(this video is an intro to the article)
I was having dinner with a dear friend of mine.
I knew something was a bit “off” in me.
She summarized it.
“Karen, you’re striving.”
She was right.
It got me thinking…
IS THERE ‘GOOD STRIVING’ AND ‘NOT-SO-GOOD STRIVING’? #yep
There are three ways to strive:
1. PERFECTION: The need for things to be perfect (not a good idea). My best will never be perfect.This, I fully embrace! For me, the need to do something perfect isn’t where striving crept in. (If you want, you can read more of my thoughts here: “Make An 80% Decision“)
2. MY BEST: The desire to do your best (great idea!) Doing my best is very important to me.
Yes, it is.
3. CASUAL: Making casual decisions that create added stress, and then the added stress puts pressure to make an effort to achieve something, anything, just something! (not a good idea) My best won’t show up if I’m treating important decisions casually.
Where striving tip-toed into my life was because I chose to be more casual in my decision-making.
definition of casual: relaxed and unconcerned
In this article, I’d like to focus solely on how casualness initiates striving.
 WHY DO I STRIVE?
That ol’ adage – “Hindsight is 20/20”
I arrived in San Diego in 2015, fully committed to chasing my dream.
How I began my quest, and where I am today, is dramatically different.
With three years under my belt, enough time passed to assess my progress.
I think striving kicked in right about the time I realized that generating revenue was not easy!
In other words, I made a bunch of mistakes at the onset!!
My starry-eyed excitement was partnering with a casual approach to important matters.
Decisions were not thought through properly and I began to experience a tremendous strain.
In that strain, I started to strive.
A casual mindset + not-so-great-results = Panic!
Panic sounded the alarm = “Uh-oh!”
The Alarm created stress = “This is hard!”
Stress kicked into striving = “I need to see something happen!”
Striving = I lost my rhythm and rest.
 WHAT DO I DO ABOUT IT?
How do I stop from striving and why did I invite this nasty habit into my life?!
I immediately did some self-coaching…
QUESTION: “What does striving mean to me?”
1. High work ethic
2. Feel responsible
3. Take into own hands
4. A lot of effort
7. Waste of time
QUESTION: “What does the opposite of striving mean to me?”
 WHADAYA KNOW, I FOUND MY 2019 THEME!
For the past 15 years, each fall season leading up to the new year, I begin to prepare my heart for a theme. That theme is activated on January 1st.
How it works:
I ask myself, “For the next 12 months, what do I want to learn?
Where do I want to grow?
Where do I want to mature, be inspired, be challenged, be confronted,
be humbled, be uplifted, be present, be curious?”
As 2019 approaches, I know what my theme will be: to diminish ‘the pressure to strive’ from my journey. This excites me. Yes yes yes!
I’ve allowed striving to enter my space – because of fear.
With all the joys that come with being an entrepreneur (exciting, invigorating and rewarding!) – it’s also scary.
Striving started ‘innocently’.
I have a high commitment to “work ethic”, “sweating”, “investing in my dream”. Fantastic!
Along with those wonderful rationales, striving also showed up.
Wisdom: I can be casual about what to wear, where to eat, how I travel and all my whimsical ideas. When it comes to important decisions, taking a lackadaisical approach might not be such a good idea.
Where is my casual vibe beneficial and where does it invoke striving?
What new ‘aha!’ moments will I be experiencing? Where will my character be enriched? How will this theme change my life? How will I, in turn, empower and serve others in greater measures?
I look forward to learning. I’m gearing up for a great year ahead. Journal is ready. Pen to paper. Eyes open. Ears attentive. Sign me up!!!
 YOUR TURN!!! #foodforthought
- Is there a part of your life where you might be striving (but not in the good way)?
- What new ‘aha!’ moments would you like to experience in 2019?
- Where would you like your character to be enriched, and why?
- In what area of life would you like to see a surge of growth?
- How will your 2019 theme create significant change in your life?
- In embracing your theme, what might be possible?
- In doing so, how might you empower and serve others?