Are You On The Wrong Road? Turn Back. (Here's How.)
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Have you ever started a creative project and, a few months into it, asked yourself, "What was I thinking?"
Or begun dating someone new and (also a few months into it, maybe) gone, "Darn it. . . NOPE."
Or have you maybe revamped your entire website, decided on a business name or tagline, written some blog posts on the topic, and then thought, "Oh crap. . . this really isn't ME."
Ever done any of those things?
If so. . . well, you're not alone.
Every day, thousands of people take innumerable steps (virtual or otherwise) in millions of directions.
And lots of us, shortly thereafter, find ourselves in need of a course correction.
Now, if you've been around these parts for any length of time. . .
Then you know I'm a HUGE proponent of the philosophy that can best be summed up by one of my favorite sayings, a Turkish proverb that goes like this:
"No matter how far you have gone on a wrong road, turn back."
And recently, I've had to take my own advice.
I found myself getting stuck (like SUPER stuck) on an idea I've been working on nearly all year.
The idea? Producing a podcast.
I couldn't figure out my 'stuck'-ness around it.
When I first thought about creating a podcast, I said to myself, "This'll be fantastic. I love to talk. Podcasts are all about talking. My mouth + podcasting = A perfect match!"
My first idea was to talk about mastery.
For quite awhile now I’ve been talking and teaching about the concept of developing world-class businesses.
So I thought it would be great to talk, on my own and with guests, about what it takes to be truly MASTERFUL at what you do, rather than just 'good enough.'
But after eleventy-million drafts of show ideas and about 6 months of stalling on producing an actual episode. . .
I realized that, if I was brutally honest with myself, the topic bored me to tears.
It felt too stale. Too much like something that's been done.
(Or maybe like something that would be talked about at one of those conferences in a hotel ballroom where everyone has a binder and a notepad and a hotel-branded ballpoint pen that leaks gobs of ink, and everyone’s all squished together at those long tables covered with white tablecloths, sipping ice water from plastic pitchers positioned every couple seats or so, sitting on those hard little hotel ballroom chairs and squinting to see the presenter’s scrawled notes up there on a flipchart.)
So I switched gears.
"Hey, I'm contrarian!" I said to myself and to my close friends, "I'll do a podcast about all the ways you can break the rules and still succeed!"
"YESSS," said my friends and I.
And I sat back down at the drawing board and came up with a couple of big fat handfuls of ideas.
I wrote them out. Started shaping them into scripts.
And as the NEW release date of the podcast approached, I found myself. . .
Rearranging papers on my desk.
Getting up to pour myself another cup of coffee.
Checking on the laundry.
Taking a heady whiff of the fake hydrangeas on my desk.
Categorizing my remaining handful of 1980s cassettes by Percent Chance This One Would Still Play If Only I Owned A Tape Deck.
ANYTHING to keep from releasing that first podcast.
"What the heck is going on?" I asked myself.
I wondered whether I was doing that whole my-great-work-scares-me thing.
That didn’t seem to be the answer, though. Instead, I just felt. . . BORED by my idea.
So I sat down and had a come-to-Jesus meeting with me, myself, and I.
Which is kinda ironic, because what came out of that meeting was that I was denying not the creative impulse. . .
But my spiritual CALLING.
Imagine my chagrin.
Here I am encouraging my clients to do what they feel most led to do. . . to turn back when they find themselves on the wrong road. . .
And I'm wandering out onto a desert road (metaphorically speaking), and away from my OWN divine calling.
So I started thinking about that proverb.
"Turn back," it whispered.
And because I simply cannot be someone I’m not — I did turn back.
I mean, I’m turning back. I've been going in the opposite direction for about a month (I just didn't tell you about it until now!).
My podcast is changing entirely, for the third time (there’s definitely something ‘charmed’ about that third time, right?).
It's got a(nother) name. And a different theme than either of the other two podcasts I’d conceived.
I was going to give you a sneak peek — but I realized it would be much better to just show you what it’s all about when it’s ready.
And when will it be ready?
“Coming soon!” That’s when it will be ready.
I’m done putting due dates on the calendar for this baby.
Because it truly IS a baby of mine at this point, and I want it to be something special (like all the rest of my babies — human or otherwise).
I can tell you this, though.
My goal with it is to provide you with the kind of inspiration — and laughter — that will bring joy and healing (emotional, mental, physical, financial, you name it) into your life on a regular basis.
Good. 'Cause I was thinking, a great way to start bringing some joy into your life would be to out myself with this little story.
Because I think so many of us beat ourselves up for not having everything all figured out, all the time.
And sometimes we can even get hung up on the notion that our lack of certainty means we’re not cut out for greatness.
And while greatness DOES come with repeated application of effort in the area in which you want to become great. . .
There’s a much better chance of that happening when you’re locked into a divine groove.
Meaning, when you’re doing what you’re really put on this planet to be doing.
(As opposed to what ‘everyone else’ is doing. Or what you think you ‘should’ do.)
And today, I also have a little challenge for you.
Take at least 5 minutes out of your day (30 would be even better) to review what’s going on in your life right now, and ask yourself,
“Where in my life am I traveling down the wrong road?”
Where are you plugging away at a project that doesn't really feel like YOU? Or where are you adopting habits that are out of alignment with who you REALLY are?
What's interesting about asking this question is that you generally find, if you're traveling down the wrong road in one area, that you're probably traveling down the wrong road in MORE than one area.
For instance, if you're holding on to personal habits that block success (such as negative thinking, not taking care of yourself physically, or being in a relationship that doesn't serve you). . .
You're probably also not doing the creative work you REALLY want to do.
(And vice versa.)
Why is this?
I have no clue. Seriously. I could sit here and pretend I do, but I don't.
All I know is that I see it all the time with clients — and in my own life, it's clear that it applies as well.
For instance, this issue with my podcast also led me to question my overall clarity about my business and brand message.
And while I've felt very on-target INSIDE about what I stand for and how I help people and what my magic is. . .
I realized I wasn't using the exact right words to describe what I'm all about.
(And a word nerd like me is kinda obsessive — can one be 'kinda' obsessive? — about words.)
That means you'll be seeing a few other subtle (though, to me at least, quite exciting!) changes around here in the coming days and weeks as well.
Okay, so. . .
Take the challenge, won't ya?
Ask yourself the question ("Where in my life am I on the wrong road?")
Then, make a plan to (as quickly as possible) turn back.
Do it boldly, and without regret or fear.
Look, EVERYONE turns onto a wrong road now and then. It’s whether you choose to stay on that road or course-correct that decides your destiny.
As always, please share your experiences below. I’d love to hear what road(s) you’re ready to stop traveling on, and how you plan to ‘turn back’.
And if you’ve already done this in your life (maybe more than once) I’d love to hear your experiences.
In the meantime, enjoy the ride.
(And stay tuned for the new podcast, plus other exciting changes in this space that will help you create a destiny that's just right for YOU.)
See you again soon. . .