I grew up in Finland, the self proclaimed capital of hardship. Winters were harsh and work ethic strong. I remember the winter mornings when it was still pitch black when I got up to go to go to primary school . It might have been -20C outside but that was not a struggle for me. I’d just put on my cross country skis and off I went, skiing to school. I learned to be undaunted by ‘bad’ circumstances and simply get on with things. I adopted a stellar work ethic.
My culture embraced hard work which is only natural for a nation where survival depended on stamina and pure determination. But there’s a flip side to this worship of hardship. You start working hard just for the sake of it. I’m now discovering that my self worth was closely tied to my work for two decades. Success at work equalled worthiness, but resulted in constant judgment and comparison of others depending on what level they were in terms of tittle and salary. Living like this can be very tiring and not very rewarding.
We’ve been taught that success is hard. You have to work relentlessly to make it and that if it was easy everyone could do it.
On one hand I do believe the harder I work the luckier I get. But if my success was only down to digging away, I’d be a billionare by now!
When one’s self worth is linked to the amount of work you do it’s very difficult to get off the treadmill. You can try to add more work hours expecting better results but this will eventually drive you into the ground and you may loose it all ruining your health. There’s only so much more doing we can fit in 24 hours!
All great ideas are born out of being, not from doing.
I love riding horses and I try to go twice a week. The drive to the yard in Kent is quite long so I used to fill it with useful things to do such as listening to audio books or pod casts. At some point however I realised that I got no relaxation out of these trips because I was squeezing everything in. I was too efficient!
I allowed myself no space, no emptiness and no wasted moments.
So I changed my routine.
Now I enjoy the drive listening to music, or even, just in silence.
And if it wasn’t for doing nothing I wouldn’t have got the idea I’m super excited about right now – Festival Of Doers!
It’s a contradiction in a sense that I had to be still to discover an event that focuses on doing.
How to learn what I think are the most important lessons in life?
To be happy just Being without Doing.
Not to push too hard, but push hard enough and at the right moment.
To flexibly move between Doing and Being, filling your day with both in the right balance.
This can surely be tricky. And there’s a great difference between being and procrastination! Being is a relaxed state where you are at one with who you are and the Universe. You respect who you are without doing anything, your worthiness is not tied up with what you are achieving. You accept your wholeness without any agenda.
Procrastination is very different.
Procrastination is the wasteland between Being and Doing.
When you procrastinate you are not in your power. You don’t experience worthiness, as you are constantly thinking you should be doing something. You are not relaxed either and thus not self-renewing. And there is quilt attached to the not-doing. So you can’t take the benefits of Doing nor Being.
To address this problem DrivenWoman is putting together the most amazing day in January – the Festival Of Doers. In the morning we will have inspiring talks from women who have found their Being, their self worth in who they are and are following their hearts to live their passion creating businesses or non-profits that make a difference.
And after the lunch break we will break out into groups to address obstacles that are holding us back, the procrastination bit, why we are not fully committing to road more meaningful.
It’s great to get inspired, but without Doing it’s all pretty pointless.
Being can’t really exist without Doing. They go hand in hand.
This is why my favourite DrivenWoman quote is “The woman I want to be, the woman I already am”. I’m in my power, I’m worthy as I am, but to really shine I must take active steps to fulfil my purpose in the Universe, to serve and to connect from my heart.
If you don’t allow yourself to Be you’ll never find your true calling, your greatest ideas or feeling of connectedness with the world. And if you don’t Do, you can’t realise your dreams and you’ll leave your journey at the half way house, in the waste land of procrastination.