This is a quote that I have heard some version of a few times in the past 6 months and it has really stuck with me. Let’s think about it in more concrete way…If you park your car and turn off the engine, and then turn the steering wheel, what happens? Nothing. Now if you start the car, press the gas and start moving, then turn the wheel, now you can change the direction you are going.
So, in your life, if you aren’t moving, you can’t alter the course you are on. Where this seems to show up the most,is when we are feeling overwhelmed. I know for me, when I am feeling overwhelmed I almost feel paralysed There are so many things that I need to do and I can’t seem to get started on any of them. You need to get out of the overwhelm so that you can take action, get moving and take control of the direction of your life. So how do you get out of overwhem? Here is one way…
Stay Focussed on the Task at Hand
It’s actually impossible to feel overwhelmed if you’re living in the present moment. So if you’re truly present to what’s going on in your life right now, it is physically impossible to feel overwhelmed. So when you feel overwhelmed, that’s your first indication that you’re not truly being present in the moment because overwhelm comes from thinking about all the things in the future that you need to do.
The future might be 5 minutes away or it might be 15 years away. And I’m not saying that we should never look ahead. Of course, we need to be looking ahead. We need to have an idea of the direction we want our life to go and how we’re gonna get there, and in those moments when you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s not because you’re charting out your life plan. It’s because your brain is being bombarded and bogged down by all these different things that you know that you have to do that you haven’t done yet.
So, pick something, anything, that you need to get done. And while you are doing that task stay focussed only on that task.
Here is an example. You may find yourself reading this blog for a moment or two, but then your brain drifts to thinking about what you’re gonna make for dinner, and that thought leads to your brain creating a virtual shopping list which reminds you that, “Oh, shoot, I have to get gas before I go to the grocery store,” which reminds me that, “Oh, I gotta take the care in for an oil change,” which then reminds you that you’re car’s getting kind of old, maybe you should think about trading it in. “Do we wanna get something bigger, something smaller? I don’t know if I wanna trade it in, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”
So you’ve gone from reading this post to what am I gonna make for dinner to we need to buy an SUV. Does that sound familiar? No wonder you’re feeling overwhelmed. Your brain has so many different things that it’s trying to process all at the same time. So to deal with that, think about only what you’re reading in this post, if we’re using this as our example. If you start to think of something else, grab a piece of paper, quickly write it down and bring your attention back here. So, as the thoughts come in, as you’re reading what I’m sharing with you, if something else pops into your head that’s completely unrelated, write it down, your brain knows that it’s safe, you can come back and then pay attention to the call once again.
Just Do Something
Here’s the thing, you just need to do something. Anything will get you moving. It could be a really small task like putting dirty clothes in the laundry, or it could be a bigger task like filing your taxes. It doesn’t matter, you just have to get into action. And when you’re in action, if you start to feel overwhelmed, remind yourself to only think about the task at hand and when the task is done you can think about all that other stuff.
Once you get something done you start to build momentum and then it is easier to get more things done. Just start moving.