Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.
Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no Resistance.
So if you’re paralyzed with fear, it’s a good sign. It shows you what you have to do.
– Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
Lately, when it comes to writing, my brain has gotten a bit…muddy.
I’m actually having trouble putting myself in front of the keyboard to write. Some external factors in my life have drastically changed recently, and adjusting has been difficult. I’m not reading as much as I usually do. When I consider writing, nothing I think about writing really inspires me enough to get off my butt and do it. And I’d rather not write something that I’m not going to take at least a little bit of effort to do well, right?
Yeah, it’s all a load of horse crap, and I know it.
No one ever gets talker’s block. No one wakes up in the morning, discovers he has nothing to say, and sits quietly, for days or weeks, until the muse hits, until the moment is right, until all the craziness in his life has died down.
– Seth Godin, The Icarus Deception
It’s easy to make excuses when you’re struggling, but that’s a trap. Everything you want to be will take a regular dose of hustle, even when you don’t think you have it in you. Focus on making the next ten phone calls, knocking on the next ten doors, or writing the next ten words. And then do the next ten. And again. Until you’re done.
How many times have I referenced the Wheel, and yet I’ve never really explained it or why I value it so much.*
Ziglar’s Wheel reminds us of the importance of leading a balanced life. Seven categories, all valuable and all needing a portion of our attention. You can’t spend too much of your time in just one area without repercussions. Ignore any one category entirely, and be prepared to suffer loss well beyond it.
Think of each area of the Wheel as the sides of a container – like a barrel or a cistern – that you’re trying to fill. You’re going to find capacity limited to the height of the side that you’ve built up the least. And if you spend no time building up any one category, you won’t be able to fill it at all, no matter how tall the remaining sides are.
Now, at the risk of sacrificing that analogy, I do have one criticism of the Wheel. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a great tool, and you would do well to implement it just as it is. When I’m setting up goals for the future (whether it’s for one year, five years or thirty years) I always use the Wheel as my primary structure. But there’s a danger inherent to it’s design that requires me to make one change when I think about it:
Everything is spiritual. Being spiritual isn’t something that can be contained within four poorly drawn boundaries. And it’s true that each category can overlap with the others here and there, but, if you dig down, being spiritual actually encompasses every category.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
– Colossians 3:17
- Career – When we are working, the products and services we produce are serving other people, even when a profit is earned. Being diligent and honest and glad in our work is pleasing to God. Finding and pursuing the career that best suits you is a spiritual endeavor. (Proverbs 22:6)
- Financial – The money we have been given throughout our lives, no matter amount or the source, is a responsibility for us to manage and improve. Being financially responsible to our families and the future is spiritual. (Matthew 25:14-30)
- Social – Other people are in our lives to give us opportunities to serve one another. To be generous. To challenge one another and grow together. Becoming amicable, and having a growing circle of friends is spiritual. (Proverbs 18:1)
- Intellectual – Becoming wise doesn’t come from being anti-intellectual. We should be constantly learning. We shouldn’t fear math, or science, or literature, or art, or history. Just like money, our mind is a resource to manage and grow. Seeking wisdom and knowledge is spiritual. (Proverbs 18:15)
- Physical – And our body is a resource we’ve been given to manage, too. Being physically strong and healthy is spiritual (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
- Family – Is your spouse a healthier, better, holier person because of your marriage? Are you serving them? What about your kids? Do you know why they’re in your life? Being a responsible parent, and fulfilling your role in marriage is spiritual. (Ephesians 5:33)
Of course, that doesn’t mean we can neglect spiritual things and just build up each of those other categories. We have to spend a equal amount of time focused strictly on the spiritual in our lives. We need to make some goals around growing spiritually. It can help, though, if we teach ourselves the right approach to each of the other areas of our life, so they can accentuate that growth.
So, go build your life. Be honest about which categories could use some work, and set some goals to improve them. Gain some balance and become a fuller person. And remember that it’s all a part of loving God.
* No, really. How many times have I mentioned it and linked to it? Go find out and post it in the comments.
Michael Hyatt’s blog has been a part of my daily trawl for a couple of years. When he started podcasting last year, I hesitated adding him because I was already a bit overwhelmed with all of the media I was taking in, and I didn’t think adding one more voice to the pile would gain me much. That might have been the right decision at the time, but when I cleaned house earlier this year, I intentionally made room to start listening to him. This post is inspired by his podcast from April 10 on the 3 components of job satisfaction.
There are three basic components to that must be present to be satisfied with your work. You must be competent at your work. You must have a market for your work. You must have passion for your work. With all three of those, you hit the sweet spot. That can be awesome.
Having only two of those, though, isn’t so awesome. Those zones will only lead to building frustration, and it makes your life a struggle.
There’s a difference, however, between those three zones that we have to recognize. The upper left and upper right zones (hobby and failure respectively) both have fairly short life-spans as a career. Staying in those zones is discouraged by a lack of income.
That bottom middle zone, though. Boredom? You can settle down and live there. Pretty comfortably, too. And most of us do.
And that’s where the trouble starts.
We lie to ourselves and say that work is supposed to be frustrating, and we can pursue our passion when we’re not at work, or after we retire. We medicate our discontent with spending, maybe even driving ourselves into debt while chasing happiness. And it only gets worse from there.
And I know. I live in the bottom middle. I’m very competent at my day job and boy howdy is there a market for my services, but I’ve got almost no passion for it. There’s a bunch of reasons why that is, but needless to say, I’ve topped out on my job growth. I’m stuck.
Most people understand that they enjoy greater success when they feel good about their activities. […] Helping your mind to know and believe that what you do professionally is good, noble, and worthwhile in itself helps to fuel your energies and propel your efforts.
If you feel really good about your profession, you sweep others along with you on the waves of your enthusiasm for what you do. You will become known for telling entertaining accounts of amusing incidents in your professional life. Stories about events in your business day can inspire others, and they will be moved by poignant interactions you relate. These natural and positive aspects of your public persona flow inevitably from feeling pride and passion for your work.
– Rabbi Daniel Lapin
In order for you to have a chance at real success, there has to be passion. And if you don’t have passion, it shows, because boredom isn’t inspiring or engaging. Either become more passionate about the work you’re doing, or begin the process of transitioning to something where you have all three components. It’s either that, or stay stuck.