I didn’t realize how fast paced life is until I stepped back from it.
I spent two days at our camp by the river, by myself. I wanted to step out of reality for awhile and have a few silent days away from the constant noise of life.
The main reason why I scheduled this trip was because my goal this year is to become more spiritual and meditate more. I’m still learning, and I wanted to give myself a chance for reflection and meditation. It’s hard to reflect when you have two small children running around.
(Usually my meditation consists of 10 minutes of trying to clear my mind while I hear the kids running around with my husband downstairs!)
I went into the trip looking for more spirituality (whatever that means!) and I don’t think I found it.
Instead I found the art of living. I know I write a lot about how there is more to life than money, but there is even more to life than just enjoying it. Giving more of yourself to help others enjoy their lives too.
I’m realizing slowly that for me life is about creation. It’s about defining who you are by output, and in that process changing others.
The past few days I was able to do whatever I wanted. I wrote my intentions at the beginning of the trip. It said, “I have no expectations as to what should happen.” I’m writing a book and I wanted to write a lot! But I didn’t want to write if I had to write.
I ended up running for many miles in the woods, I kayaked, I drew, I painted, I wrote (a lot), I read, I listened to music, I meditated. I just sat.
The meditating and the running and the exercised helped my output. I wrote better, I painted better.
I think I have become so used to input that I never allow myself to create! Normally I read, I learn, I internalize, I think.
This blog has been my first attempt at output. The book is another. And guess what?
I LOVE OUTPUT.
Those days at camp, I felt like a young version of myself. One that didn’t need to worry about getting dinner on the table. I felt like I could live without judgment from others since I was alone, but also from myself.
Nothing needed to be perfect. It was all about the process.
As adults, we need to do that more. We need to know that it exists. We will become better human beings for it.
Output and Business
It makes perfect sense. In order to create value that others will pay for you need output.
We can get so caught up in marketing and selling, learning the newest technique or dealing with vendors. We forget the value of creativity and output for the business.
We have so many goals to achieve and we are always looking forward. Sometimes we look back at our mistakes and failures to learn from them. But how often do we look here and now?
How often do we relish in where we are, and how far we still get to go? Not how far we HAVE to go. How far we GET to go. Because once you beat the game it’s not fun anymore.
Take a day away from the office. Think about where you are now and how amazing it is, and start to output. I promise you it will be worth it.
Lessons from the Ouput
I’ve learned a few things along the way.
Things to do to increase your output:
Create a growing habit. Output can take awhile to get used to. I never labeled myself as a writer. English was the only class I got a C in and my horrible assignments forever scarred me.
So I started with a journal that just listed my accomplishments. Then I started writing a little more. It started to become a habit. Then it started to become second nature, so when I started putting it out there it didn’t scare the crap out of me. Now I write every day. (I am better at visual arts, but I don’t think a painting of this post would have gotten the message across as well 🙂 )
Don’t Judge. When you output, judge nothing! You can always cut words later, or you can start over on a painting. You can change your plans. Judgment stifles creativity!
I heard a story that Walt Disney wouldn’t allow any criticism in the initial creative process. Even at EepyBird when we start to generate ideas, nothing is allowed to be judged. There are no critics in the room. You must let a few crappy ideas get through to allow the space for the amazing ones.
One idea often sparks another, so if you judge and never allow yourself to get into the flow of ideas you may never hit that bonfire. You never know what your ideas might spawn into.
Stop the Input. Just like Tim Ferriss says in the Four Hour Work Week, go on a low information diet. While information can spark ideas that eventually lead to output, it’s hard to get ideas out when so much is coming in.
Can you imagine a pipe flowing with water into your brain? How easily do you think you could push out an idea? Let yourself turn the incoming water off, so you can output!
What do you think about output? Would taking a step back work for you?