Before delving into the various sections of this site, there are a few very simple skills to consider since they will be needed in any area of your Work. Do not underestimate these!
If you are like me, you may feel like a kid in a candy store. So many areas to work on! But the reality is, the more you try to take on, the less likely you will make progress in anything. Having spent over a decade working in these various areas myself, I offer the following advice…
Pick one area and focus only on that for a few months. It may naturally lead into other areas, but progress takes time. Familiarize yourself with the concept of Mastery early on since it will help you get past the inevitable rough patches. As you progress you will better understand how much time your efforts will need before adding to that workload.
As you find more areas you wish to work on, write them down (in a journal ideally) so you can later prioritize and choose the next area to work on. You may discover a pattern in your goals that will help bring more focus to your Work.
Start a Journal
The value of keeping a journal will come up often here and with good reason. The simple act of taking a moment to log an entry is beneficial to your well being!
Don’t be too fixated on how to keep a journal. Just pick a medium and start simply. As you progress you will begin to figure out what you personally need to have an effective journal. But for now either use an app on your phone (I personally love Day One Journal) or buy a cheap notebook. Start with simple, to-the-point entries.
- Why You Should Keep a Journal (and How to Start Yours)
- Journal Writing: A Short Course (We can’t speak for the services offered on that website but the information presented in the link itself is a valuable read.)
Just do it
For my fellow perfectionists, I add this piece of advice: Just do it. Just get started and work with what you have. Let things sort themselves out as you become more familiar with the material. Don’t spend money on gadgets and programs until you have proven you have the staying power and actually need them (you probably need less than you think). It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to buy progress by investing in tons of books, toys and memberships, and many people out there are happy to take money from confused beginners. If you wait for the ideal time to get stated it will never come. It’s not about perfection – it’s about perfecting. So when you find yourself in a holding pattern, break out of it by asking yourself what you can do right now, and take those first steps.
When I was trying to meditate 20 minutes a day I found myself skipping sessions when I was running late for my train and only had 5 or 10 minutes to work with. Why not just meditate for that time then? While 20 minutes was my ideal time, even just 5 minutes a day is beneficial and helps establish a good daily habit. Work with what you have rather than postpone.
If you find yourself holding off on starting a skill or class because you are not good at it, break out of that mindset and consider the fault in that logic. It is akin to saying you can’t go to a restaurant because you are hungry.
Find a Community
When I was learning about self-sufficiency and watching first hand accounts of homesteaders to see how I can find ways to become more self-sufficient in my own life, I quickly saw a pattern. Many had started their journey with the assumption that self-sufficiency meant going it alone, but those who were ultimately successful in living comfortably in a self-sufficient lifestyle admitted the greatest lesson was not to underestimate the power and need for community to be self-sufficient. As a lone-wolf sort myself I found this perplexing.
Consider however that no one has the skills and materials to do it all. If I want bread, and I wanted to do it on my own, I’d need to grow wheat, maintain the animals to produce milk and eggs, maintain the yeast cultures, and have a way to process the grain – which incidentally is a lot of work! Maybe I want to do all that. But what if I also need to be able to build my home? Then I need to maintain lumber trees, have the skills and equipment to cut and process the wood, and someone manage all the labor needed to build a home. The more you consider all the supplies and skills needed to do everything, the more you realize you need help. In a community everyone brings their own experiences, knowledge, and skills to the the mix. If you want to bake bread maybe you have the wheat and eggs, someone else has the milling equipment, someone else the dairy cows, and someone else has some yeast culture and experience to share. Some of this you can of course purchase, but in self-sufficiency bartering or simply sharing is how it is done. As a city boy, I am of course used to just running to the local market for all my supplies without a thought to the effort needed to make these things from the ingredients to the finished product.
Simple point of this story is, while we can go it alone in our Work and Becoming, there is value in finding others of like mind to occasionally interact with. (See section on Philosophy above for some examples of the value of working with a group.) While doing this over the internet is a start, face-to-face time is often much more useful.
If in the NYC or lower Hudson Valley area, we encourage you to find a local chapter to help build such communities. These allow for the sharing of ideas, and encouragement of Work. In a world where most fear and avoid personal change, an oasis can be refreshing. If there is no local chapter in your area feel free to reach out to discuss the possibility of working with us to forming something online that can support you.
Can you go it alone? Of course! Ultimately everyone’s path is their own, but when you feel the need to vent or find motivation, remember there is power in a community when you need it.
Consider Finding a Coach
Coaching is a powerful, ongoing relationship that helps you focus and realize your visions and goals.
Whether you are looking to boost or transition a career, build a business, create a more balanced life, or just get unstuck, a life coach can be a very valuable resource and ally.
What are some reasons people hire a coach?
- to plan a career move
- to make your present job more fulfilling
- to plan your life based on what matters most to you
- to get more organized
- to create more balance in your life
- to focus your energy to finish or plan a project
- to increase your effectiveness as an executive, manager or salesperson
- to work with your team to increase productivity and effectiveness
- to make your life more fulfilling
- to start a business
- to get motivated
- to increase your income
For more information or to schedule a free session with John, click here.