In the previous post, I asked the question: What is your most important creative work? And I suggested an activity—answering two questions—to help identify the most important thing you can do in your life. The questions were:
- If there is only one thing you can work on now, what would it be?
- If there is only one direction you can take your work in for the next three years, what would it be?
If you’re like most people, you feel challenged to identify one project to focus on for three years. Lots of things feel important. Lots of things will also go unrealized—never amounting to more than a day dream, because it’s hard to imagine the logistics of accomplishing the goal/project, or imagine how one more THING(s) could be squeezed into a life that’s already full to the brim and can’t hold one even more thing.
After some thought about what I would have to give up to work on just one project, I realized more than decided that the answer to question 1 is: ME. I’ll work on me. I don’t have to give up anything that’s important to me at this time, not unless I want to.
That brings me to my answer to question 2. I want to feel HAPPINESS more consistently. Happiness is an elusive emotion, coming and going like the tides, and when it’s out, little feels good. So it makes sense to me to focus steadily toward feeling happy. Whole books have been written about happiness and how to find it.
Happiness isn’t Hiding Under a Rock
I know that happiness is a state of mind and the reason it seems elusive is because we have a tendency to look to things and people to bring it. That’s what makes happiness elusive. Nothing and no one can really make me (or you) happy. I have to decide, and that’s where the work and the rewards come in.
If I stay out of my own way, this one decision—to be happy—will help me make decisions about any projects I have going on now or that may come up in the future.
Decide What is Most Important to You
If you’re having trouble deciding on what’s most important to you, I submit for your consideration that your most important work is essential to YOU and how you feel about yourself.
What isn’t Your Important Work
It’s not checking your email or text messages. It’s not worrying about things, writing to-do lists, cleaning and sorting things to keep or throw away. There are lots of things we do that are not essential. When you decide:
- Write in one sentence what you think is most important for you to do for you.
Spend at least 20 minutes every day doing something that will help you realize your intention. That’s your most important work of the day—every day.