When I approach whatever I’m doing from a peaceful state of mind, I seem to get things done with greater ease, less frustration, and more joy–and the quality of my work emulates these qualities. Transform stress into peace; one of these reminders might help.
“I have learned that you can create easily and effortlessly when you let your thoughts come from the loving space of your heart.” – Louise Hay
What Louise’s statement means, to me, is that when I stop fighting and start cooperating with a more gentle side of myself, I can create beauty in the world, even in small ways in everyday life, and I can enjoy the process.
It’s not always what we do, but how we do it that makes the biggest impact. The space we hold, the presence we bring, and the way we are leaves a lasting impression on whatever we’re doing in the world.
How could we ever create easily and effortlessly when there’s resistance (we’re pushing and the project/life is pushing back)? Is it possible to get things done without the constant struggle? YES. It really is possible to do great work from a loving space instead of a pushy place; in fact, that’s when most great work is done.
If you’re struggling to get things done, whether that’s in your career or any other realm of life, one (or more) of the following messages might be exactly what you need to read today.
10 Things to Remember So You Can Get Things Done with Less Stress and More Joy
1. There is no honor in endless busyness.
This one is a process and a personal practice. I’ve always kept busy to the point of having no space for unplanned presence. I wore (and still sometimes catch myself wearing) a badge of honor for all that I constantly need to be doing. I now know, though, that neither my busyness nor my productivity is more important than taking time to be alive and present in my life.
Productivity is not the be-all and end-all. Happiness must be the means to the end if it is to be found in our accomplishments.
The truth is that taking time to live has only inspired my work. It seems that I produce better work when I’m happy, and not stressed. My work is of a higher quality when I put love into it, not frustration. Busyness is an overreaction in my head.
We manufacture reasons to be stressed instead of doing from a place of being and feeling blessed to be here in the first place.
It’s not what I think I should get accomplished that will make me happy, but how I’m being that determines true success.
2. Happiness precedes success.
Just like productivity cannot be the means to the end, success is not the key to happiness. We have it quite backwards, as psychologist Shawn Achor points out in this TED Talk. Happiness, as research is now discovering (and as philosophers dating back thousands of years have noted), is a strong determinant in the level of success one attains (and not vice versa).
If you truly and sincerely can be happy first, you can get amazing things done and have a ball doing it.
3. Comparison can take a break.
One reason we might find ourselves voluntarily making our lives harder and busier is because we see what everyone else is doing, and we feel like we need to step it up. The truth is that we don’t know everything about the other person’s history, journey, what they’ve faced to get where they are, or even where they actually are. In other words, we often compare our beginning to someone else’s middle.
I really like Marie Forleo’s twist on Theodore Roosevelt’s original proclamation: “Comparison is the thief of joy, the pillager of profits and the pickpocket of prosperity.”
4. You don’t have to be ready (or perfect) to begin.
Waiting until you’re ready to start something new is a good way to never start anything new. The truth is that we’ll rarely feel 100% ready, but being uncomfortable is a good sign that you’re growing emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. As Dr. Wayne Dyer once said, “Go for it now. The future is promised to no one.”
Whatever you’re doing will evolve as you do. Don’t let the idea of perfection get in the way of living.
5. You don’t have to figure everything out all at once.
You don’t have to wait for everything to be perfect and complete before you decide to enjoy your life. Brendon Burchard, motivational author and trainer, even says that it’s okay to be confused. “Just remember,” he says, “confusion is not a stopping point but an action indicator, just a signal to go learn. The only real confusion is thinking that you’re supposed to know everything.”
6. The still is the master of the unrest.
There is wisdom and life beneath the clutter of negativity, expectation, and stressful thinking, and it’s permanent, unchanging, and available to us. It’s hard to explain in words, but it’s absolutely real–you just need to experience it to understand it. The way to get there is through stillness.
Stillness of the mind–thoughts can race, but your awareness of them rises–assists you in uncovering the peaceful foundation underneath the structure of every situation. Whatever is going on in your life, and whatever you’re trying to accomplish, can be simplified through stillness. The trick is to see stillness as a practice.
Chaos will always hover over worldly productions, but if you can be the eye of the storm, you can master your experiences. You can get things done in peace even when, to the world, you’re moving quickly.
7. Giving it up is not the same as giving up.
It’s wonderful to hold a vision for what you desire, but it’s powerful to give it away to a higher power or plan. To be clear: You’re not giving up your vision; you’re giving it up. You’re not giving up on getting things done; you’re getting things done by giving it up.
When you’re stuck in your own plan and need things to happen in one specific way, you get in the way of something incredible happening in a way you never could have imagined before. Surrendering is actually empowering. It’s one way to get things done while maintaining a happy state of mind, because you feel supported… and it feels good to feel supported.
8. We don’t always have to make things happen.
When we allow ourselves to be in a receptive, effortless state, we begin to manifest what we want into our lives. “The key to manifesting,” says Gabby Bernstein, “is to get over WANTING something and to instead dwell in the feeling you want.”
You mustn’t always stand strong through force; balance is a dynamic state of deep awareness that knows when to bend, when to fold, when to strengthen, and when to let go. Do not be afraid to fall, to be soft, or to forgive. This is the yin, without which there would be no yang.
9. Less seems to get more done.
When we push and push, we create resistance in ourselves and in others. There’s power in allowing, because it softens resistance and strengthens the power of your presence, which then strengthens your resolve. When we get demanding about things, things get more difficult for us.
A master lesson from the universe is that you need to learn how to receive. Giving is easy, and it’s powerful, but your capacity to receive what you need is essential if you are to get things done in such a manner that you’re leaving a powerful impression on the world. Get in touch with your “less” side–your still, feminine, receptive, soft side. It can take you far.
10. Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes… including you.
Someone once said that there is always room in this world for people doing the work their hearts call them to do. Whatever your heart–or the world–is calling you to do today, give yourself a little wiggle room.
Leave space for spontaneous presence and awareness. Let yourself be in the moment throughout the day by pausing, closing your eyes, taking a big inhale and releasing a long, slow exhale. Unplug from the obligations of the day periodically–even 30 seconds will do. You need these brief moments of disconnection so you can connect with yourself.
- How do you get things done with less stress and more joy?
- Which of the above 10 messages resonates most with you and your work right now?
- What are you currently trying to accomplish, and what’s one way you can approach it differently for a happy/successful experience?
Please share your thoughts, helpful insights, positive practices for being productive without the struggle, and any inspiring stories with me in the comments.
Feel free to share these messages with someone who might appreciate a new approach to their work.
Bring less stress and more joy to how you are, and what you do will follow in your footsteps.