I have a problem. A positive problem, one might think. My calendar has a long list of things that I would like to do. Things that give me joy and provide me opportunities for personal growth. Inspiring ideas, big and small dreams, ambitious goals and exciting projects. What makes this a problem is that I would want to do all these things right now. But since there are only 24 hours in a day, 365 days in a year, and limited time to do what I wish to do, I find myself in a situation where I have to choose.
Since I know I can not fulfil all my dreams right now, I have to look into myself and choose the one(s) that are most important to me at the present moment, and those ones which, with patience, will get me closer to the other dreams and projects in my list. There’s a time and place for everything, and your job is learning to organize your things in the most productive way giving you the most value at that given moment.
The quote “you can do anything but you can’t do everything” has been my mantra for the last month or so. I came across with it some time ago while reading a blog post and it hit me immediately. It is a very simple and short quote, but if you stop and think about it, it is quite powerful. If you repeat it in your head, or even out loud, whenever you find yourself in a situation where you have trouble keeping all your balls in the air, it helps you find that one ball on what to concentrate at that very moment. The other balls are just unnecessary distractions preventing you to bounce that one ball as high as possible.
For example, one of my dreams was to have a daily yoga practice. As a mother of two young children, finding the time to practice yoga every day is a challenge. I realized that at this moment of my life, the only possible moments for an uninterrupted practice are either early in the morning or late in the evening. In the evenings I’m more productive with things like writing the blog, so the only possibility for me is to practice in the morning before the kids wake up. I wake up every morning at six to do my personal practice. I would like to sleep longer but the benefits I get from the early morning yoga practice are greater than what I get from sleeping until seven. I’m not at my best at six in the morning, but in this life situation it is the solution that gives me the most value and joy. I can spend the rest of the day without having to stress about whether I will find time to practice yoga later during the day, and that leads to a happier me 🙂
One of the most important things, as a yoga teacher, is to have a regular personal yoga practice. If I want to be the best possible teacher, I have to have a solid daily practice of yoga. There’s no way around it. I had to find a way to incorporate the daily practice into my schedule, and in order to do it, I had to give up lying in bed until seven in the morning. Small sacrifice for a greater benefit.
Back to the quote, what I love about it is that the beginning is very encouraging and motivating. The message is simply that you can do ANYTHING! It’s very empowering. It makes you dream big and reach for the stars! Sometimes hearing those few magical words are exactly what one needs to find the courage and confidence to go towards their dharma. When you tell yourself “I can do anything”, your mind automatically starts recalling the things your heart desires. The only obstacle is you with all the what-ifs. The ANYTHING helps you move your insecurities aside and focus on the hows.
Then, when you add the end to the sentence, “you can’t do EVERYTHING”, the quote kind of forces you to take a closer look to your dreams and plans to find out what it is that’s most important to you at this time. What it is that you need in your life the most, in order to be well, feel happy. It doesn’t mean to abandon the rest of your dreams, but rather to put them on hold for now and focus on that what has the most value to you in this given moment. It might very easily be that what you choose to work on now will get you closer to the rest of the dreams, and maybe even open doors to new dreams and possibilities.
After all, it’s all about prioritizing. When you learn to prioritize and to stick in to your schedule you can prevent a lot of stress in your life. A stress that might make you feel like you can NOT do ANYTHING and just give up before even starting.