Yesterday I got The Fire Starter Sessions in the mail (don’t judge — I told you I was going to dive into reading material). I’m already impressed by the overall design of the book, but more importantly, I think it may prompt a lot of “a-ha!” moments, which I love.
Case in point – when I started paging through it, the first page I opened to had, in about size 72 font, the statement “Whatever is on your plate got there because you said yes to it.”
But naturally I had to read on:
“Busy? Get in line. That’s life. That’s my life. That’s most people’s lives. … ‘I’m so busy.’ A contemporary anthem. A typically hurried, whiny refrain that doesn’t make us look more important or productive; rather, it reinforces the victim mentality that doing, doing, doing is our duty, damn it.”
I love this lady.
And truth be told, she couldn’t be more right. It was actually something that came to mind when I was traveling (another one of those deep thought moments). I look at the “obligations” I have and all the things on my plate, particularly on the weekends, and I’m the one who put them there. I’m the one who constantly feels like I need to be doing something.
What’s worse, though, is that I take stuff on for selfish reasons. I said yes to the side job (which thankfully ends next month, a year longer than anticipated!), volunteering and essentially any task or event that’s thrown at me. Saying yes to those things (I assumed) would make me feel needed/productive, enhance my life and/or fill my time — the doing, doing, doing that Laporte talks about in the quote.
But do I take the responsibility for it? Nope. Instead I’m really good at reinforcing that victim mentality, which is crap. So I’m going to take Laporte’s advice in the subsequent pages and change how I speak about time and my commitments. I say yes (albeit probably a little too much) to things for a reason. More often than not, they’re things that do add value to my life, if I would just stop and actually appreciate it. Plus it’s not like that free time I’d have instead would be free from doing, doing, doing anyway…
The change in mentality might be a little difficult, but definitely needed.