Getting Rid of that “One Big Thing” That’s Blocking Inspiration Old Dogs, New Tricks, and Breaking Out of the Doldrums

Getting Rid of that “One Big Thing” That’s Blocking Inspiration Old Dogs, New Tricks, and Breaking Out of the Doldrums

Well, this whole Summer of Me™ thing is off to an auspicious start. After doing a lot of background and planning for Midlife Crisis Averted, the next day I promptly woke up back in the same old summer doldrums that had defined my lack of productivity for years.

I. Just. Didn’t. Want. To. Do. Anything.

So I didn’t. Monday went by. Most of Tuesday went by. I spent time futzing around on the computer. Watching Netflix. Going to school and doing little things to fool myself into thinking that I was actually doing something productive.

Around noon on Tuesday, I looked at the clock only to find that it was 3:30 pm. I scolded myself. This has got to stop! So I did something worthwhile: I wandered around room to room looking at all the crap I didn’t want to do.

It was a beautiful day. Sunny, breezy, mid-70’s. Perfect! Why was I just hanging around inside? I went outside and got really productive! I was now wandering around the backyard looking at all the crap I didn’t want to do.

I mowed the front yard to feel like I had at least accomplished something. When I finished, I took the mower around back, and….

If you’ve stuck around this far, thank you. There is a point here.

For 7 years, I’ve been “gonna do” a retaining wall around a tree in our backyard. The yard is essentially a big hill and this wall was going to achieve a leveled, usable area. Being a big believer in laying good foundations, I laid part of a base for this retaining wall…7 summers ago. It was tedious work, and I hated it. Then for the next 7 summers, it became easier to talk myself out of finishing because it was too hot/wet/buggy/miserable/ stormy/dry/hard/windy/insert-excuse-here.

I mowed down the weeds that had surrounded my old foundation. I got out my level and checked those blocks I laid 7 summers ago (Still level! Woot!). I got out tools. I figured I’d lay just one more level block–again mostly just to fool myself into thinking I’d been productive.

Even so, I laid and leveled that one block. Then I laid another. Then I started building the wall from old pile of landscaping pavers that had been “decorating” my back yard for the last 7 years.

Now just two days later, the wall is finished. Two days! A seven-year hiatus of “I don’t wanna” broken, and the project finished in two days.

Finally, this evening I dragged my tired, old body up the hill one last time. I sat on the back patio and looked over my accomplishment. As I sat there, inspiration started flooding back in. Inspiration for this blog, for the next home project, for the next school year. Inspiration!

So are you stuck? Sitting on your butt — and your “but”s — knowing you should be doing….well, anything…but instead you’re just saying, “Nah.”

Break out that to-do list. Sure, knock out a couple of easy things to get your legs under you, but the point here is: Go big! Start attacking that “one big thing” that’s been taking up space in your life and in your brain for so long now. Make it a mission. Get it done. See if it doesn’t break down whatever has been damming up the flow of your inspiration.

Do you have a big “to-do” that is taking up space and stealing your inspiration? Or perhaps you’ve had a similar dam-breaking experience? Tell us about it in the comments.

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2 thoughts on “Getting Rid of that “One Big Thing” That’s Blocking Inspiration Old Dogs, New Tricks, and Breaking Out of the Doldrums

  1. Hahaha! You’ve shared something that hits a nerve for everyone — motivation to achieve what you know you’re capable of.

    Definitely not easy. Personally, I’ve discovered that breaking tasks down into tiny steps makes it much easier. For example, if I don’t feel like writing a blog post, coming up with a title and/or outline is much less intimidating. Then, once it’s done, I’m usually motivated to keep going!

    Good luck and keep up the blogging. I just published my 89th post today and this month has finally started being profitable (I’m earning more than $0.10/hr for my personal writing)! They say that crossing post 40 is the key to beginning to drive substantial traffic. So keep writing!

    I look forward to keeping in touch

    1. Thanks, Rob. I’ve been very lax recently at producing content, but I appreciate your insights. Your “Post 40” advice gives me a great goal to set!

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