You’re focusing less on the unimportant stuff and more on the important stuff.
If you’re confused about what the important stuff is (and that confusion is more common than you might realize) then here’s a quick exercise to help you:
Short-List Your Life
Grab a piece of paper, an index card, an envelope, something.
Write down 5 things that you want to accomplish before you die. The internal goals that keep raging at you even when you try to put them away for a while. The dreams or desires or nagging obsessions that you can’t quite get rid of.
Don’t give yourself more than 5 minutes.
Now flip the paper over, or section off another part of it, and for each of those goals, write down the primary action that will help you accomplish that goal.
Like this: if one of your goals is to run a marathon, then what’s going to get you there? Running the miles until you’ve trained well enough to do it, and then running the miles that make up the marathon. In a word, then: running.
If one of your goals is to publish a book, your primary action is writing words, paragraphs, pages, getting ideas down on paper, out of your head, putting the words into reality. In a word, then: writing.
Most of us really do know what’s important, and what actions we need to take. It’s just that we fear facing those things.
We feel incapable, or we’re afraid of failing so we don’t want to try.
If that’s where you are, here’s another tip for you:
Ask Yourself for Tiny Contributions
The big goals, and their corresponding primary actions, scare us because they’re important to us.
We are not sure we can accomplish what we want to, and many times the goals require some complex work from us, and we don’t know where to start.
The easiest way is to start small. So very, very small that you don’t need to plan for it, or prepare, or map out an alternate route, or anything like that.
Think small. Think tiny. Very tiny. So tiny that you might be embarrassed to tell someone about it.
For the runner, you’re going to ask yourself for one tiny contribution toward your goal. It’s got to be your primary action, but it can be a tiny little sliver of it: get out there and run for five minutes today.
That’s all you have to do.
For the writer, sit down and write five words. Or write for five minutes. Whichever seems easier.
For each of your goals, whatever they are, ask yourself for a tiny contribution of that primary action.
Well, actually, there’s one other thing that is really helpful.
Start Keeping Track of What You Do
This can be an accountability that you keep only with yourself.
Use an app for tracking habits, or a big chart, or a tiny index card in your pocket. It doesn’t matter.
The point is to keep track of your contributions, however small they are.
Because eventually they’ll start adding up, and that’s when you start to see what awesome really is.
Awesome is just a bunch of tiny awesome choices adding up to one meaningful, fully awesome life.