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Why It Doesn’t Matter How Slowly You Go As Long As You Don’t Stop

If you're feeling unmotivated by a lack of apparent progress, don't abandon what you started.

Over 30 years ago I was reluctantly taken to an American Graphologist for him to analyse my handwriting.

I had been living abroad in my late teens, and one of my brothers suggested I see a Graphologist called ‘Baruk’ so he could give me some life advice

The mind boggles, but I trusted him and went with the suggestion.

A few days later, I found myself walking through a narrow cobbled alleyway in the middle east, it certainly was no Harley Street, I can assure you.

My expectation of this encounter at the time was zero.

I put myself in the hands of someone I barely knew, with no knowledge of his professional background, but I felt a niggle of excitement at trying something new. We arrived at the end of the street, which signalled his address and knocked on his front door.

As I walked in, I entered the smallest ground floor apartment I had ever seen. My brother chose to wait patiently on the other side of the shabby wooden front door, already scraped and worn from years of rain, wear and tear.

Baruk was a wise, gentle and very confident man who analysed my writing carefully and methodically. The incredible way that every single thing he predicted showed up in my life in the years that followed still baffles me.

One of the things he said that stuck out most in my mind was the notion that I lived life through stops and starts. He invited me to imagine myself sitting in a car with one foot pressing on the accelerator and the other foot pressing on the brakes; back and forth. Using this system, it was impossible to navigate anywhere.

I mention this encounter with Baruk the Graphologist as the wind is howling outside, it’s raining, dark and cold (a typical morning in London) and it takes me back to the car analogy of ‘starting and stopping.’

Simply because I’ve started this article and stopped midway.

We all experience moments of an impasse in the week when nothing seems to reawaken interest, when we feel absent and nothing moves us into action. Taking one step after the other, which constitutes a movement, but still not sure of the direction, even as we start to navigate.

Normally, I sit across from my laptop and plough away effortlessly, but as much as I tried to think of the right way of commencing the article today, the words didn’t pour out and darken the page.

I surrendered to writing the perfect article and decide to write the short story about Baruk at the start, spontaneous and in real time.

I no longer attempt to force myself out of the lack of motivation or try to resist it. I just let it be and understand that some days I’m so fired up that I do the equivalent of a weeks work within 24 hours. and at other times, pushing ahead with the day is like walking on treacle.

Tough, sticky and exhausting.

This is when we have a natural inclination to stop halfway through a project, idea or action.

Let’s face it, there are feelings and emotions that when they enter our world, they make us feel uncomfortable. We generally don’t roll out the red carpet with these, instead, they are pushed to the side entrance. The energy we spend fighting and pushing this away can be exhausting.

It can potentially stop and pause our workflow, as it had attempted to do today.

I had a coaching client a while back who was struggling financially with his business, as he was not building up any type of momentum. I slowed him down and got laser focus on what was getting in the way of this.

I observed how he would get into action, became productive, but the moment he had a difficult thought, belief or feeling, he began to spiral down, unmotivated and borderline depressed. He would experience such a wave of self-doubt that he would stop what he was doing.

This led to incomplete proposals, unfinished projects, and a business that was slowly going under.

He felt he was at the mercy of these feelings, and would become completely sucked in, either in trying to resist them or being sucked into its influence. This zapped all his energy, and there was none left to become creative enough to take action.

I asked him to give this feeling a name — he decided that it was a male character and he called him ‘Mog.’ From hereon, whenever this feeling would interrupt him whilst he was actively engaged in his business, he would tell ‘Mog’ that he had to leave; he could come back later, but now was not the right time.

I know this sounds weird, but it totally works.

This was fun to create with him, and it worked a treat. In recognising the culprit, instead of becoming passively sucked into its’ influence, he began to create a fun element.

We didn’t need to convert the feeling into a positive one or resist it.

We simply identified it, gave it a name and began to interact with it, rather than being hypnotised by its influences and losing a whole days work as a result.

This had a huge impact on him as he began to start a project, build the momentum, continue, follow through and complete his projects, without being at the mercy of ‘Mog.’

Reflect on your life.

What are the thoughts, feelings or beliefs that get in the way of building consistent momentum?

Identify and get them out there.

They could be ‘It needs to be perfect,’ ‘its not good enough,’ ‘It’s never going to work,’ or your mindset might have a more creative dialogue.

What difference could it make to your life if you could shift this, rather than react to the feeling?

Since I have a timer when I write, to make sure I don’t go over time, I do the same with the emotions and thoughts which are trying to sabotage my writing flow. I place a timer signalled for only thirty minutes when I will entertain the sabotaging thoughts or feelings and practice full surrender.

I put a time frame on it because as much as I feel it’s important to surrender, there has to be a time limit. Otherwise, I will not only be rolling out the red carpet, but I will be serving them continental breakfast and afternoon tea. And this is detrimental to any person who wants to complete what was started.

It’s important to understand my mindset, identifying the thoughts and emotions that sabotage my workflow and know when to press my foot on the accelerator and step on the brakes when I need to take a metaphorical breath, catch some air and get my bearings.

Presently, the accelerator is my work mode, and the brakes signal my reflective time, and both of these modes are now hugely supportive of each other.

Part of being a multi-dimensional human being, is that we’re gifted with lots of different facets, thoughts, emotions and feelings that will drift in and out throughout the day.

They’re not wrong, bad or evil, but part of living fully is experiencing feeling these too without it preventing you from starting, continuing and completing.

If this article resonated with you, you can read more chapters like these in my latest book Look Inside: Stop Seeking Start Living available now on Amazon.

If you want to connect with me to share insights from this article, send an e-mail to [email protected]

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