We’ve all heard the advice: do the most important task first thing in your day.

It’s fine advice, but oftentimes, it has backfired. Why?

You have to know what’s most important first before you can do it.

Which means you have to be willing to name and own what you want.

Sometimes that’s easy. You want a job. You want to pump up your health. You want to finish your project. You want to keep the kids alive, the bills paid.

You want the insanity about this pandemic to end and people to wear their masks.

And sometimes, you don’t know what you want. Or you do, but you don’t feel “good enough” for what you want. Or you’re just too tired to do anything about it.

Then analysis-paralysis, time monsters, procrastination, and plain old “why bother?” can eat up your days.

Because without desire, it’s difficult to know what’s most important.

But who has any bandwidth for desire these days?

Yet, without it, everything is so dry. So very dry.

We have just transitioned into a new year and it is natural to want to add new challenges and up your game. But it is also not news that there’s a chance you don’t know exactly what you want to do next.

You do what needs to be done but at the end of the day, you feel empty and insufficient.

You know you need to resist doing and spend time being, which sounds like such a cliche, but it’s the bone deep truth.

Yet when you’re frayed and flattened by so many giant global events, who wants to settle? you just want to numb.

It is clearly understood.

But here’s the deal:
Don’t pressure yourself just because you need to do something. Take it easy on yourself and give yourself moments to settle down. Promise yourself to not enact a new idea until you are sure you really want to do it. And not to forget, you know why you’re doing it.

Journalling is a great way to help you keep things in check. It helps you think clear thoughts.

Settling down is a learned skill. We’re social creatures, we have complex lives to tend to, and being quiet with ourselves often takes effort. Nevertheless, who is going to determine your future—Netflix, your boss, your pet, social media, your to-do list, or your deeper desires, values, aspirations, or the full and awakened life calling to you? Settling down is an act of soul resistance, and your life depends on it.

What will never become clear, never grow roots and become real, or never feel truly possible to me if I don’t settle?

I get how hard it is to allow room and time to be so we can listen to what’s next. Even when you have no kids and families to take care of, you agree that it is still hard to settle down and quiet your thoughts sometimes.

But then, it is exactly these moments where we don’t know what we want where we need to listen the most. To journal, to talk, to be still.

The most important thing to do, when you don’t know what you want, is to spend time settling down into the grace of inner stillness. However you wish.

And if all of this makes you want to run screaming from the room, put your hand on your heart and remind yourself allowing desire can trigger your emotional immune system to say, “Threat! Extreme danger! Run away now!” Notice you are okay in this moment. You have enough oxygen to breathe, gravity is holding you to the Earth, and you’re not starving; you’re okay.

Then ask yourself, “What’s one tiny thing I desire right now?” Even if you can’t have it, ask. Be curious for yourself.

Doing what’s most important can become a hustling scam when we don’t connect it back to what we truly care about. Life will always be filled with important stuff to do, people to take care of, the planet to fight for, and yet we can lose our way and fall into emptiness and “blahness” without a relationship to desire.

So before you rush onto the next thing, ask yourself “is this really important to me right now?”

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