If you can’t chop, then chip

Occasionally, we have the opportunity to swing the axe and make a satisfying chop, so to speak.  We have a chunk of time and the focus to get something DONE.  These simple, short-term projects create some satisfaction in completion, but what about the ones that are long-term and/or complex?


-organizing thousands of photos

-getting or staying healthy

-learning a new skill

-keeping in better touch with people who matter to you

These are just a few examples, but many, many more come to mind; this to-do-list-master could provide thousands.  If you’re anything like me, you’re in a constant state of feeling anywhere between a little behind and overwhelmed.  The problem that indicates, though, is thinking about too much at the same time, which indicates that I am not doing my best job of living in the present.


Even living in the present, there are jobs to do.  Not only are there jobs to do, but there are also things we want to do that require our resources, and even those things that we want to do can start to feel more like burdens than releases of pressure.  Here, I encourage myself not to abandon what I want to do.

What can we do, then?  Give up?  If you want to make sure that you will get no closer to what you want, yes, give up.

If you don’t want to give up, then chip away.  Chip away at the obligations AND the “want to”s.  It’s just not always possible to chop.  Keep the axe in hand; use it to chip.  No matter what, action feels better than inaction when it comes to moving toward goals.  Something is truly better than nothing.

Including “want to”s in your life may cause you to feel like you’re getting less done, but they help you feel better about life.  And if you feel better about life, you may actually wind up accomplishing more because you’ll have more energy, inspiration, and joy than you would have without them.

Onward, with metaphorical axe in hand.