Want to do! vs What Can I do?

The hardest choice is often between what I want to do and what I can do, it requires a lot of self-awareness, discipline and honesty. But it is this choice that can make all the difference.

How long will the Pandemic go on for?

What world will we be operating in when we emerge from all of this?

Will my business survive this?

If these questions have been buzzing around your head, then you’re not alone. I have these questions and many more to boot. But when you consider that there is barely a person on the planet that could answer them straight, then we may need to just park a few of them until we can answer them. Until then, this is all about focussing on what I call your ‘Can do’ list. I’m certain there’ll be a stack of things you want to do, but right here, right now, if you want to emerge stronger from this current pandemic, with your own personal health and wellbeing in good shape then we have to ditch the ‘Want to do’ list (we can pick that up later) and we need to place our energies and efforts on ‘What can I do?’.

This can-do list that you are now starting to focus on, don’t get me wrong, the chances of it being sexy and appealing are pretty slim. I watched the income for both of my businesses dissolve to nothing in less than 6 hours in one day. I sat with my wife, unable to contain my emotions, as call after call, email after email all spelt out the inevitable – ‘Closed for the unforeseen future’. It was devastating and the last thing I wanted to do was sit down and work out what I could do to still deliver my services, that I feel so passionate about, to generate income and rebuild the business again… I had spent 11 years building it from nothing. However, by focussing on the ‘Can-do’ list we step into a creative mindset, this is not about finding, it’s about creating and there is a huge difference. When we start to create our future by taking control of our ‘Now’, then we open up the possibility for taking personal control of where we are heading, we are driving the action, we are holding the pen and writing the chapter and the world responds (not straight away) to our song. But the first step is to step away from how we once did things, stop trying to get back to what we once did for a second and ask ‘What can I do right now the I will feel grateful for in years to come?’

This question has changed everything for me, because it takes the focus from questions that are outside of our control and brings it back to self. I believe we are all meant to learn something about ourselves from this current situation, so I’m now very alert as to what that is? What am I meant to be learning? Could I, in 5 years-time, be grateful for going through this? If so, what needs to embrace the change? After all, beautiful things can come from chaos, but we need to be in the right frame of mind in order to see it or even benefit from it.

And so I’ve embraced the changes starting with the morning routine. Ordinarily, most days I would be dashing out of the door so I would not have time for Yoga and meditation, now I have plenty of time, so it’s become a permanent fixture and it’s making all of the difference, I feel better than I have ever felt. I now meditate just before I go to bed too, I’m sleeping better, feeling better and I have an optimism about the future that is starting to come up through me, I can feel it starting to emerge. With placing the ‘Can-do’ list at the forefront in my business, I now have new clients and a new platform to deliver my services. It’s scary and unusual, but I’m now really excited for the first time in a while. I still have moments when I don’t know if the direction I’ve taken will work out and I still have waves of wanting to just get back to what I once did, wash over me. But I know that’s just the force of habit and my comfort zone calling out, it’s a reaction from inside and I need to stay responsive if I’m to be thankful in 5 years/10 years/15 years from now.

"After all, beautiful things can come from chaos, but we need to be in the right frame of mind..."

You see, the ‘Can-do’ list that we start to create, is not about being occupied, that’s a different strategy that will work for the short term but it won’t help you emerge from this in better position. No, the ‘Can-do’ list starts something inside of us, it brings the senses alive, it allows inner guidance to take to the stage, where ordinarily autopilot would be upfront running the show. It engages the brain to operate in the discomfort zone with a focus on providing solutions, after all the brain is a problem solving tool, so we might as well use it for what it was designed for.

When we focus on what we ‘Can-do’ we take control, we bring back the reigns so we can direct the flow of energy to where we need it to go. And it’s this empowerment that has the power to lay a foundation so strong that in 5 years or beyond that, we could find ourselves in a position where we say ‘If COVID-19 hadn’t have happened, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and I feel grateful for that.’

Chris Cook

Motivational Speaker | Workshop Deliverer | Business Coach & Mentor | Inspiring teams to 'Keep things simple'

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