Treasure Disguised but not Ignored

Trying to figure things out can be frustrating. You might feel consumed with not knowing or understanding your direction.

You might even progress towards your goals and dreams but, for whatever reason, find yourself stuck at certain points.

There is glory in these challenges.

Each one of them causes you to dig a little deeper or grow in different directions in an attempt to solve your problem.

Every attempt is another attempt at finding the treasure you seek.

There is a hidden purpose in spinning your wheels.

Usually, you're looking for "how to" solve or do something, right? To figure out what you "should be doing."

Digging is hard.

It's frustrating.

You may not be able to see the HOW involved in making it happen.

What you want may not even be real or possible at all, right? Sometimes that happens. But right now, you need to identify what IT IS you want for yourself.

That is your only goal.

I want you to try an experiment.

Write nonsense stuff.

Write about anything and everything except the problem you're struggling with. Can't think of anything to write? BASEBALLS. Write the first thing that came to mind when I said “BASEBALLS.”

For some reason for me, an imaginary scene from the 80s came to mind where John Candy is standing on a baseball field. My mind immediately then jumps to another movie: Field of Dreams. This makes me remember my early young adulthood and some of the adventures my friends and I had. I can look back and see how I never gave myself enough credit for what I was good at. Never. Today, I can forgive myself.

Let your mind wander everywhere.

Write about your feeling about sports, gender issues, memes, or the sidewise comment your mother-in-law left lingering over the hot, soapy dishwater the other night, how the neighbor truly bothers you, or about the delicious nachos that one place used to have on Evergreen street.

It could be one word, one sentence, one paragraph, one page, or several pages.

You might have to write several pages to come up with one word.

There's never a problem with that.

That's excellent actually. 

Writing out those several pages does not mean you don't know what you want. It doesn't mean you're stuck and can't figure out how to solve your problems. It doesn't mean you're avoiding any problems, either.

Writing out those several pages means you're willing to dig deeper to find the truth, even when you're scribbling about nonsense stuff.

The truth is so important to you, you're willing to make time to explore.

You know if you can find the answer, you'll have found the puzzle piece you've been seeking the entire time. So you keep scribbling, you keep writing.

Maybe you start doodling.

Right, yeah? DO IT.

Yeah.

Feel it. Squeeze the writing utensil a little harder and then let go. Feather it.

Did you drop it?

Did you laugh?

Good. Put the writing utensil down.

(😱 Me ignoring the audible gasp from the back...)

Stop trying to dig for this treasure purposely.

Instead, I want you to play with your hobbies, your family, your loved ones. Play games. Solve mysteries. Do anything other than try to dig for the treasure.

I know you believe the treasure will solve your current problems.

The answers you're looking for aren't going anywhere.

You won't miss them.

They are still inside of you. You need time to see things from a different perspective.

Dear Scribbler

Q. I've done your "writing" bit, and what I'm left with just leaves me feeling like complete garbage. Your advice is bu11sh&t. None of this makes sense. You're a complete fraud. What do you think about THAT?

A. First off, I'm glad to see you in touch with your feelings and finding words to express yourself. I'm honored that you feel safe enough to direct your momentary anger at me. Sometimes that's allowed, and sometimes that's OK.

Let's just sit with that for a moment. Let's count down from 60. 60-59-58-57-56....

Deep breath in and hold. Exhale.

Repeat.

Feel a little better? Less angry?

Awesome.

Now let's take a look at what you're looking for with your writing. You're trying to solve a problem you have. There's a high chance you're looking for the solution of how to solve his problem with your current knowledge, experiences, and perceived resources, right?

We all do.

But here's what I've learned.

Every time I get stuck right where you're at, I now remember and understand two things:

  1. The problem isn't necessarily what I think it is.

  2. The solution is just all wrong.

But when you're in the middle of this, you don't always remember that and can't always see it. That’s normal.

Gaining clarity is key.

To do that, I'm gonna have you retackle this from a different perspective.

Next time, when you're exploring possible solutions, I want you to not put qualifiers around what you want out of life for your future.

Do not put boundaries around it. Do not say to yourself, "I can't because...." or "That will never happen because...".

NO. Those things might feel true, but it doesn't mean they are. And again, those things you're struggling with may not be the problem.

Knowing what the actual problem is requires you to identify the actual NEED you have first.

Could it be the actual problem is not feeling safe all the time?

Is it possible all the things you currently balance are simply in an effort to keep you feeling safe?

How would you view the problem you're trying to solve if you felt 100% safe at all times?

It might look different, right?

Coming at your problem from a "What do I actually NEED?" perspective first helps you zoom out on the problem that's robbed you of your focus. Being reeled in like this, is not necessarily your fault. It's pretty common.

Learning how to zoom out and do so faster is a skill.

I promise you, if you dig in the right directions, you have a higher chance of experiencing that breakthrough discovery that leads you to the treasure you were looking for in ways and in circumstances they never could have thought.

Unearthing those things is treasure at its finest.

Keeping scribbling. You've got this.

One Line

One-liners are sentences meant to prompt your memories and stimulate your creativity. Use them, if you want, to see what your brain comes up with. Do you see an image in your mind, feel something, remember something?

Whatever it is, start writing it down. There's no right or wrong answer. 🥳

He leaned his head back against the shoulder strap, and I wondered how long it'd been since he'd slept.

Mission

Grab the most recent piece of junk mail you've received (paper or digital). Write a letter by hand detailing how you feel about their proposal, what you think of their industry, and what they would have to do to gain your business, and end the letter with the choice you're choosing to act on whether it’s unsubscribing, shredding their mail, buying their product, creating a shopping list, etc. It does not have to be a long letter.

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