Yogi Bhajan’s Sutras for the Aquarian Age
When I first sat down to write The Business Yogi book in August 2011, the words just would not come.
Knowing that August is normally a quiet month of work, I had designated the month to writing. I had visions of spending long mornings with endless cups of coffee writing instinctive prose, uninterrupted by the day to day minutiae of running a business. Afternoons would be spent in the park thinking in the sun.
Sometimes the Universe has other plans.
When I tried to write other things seemed infinitely more interesting. I found chores to do, emails to answer and unsolicited work to take. Anything except starting the book seemed to be of higher priority. Oh, and the weather was terrible!
It’s the same with our yoga practice. Sometimes we do anything not to get on the mat.
But a funny thing happens when we eventually drag ourselves onto the mat. With the pressure off, the practice flows.
It’s starting, and worse, thinking about starting, that’s the problem.
This time writing the book in Lisbon, I don’t have any preconceptions of how or when I am going to write, I just pick one or two ideas a day and just start each morning whether I feel like it or not. As Eric Klein explains in his free ebook 50 Ways to Leave Your Karma: Freedom, Fear and the Art of Getting Unstuck we can’t afford to wait until we feel like it. Because we may never feel like it.
With the new year upon us, it’s a good time to start thinking about those big projects that we never get around to. Do you have a project that you have been putting off for ages? Overthinking can lead to inaction. Stop thinking and start doing, something.
Here are some ideas to help get your teeth into a big project this month:
1. ‘How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.’
This is how to approach a big project. Break it down into smaller action steps. The idea of sitting down to ‘write a book’ is scary but writing 750 words on an idea each morning is doable. As Eric advises – don’t throw yourself off the cliff. Just take the next step, however tiny, to move you towards your goal.
2. Take the 20 minutes a day challenge.
This is an idea I borrowed from blogger and illustrator Michael Nobbs who suffers from low energy. This is the approach I took for writing my free ebook From Apps to Zen: 26+ Ideas for Building a Business with Balance. Publically commit to a big project (this step is important), work on your project without distraction for 20 minutes each morning, and then stop and reward yourself with a cuppa. Before you know it, you will have made significant progress.
3. Listen to your resistance.
If you are feeling an inner resistance to starting the project, then sit with that and ask yourself why. Sometimes we can resist starting something because an inner voice is telling us that it is the wrong project to be working on or that it is the wrong time. But do start and see what comes up. If it’s the right project, starting will take the pressure off.
4. Eat the frog first and the rest of the day will be easy.
Author Brian Tracy has written a whole book on how getting a task you are avoiding out of the way first thing, can make the rest of the day feel productive and easy by comparison. While I think this is a little simplistic, why not try to ‘eat that frog’? Maybe once you start the frog will taste good!
What big projects are your thinking of tackling this year? How are you going to move this project forward? Do share them with me in the comments.
This blog post is part of The Business Yogi series – inspiration and thoughts for business based on the philosophy, principles and practices of yoga. The book of the same name is due to be published this spring.