Experiment: Letting Go of the Need to Do Everything

Can knowing what you’re good at help you simplify your life?

Reading this post on Zen Habits reminded me of a conversation I was having with my sisters about motherhood and housekeeping.

We were discussing the guilt we often feel for not enjoying cooking, or not entertaining guests with the ease of our grandmother (who seems to have a five course meal waiting in the fridge at all times).

Granted, she’s had more practice than us, but still. We can’t honestly say this is a lifestyle we really want.

And so what?

So what if I don’t enjoy cooking? I still do it, most of the time, and that counts for something.

My experiment

Letting go of the need to do everything, and being happy with focusing on less, is an important contentment lesson. – Leo Babauta

Am I content to be an “okay” homemaker? An “okay” mother? Because I know me, and I know that what fulfills me as a person has little to do with either of those things. This is not the case for everyone I know. My experiment, it turns out, requires a high level of honesty and personal reflection.

I started to wonder … How would it feel to focus on my strengths instead of beating myself up over all my weaknesses?

I decided to try an experiment. If you’d like to join me, here’s how I started:

Strengths vs. Weaknesses

  1. Write down a list of things you’re naturally good at. (Will share my lists in a future post!)
  2. On the same list, add activities and work you really, really enjoy. 
  3. New list! Write down areas of your life that don’t come naturally (hello, cooking), or things that you often feel others do so much better. (This is okay to admit! No negative feelings allowed.)
  4. I’ll explain how to use these lists in next week’s post.

Posting update: I plan to update my blog weekly, Wednesdays, if all goes well. I’ll note changes to this schedule via Facebook and Twitter.

Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections. – Gerard Way

Photo by stuant63

Check out Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk, coming January 2016 from Delacorte Press/Random House. Visit her author site here.

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