It’s inevitable, the holidays race past, the year comes to a close and we’re faced with committing to another set of New Year’s Resolutions…or not!
Sure, I’ve played the game many years, and it’s usually the same ol’ schtick. Hit the gym three times a week. Get more organized. Spend more time with family. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Well, this time I’m bucking the trend! Rather than adding more intentions to my already endless “to do” list, I’m kicking things to the curb. Here’s my top ten:
1) The Chase: Catch ya later.
You know what I mean. The endless pursuit. The race to the finish that constantly changes direction. The Chase drives our adrenaline, sends our hearts a-flutter, and soon, the anticipation of it’s twin “The Catch” becomes an addiction. It’s an alluring promise that steers us off course then seductively winks at us in its rear view mirror. Then, before you know it, BAM! You slam straight into a brick wall. I’ve let go of that elusive “Pursuit of Happiness” and learned to appreciate what’s right in front of me: LOVE, leading the way.
2) The Too Muchness: Not gonna miss you.
…And its nefarious flip side called The Not Enoughness. Yup, both have to go. Too much clutter, not enough space. Too much to do, not enough time. Too much stimulation, not enough freedom. These twins of judgement and conditioning are no longer permitted in my home. They feed off self-worthiness and smother creativity. No thanks, I’m already enough.
3) The Fault Finding: Take a hike!
We already know we are each faulted to the core. We spill. We trip. We run red lights. We color outside the lines. We break hearts. Spending time analyzing, debating, dissecting the minutia only attracts more fault. Love turns that energy to healing and that’s a far more interesting place to be.
4) The Settling: Hit the road, Jack.
“Settling” is another toxin that festers off our worthiness. When we put up with bad behavior, we lose our self respect. When we tolerate intolerance, we lose our voice. When we accept “less than,” we lose our ability to desire. I don’t believe I will ever find joy in “settling down.” For me, I seek to raise, to lift and to nurture…and by its very nature that’s a very unsettling environment.
5) The Permission Seeking: Never needed you.
I could also call this the “Like Trolling” or “Approval Chasing.” I don’t need 2000 “friends” on Facebook to give me a thumbs up on my latest endeavor. I don’t need a boss, client, or mentor to tell me it’s okay to “color outside the box,” push a few red buttons, or challenge myself to do the thing that scares me most. Brene Brown, Seth Godin, Danielle LaPorte, my dear friend Angi Sullins all believe the same…Permission has long been granted.
6) The Assumptions: Siyonara
Plain and simple, everyone loses.
7) The Escape Clause: Nice Knowing Ya!
Before I was even 10, my dad called me a “gypsy.” It’s a blessing and a curse. As a consummate adventurer I’m pretty fearless in unknown environments. I have a good sense of direction and have been known for my MacGyver-esque resourcefulness. The flip side is I too often rely on my escapist nature to avoid facing what’s right in front of me. Now that I know this about myself, there is no escape.
8) The Comparison: Never liked you anyway.
It’s been called the “thief of joy” and boy does Comparison bring the thieves out of the woods. I used to enter countless competitive environments…design contests, battles of the bands, spec work with fellow design studios. I’ve also juried countless creative competitions. After 20+ years competing for attention, acceptance, and recognition I’ve witnessed the dark side of comparison. The cheating. The backstabbing. The subjective egotistic judging. It’s one thing to continue to strive for mastery over our craft and inspire others to reach for the same. It’s quite a different story to rank a Picasso over a Rembrandt. If our creative work connects to the heart of another it’s Art. No comparison.
9) The Fire Hose: Hasta La Vista, Baby!
This one needs a hint of explaining. For 20+ years of my career I was trained to be a fireman, solving a clients problem in the 11th hour, then starting from scratch and doing it again the next evening, in the twelfth hour. In the early days, my creative director would call on me to “fix” another designer’s work. In later years, it was phone calls from clients who said “we gave this project to X design studio, they didn’t nail it and we know you can.” I never took it as a form of flattery, I knew the line was repeated equally in the opposite direction. So if we’re always dousing out the fires other people make how can we ever lead the way to meaningful work? Since then, I’ve hung up the fire hose and stopped chasing the needs of those who want something they can’t define. Best part…my new career doesn’t require a flame retardant suit.
10) The Beliefs: You never served the greater good.
…That true love is all fairy tale.
…That imperfection is less than perfect.
…That you, and I, are not already enough.
…That good girls don’t win.
…That ‘letting go’ is a weakness.