Tonight there was no question that my next step was to write this post. I’m long overdue and I could delay no more. That’s how it goes. Sometimes our next step is so clear that there is no debating, procrastinating, or confusion. On the other hand, sometimes that next step isn’t obvious.
Finding the next step has to do with locating where you are. The where I’m referring to is not a specific physical location, but your state of mind. Once you know where you are, clarity about “next” can more easily be seen.
In my computer and work area are many small, colorful toys. In addition to this fun collection, I also have a variety of phrases on signs and notes. Recently, I realized that these words help me locate where I am and prompt me towards next. I’d like to share them with you.
“Things to do” - This small metal sign reminds me that next often involves looking at my list. Do I know what’s most important? Have my priorities shifted? Have I been realistic in what can be accomplished on that day? This sign keeps me focused, especially when I’m not sure what to do next.
“Let’s leave worry as a last resort.” – This quote written on an index card is something my Uncle Lew says. Worry is unproductive. When worry starts to creep into my thoughts, this note cues me to shift my focus to something useful.
“I write to understand as much as to be understood.” – This Elie Wiesel quote is printed on a piece of paper. It suggests that sometimes next involves pausing to write and reflect. From this understanding and discovery of where I am, the next step appears.
“There is no end to what we say is getting ready.” – This quote handwritten on a purple sticky note is something my mom said. It means that while preparation is important, we need to recognize when we’ve done enough. Let go of fear and perfection. Take that next step, even if you’re not 100% ready or sure.
“I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.” – This quote by Anna Quindlen stands upright on a small card. It encourages me to appreciate now, next and everything along the way.
“Relax” – These cutout metal letters remind me that I can’t work 24/7. A balanced life means that rest, sleep and not doing are essential. That word says to me, “Linda, it’s time to unwind. It’s time to stop.”
I’d love to hear from you. Come join in the conversation. What helps you find next?