines, it’s deadlines, immediate deadlines or deadlines right on horizon and everything else moves out of the way. Then, we’re going to overlook those things that are quiet, that are in the background. It’s on our list of things to do or within our calling or interest, but they don’t have the same urgency as other things do.
Some of those things that are urgent, maybe not that important but yet they’re ringing a bell saying pay attention to me, and we go ahead and get those things done whereas the quiet, important things that are not urgent always gets pushed away, always gets pushed to side. We never get to that sort of work.
It’s easy in the society to be attracted to that which is fast, but unfortunately or the reality is creative work is slow. It is slow to get this work started and to move through it and to understand what we’re doing and to know what the next step is and to really refine our technique. It is slow work compared to so many other things that we can do or we see other people doing or it’s shown to us in entertainment as being exciting and driven and fast.
Some people find that hard to come down to earth to travel at the snail’s pace, but that’s the reality of creative work, and speaking a reality, it’s dirty, you get your hands dirty. It is very finite, it’s very physical, it’s very mental, but it isn’t like the ideas up in the sky. It is one thing after another. It steps its goals. It’s one foot from another.
We need to accept whatever the realities are of work, but that can be hard if we like ideas, if we like staying in the sky, and we like flooding from here to there. To get our work done, there’s no flooding involved. It is focus. It’s concentration. It’s consistency. It’s here on the earth one step after another. If we’re not comfortable with that, we like the sky better than the earth, we’re not going to work.
Something I don’t see discussed in the literature about motivation or helping people be more creative or productive is addressing the issue of depression and anxiety. These are very real conditions and they take a heavy toll.
The idea or the notion that we can be highly creative and highly productive while we’re depressed or anxious, it’s a real challenge. It can be done, but such a heavy burden we carry when we’re facing depression or anxiety or both, so it shouldn’t be a showstopper. We should just recognize as a heavy burden to carry and perhaps and I strongly suggest that we give some energy and some time working with others to help us with our depression. See if there’s something we can do to lessen it, something we can do to contain it so that we have more energy and we’re freer to live a creative life.
We will avoid work, we will pull away from work if we’re simply too depleted to work, and it’s easy place to get into where we’re not spending enough time. We don’t really know what relaxation is. We don’t know what it means to recharge or to refresh ourselves, and we just keep going and we just keep going and keep going.
If we don’t know how to recharge or refresh ourselves, we won’t be able to have the replenished amount of energy that we need to be called to projects, to be called to productivity. They just won’t be there.
We all have negative people and negative experiences that we’ve had in the past or we currently have or will have. We have to watch our own negativity however, because negativity carry too far and too long. It starts to make us negative totally, and it closes off doors. We need to have the doors open for hope and for experimentation and for flexibility and for optimism and just being receptive. Those doors have to remain open for us to be drawn to our work and to continue to work.