Conventional wisdom says that to do lists and goal lists produce outcomes.
How do you feel when you think about all you didn’t do and don’t have, compared to how you feel if you think about all you do, and have?
To Do lists and I Want lists can also create stress and a sense of being perpetually busy and unfulfilled, making it more difficult for you to do, and to get, and to be satisfied with what you do, and get.
“You won’t be satisfied with what you get, until you can be satisfied with what you have.” (Author Unknown)
If you want to reduce your stress, making it easier for you to do more and have more, make a couple of different, unconventional lists.
At the beginning of your day, instead of your “What I Want List” make your “What I Already Have That I Want ” list.
Also at the beginning of your day, start your “What I Did” list. And because if you’re doing it, it’s important, write down anything that you do on this list as your day progresses. (I’ve written down “hugged Jenna”, “brushed my teeth”, “washed dishes”, “pet the cat”, “spoke in polite tone of voice to my husband.”)
If you have trouble dropping off to sleep because what you didn’t get crossed of your To Do list is troubling you, instead of counting sheep, run your I Did list through your head. (See for yourself if it isn’t as warm and fuzzy and as plentiful as those sheep.)
(Speaking of counting… I’d ask you to count up your life’s worth of “What I’ve Done’s” and “What I’ve Gotten” and compare how many items are on those lists to how many are on your “To Do” and “What I Want ” lists, but I don’t know that you have that kind of time.)
See for yourself how you feel and what kinds of things happen when you see how much you do and how much you have.
The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet. James Oppenheim
p.s. It’s not that we’re being foolish by seeking happiness in the distance, it’s that most of us have been taught that satisfaction is to be obtained, not already had.
I won’t be satisfied until I hear your thoughts!
(Ok, I will be, but I’d love to hear them anyway.)
Will you make these lists? What hesitations might you have?