What to do when you don’t know what to do

Oprah once said that when she faces a daunting endeavor she just asks herself, “what is the next step?”

Notice she doesn’t try to map out the whole project. Maybe she does that too, I don’t know, but when she has a major project she just focuses on the very next step.

We can only take one step at a time.

It’s that whole “present moment thing” again! Really and truly, that is the only way to live peacefully. It is so simple yet not always easy. I get it. It’s easy to procrastinate when we’re paralyzed by the overwhelming feeling of a daunting job. Especially when we don’t have any help and have to do it alone.

Another example of this is type of thing is in the movie “Touching the Void” which I highly recommend. It is the true story of a mountain climber whose rope broke. His climbing partner left him, assuming he was dead after the fall. The conditions were too harsh and snowy for his partner to find him so he had to get out of there alone. It is an amazing story of survival. What struck me the most is that he said he took things in 20 minute increments. He would say he wanted to reach a certain area in 20 minutes. He felt triumphant if he made it in that time and devastated if he was even one minute over 20 minutes. He was extremely focused- on those 20 minutes. He simply couldn’t look at the whole picture because it was too daunting. Surely his strategy kept him alive. You’ve just got to see the movie for yourself to know what he went through. It’s incredibly inspiring.

Touching the Void Trailer

So even if you don’t know what the next step is, just set a 20 minute goal for yourself. Chances are, you’ll set another 20 minute goal and another and another.

Why try to reinvent the wheel? I try to take the advice of people who have made it, not just people who talk the talk. So far it does seem to working.

Let me know if this works for you too.

Many good wishes!

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