Here is my loving, caring, gentle invitation for you this week:
Do the Next Right Thing.
You know that one thing you’ve been putting off? The one that seems to have nothing to do with anything?
Cleaning your bathtub.
Buying a new hair product.
Dealing with your bank account.
Telling a friend “no.” Or “yes.”
Donating those shoes that aren’t technically worn out but you never seem to wear and are a drain on your mental energy.
Even if it seems random. Even if it doesn’t actually fix one of the "big problems" in your life.
You might be frustrated with your romantic life but have this deep sense that you need to finally freaking replace that shower curtain or deal with your retirement account.
You might feel totally stuck and lost in your career but feel this deep urge to put a platinum blonde streak in your hair.
And here’s the kicker: it will help you if you just do those random things.
Replace that shower curtain.
Re-allocate your retirement account.
Get those blonde highlights.
Just do whatever it is that you need to do next.
I really, really, mean this.
Because guess what happens when you move forward on one front? You move forward in your life. You feel a sense of momentum, a sense of trust in your ability to care for yourself.
And when you have a sense of momentum and trust?
Then you move forward in other ways.
And in more ways after that.
And each, weird, seemingly random step gives you odd, unexpected insight on where to go next.
Here’s one way that this played out for me. A few years ago, I felt extremely lost in almost every area of my life—career, romantic relationships, my social life, and more. I had some inklings about what to do about it, but nothing was totally clear. I only knew one thing for sure: I really wanted to shave my head.
Shaving my head was totally random. It didn’t seem like it would solve the big questions: What am I doing with my life? How am I going to make money? How can I take care of myself while caring for other people? How can I connect with people?
Except it was the only thing that I was totally clear on.
So, you know what, I decided to do it. (More on that here).
Did shaving my head instantly solve every problem in my life? No. But it did un-block me. Once my head was shaved, I looked for other areas of my life that I felt like I needed to deal with. And sometimes they were easy (draw a picture, buy a book, try a new lipstick), and sometimes they were freaking hard (move to a new apartment then a new state, renegotiate close relationships, find a job and then quit that job and start a business).
But there was this consistent, clear, iterative sense of “just do the next right thing,” driving all of it.
And you know what? Big, big, BIG changes happened for me.
If you are someone who thinks you need a big huge plan to “solve” your career, relationships, appearance, weight or whatever, I want you to hear it from me, lovingly:
You don’t need to "solve" anything. You just need to do the Next Right Thing.
My challenge for you this week is to close this window and take a moment to get quiet and think about what your next right thing is.
It might have to do with reaching out to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, sending a thank-you note, cleaning your kitchen, or researching grad school. Or it might be baking a pie.
Figure out what it is. And then, my dear friend, take a step in the direction of doing it.