I’ve realised that September through November is a morose time of the year for me usually (a pattern I’d like to change). Perhaps the season has a part to play and the grey skies do dampen my spirits. It feels harder to get myself to do even those things that I know I’ll enjoy. Anyway, all that was to say that while I have been keeping up with my exploration and journaling about it, I haven’t had the motivation to put pen to paper and write this post. Until now.
We are on week #45 now, so I’m going to cover weeks 41 through 44 one by one below:
Week #41 – Strength
It actually turned out to be a difficult week for me. I heard some news that made me stop and question the choices I made and the path I decided to tread over the past two years. Having the intention to strengthen only those thought patterns that empowered me was helpful. I reminded myself, daily, that choosing to live my own story is far more important than any external validation. I read a quote by Adam Grant around the same time which goes like this: “Outer prestige is rarely a justification for inner misery.” I needed to read that and it made me feel so much better.
I came out of the week feeling better about myself and my thought patterns reset from the negative spiral I had been on somewhat. I definitely felt the week was a success in that regard.
Week #42 – Faith
I felt a need to hold onto faith that week. The faith that I’m going to be okay no matter what. Faith that I was on the right track. Faith that better things were coming. I held these two quotes at the back of my mind throughout the week:
“Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark”– Rabindranath Tagore
Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step”.– Martin Luther King
I decided that the best way to reinforce this value was to create a coloring book on faith. My thought process was that perhaps others would appreciate having an affirmation coloring book that reminds them to have faith too. So I did that.
It was interesting spending so much time holding this value in my mind. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. This value is more abstract than others, so I was experiencing it more as a feeling than as thoughts. It certainly made the experience of my week better especially because I was otherwise not in a great frame of mind.
Week #43 – Imagination
I have a tendency to hold myself back from indulging in imaginative thinking if I think that it won’t aid a project I’m currently working on. This basically means that I feel guilty when I do allow myself to daydream and consider future scenarios or projects. I wanted to use a week to remedy this line of thinking because I intellectually know that there’s nothing wrong with imaginative thinking and I needn’t feel guilty about indulging in it.
It was a fun value to explore. I found it interesting to observe the directions my mind went in. Most revolved around what I’d like my life to mean, what I’d like to create, and how I’d like to add value to humanity and the planet. I journaled about this which was helpful and something I’m going to keep referring back to. I read a book called Meant for this by Erica Wernick which was a great listen during this time. I came out of the week feeling more energized and joyful. I think that’s because my mind finally got to indulge in something it wanted to but wasn’t being allowed to.
Week #44 – Motivation
I usually select values to reflect the sort of week I’d like to experience. Since I was going to participate in the Octo Intensive Workshop by Steve Pavlina which was on self-motivation, I decided that I’d make the week about motivation. After three days of being immersed in the topic, I found that it was fairly easy to keep my focus on motivation the rest of the week. I just started re-listening to the whole thing again yesterday. Honestly, there is so much great material that I think it will take me a bit of time to digest and integrate all the insights that I thought were gold for me. If there’s one thing that’s shifted in how I view motivation, it’s this: I have started looking at it as a skill to cultivate rather than something that’s just there or isn’t.
The first of the eight keys to self-motivation discussed in the workshop was intention. I don’t think I’ve ever paid attention to this value for more than a few minutes at a time. I’m eager to explore it in an extended way for a week. As Steve explains it, intentions expire fairly quickly. So it’s important to keep setting intentions afresh – even setting a hundred intentions a day isn’t too much.
I’d like to use this week to make intention-setting a habit. I’m going to set 100+ intentions a day. If possible, I’ll try to do it in multiple ways: writing, saying them out loud, and thinking them consciously. It’s hard to keep count, so I’m going to make sure that the ones I write are at least 100 in number. So it’s likely that I will set way more than 100 intentions daily.
I’m curious what such an exercise will teach me or lead to. It’s often hard to predict any sort of outcome with this sort of subjective exploration.