Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Step Away From Your Attempts And Be Amazed

Do you ever feel like you're just trying too hard?  Sometimes that thought occurs to me and I have to just step away.

Trying too hard is different than simply trying. There's a desperation in trying too hard.  Grasping, clawing, rationalizing your way to the goal you think you want.  You make hurried, half-hearted attempts as the clock ticks away the minutes, days, and years you haven't reached your goal.  The trying, the unsuccessful trying over and over again could be just the thing that prevents you from attaining that goal.

My nephews have a creativity in them that is astounding.  One evening they were telling the story of a character they made up together.  This character has been alive for them since they were very small boys.  There are intricate details to the character's life that the boys know by heart, as though this character was an actual person in their lives.  These boys I speak of, my nephews, are pretty much grown by now and still refer to this make-believe character and add aspects to his life still.

I told them how interesting it was to hear about this character, and how it seemed the "story" came to them so easily.  I commented on their vivid imaginations and how much I admired their creative thinking.  I envied them and said so.  Why can't a story with that much imagination just flow from me like that? I asked.  One of my nephews said immediately and simply, "you're trying too hard."  Brilliant insight from someone thirty-five years younger than me.

Perhaps it is desperation that leaves me frustrated,  like the artist who can't get the lighting just right in his painting or the author toiling over the perfect words.  Maybe it's better to just walk away for a while, to gain a different perspective.  Why isn't my plan working out exactly how I envisioned?  I'm trying too hard.

This can all be summed up with the sentiment in a card Husby gave me once.  Take the world lightly, and see how easy things become.

I'm going to experiment with this theory and broaden my field of vision.  Instead of focusing so mightily on one aspect of my life and being disappointed, I'm going to give more attention to other parts of my life.  I'm going to see if stepping away from the desperate trying will perhaps lighten my mood and my attitude.  I'll keep trying, just not so hard.

So what do you think of that?

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