My Personal Mantra for Getting Shit Done

GSD Mantra

I have a mantra for myself: to always do what feels right for me at the time. I figure that way I can never regret anything, even if something doesn’t work out quite how I’d hoped. ‘Well, I made the best decision I could — nothing more I could have done.’

This mantra plays out in big ways and small ways. Big life decisions such as breaking up with someone or moving to a new city are obvious contenders for doing what feels right. But then there are little things too.

The other day I woke up feeling lazy. I wanted to make a cup of tea and slump on my sofa with an episode of Buffy on Netflix. (I LOVE BUFFY.) It was a Monday, so not a good way to start the day. On a weekend that would’ve been fine, but I work Monday to Friday. Still I wanted to watch Buffy. So surely watching Buffy would’ve been doing what felt right at the time, right?

But no: it wasn’t what felt right, it was just what felt easy. And there’s a huge difference between right and easy. Doing what’s easy often means staying home on your sofa instead of doing something fun and exciting. I mean, do you really want to go and climb a mountain this weekend? That will be hard work. But fuck if it won’t be rewarding too. If you stay at home instead, you will regret not climbing the mountain. You’ll feel lazy and shitty and will wonder what you’re doing with your life.

So, that Monday: I didn’t want to start work or get dressed or doing anything else energetic, because ugh, I’d just woken up, you know? But I also knew watching an episode of Buffy would lead to watching ten more episodes of Buffy, and then I’d feel like shit at the end of the day. So what did I do instead? I made a cup of tea and sat in my armchair with my laptop, and I wrote. That felt like the right thing to do. (Especially since it’s my current experiment.)

So what will you do today? The easy thing? Or the right thing?

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    1. Karen, one of the reasons I love reading your blog is that you’re so in tune with your gut instinct. Even though you offer all sorts of advice for writers based on experience, it often ties back to that foundation of knowing yourself and trusting your gut.

      I think that’s such solid advice, not just for life in general, but as an independent person working on starting a solo career — I don’t see how it can be done unless you’re constantly checking in, making sure your decisions come from that same place of integrity and knowing what’s in your best interests.

      Although my newest reason for loving your blog is that you watch Buffy. (!!!) :D

      1. Aww, thanks Ariel! I love this comment. And yes, you’re so right – listening to and trusting your gut are SO important, but can also be really hard, especially if you lack self-confidence/esteem.

        (Um YEAH! Buffy is awesome!)

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