The chaos of now.
In a recent blog post, Seth Godin wrote, “It’s easy to imagine that things are going to calm down, that there’s a neutral position coming up, and that it’s all going to go back to normal. But the swirl is normal. It’s always been this way. Changing. There is no ‘ever after’. There’s just the chaos of now.” Despite this, many of us get caught in the trap of believing that we only get to do our best work on the other side of the chaos.
The same goes for our finances. We’ll save for a rainy day once we’ve gotten through the storm that we’re in. The only thing is, we’re always in a storm of some kind. So there will always be a reason to put off prioritizing financial wellbeing or to delay doing your best creative work. The chaos of now makes a convincing case for staying small and staying invisible. You’re not ready; you’re not perfect; you don’t have the resources you need to pull it off.
None of this is true, of course. Chances are, you have just enough in this moment to make a go of doing your best creative work. Or to change your financial reality. You might have to get really clear on your priorities but nothing you’re dreaming up is impossible. It might be difficult and might require you to make sacrifices but you can make it happen. Of course, it’s more comforting to put off reaching for what you want until life has calmed down a little.
It’s also more comforting to think that reality is a fixed container, predetermined by something else. We like to give up responsibility because then we’re not in charge of the outcome. If this is how things are then there’s not much to be done. If, however, we accept that we have a lot of power to shift social and cultural narratives, then we are suddenly unable to hide. We see that norms and rules can change and we have the power to create that change.
The challenge, then, is for us to get out of our own way. It’s to get curious about what chaos we’re getting caught up in and how it’s getting in the way of us doing our best work. Otherwise, we risk putting off getting started until we have no more time left to begin. Our lives are finite and the chaos is never-ending. With that in mind, you must start where you are with what you have. You must do your best work now. Not when the storm has passed. Now.
So, what chaos is in the way of you doing your best work?