Geetanjali Mukherjee

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Productivity: For What Purpose?

I have been lately pushing myself to improve my productivity and getting frustrated with lack of progress on certain projects, and in general in my goals. Today while praying / meditating about it, I had a sudden thought – what is my purpose behind this desire for productivity?

And the answer came crystal clear – I want to show off. I want to see quick results in my weight loss so I can look good, post photos of myself on Facebook. I want to get more projects, a better title, so I can update my networking profiles and show off my success. And so it went on with all my goals. The clear pattern that was emerging was ego. I was thinking from my ego, my lesser self, what would make me look good.
And I asked myself, if I thought from my higher self, how would that be different? And I realised instead of obvious weight loss, I would like to feel healthier, have more energy, eat better, and see my health markers improve. I would like to be able to exercise joyfully with nothing hurting. I would like to create work that had an impact, that made a difference to someone. Sure, I still wanted to get more done, but the purpose became different – I wanted to do more, so I can create more value. And I wanted to be healthier so I have the energy to do more, and therefore create even more value.
Perhaps the subtle change in motivation won't make any difference, but more likely it will. I already feel a spring in my step, I feel I have a better reason to push myself. And paradoxically, I also don’t seem to be as harsh with myself as when I was working from ego – the shift in consciousness makes me feel that a slightly imperfect outcome is fine if it still creates value. The biggest change for me is in my current project – a book project I'm working on. I was feeling stuck and operating from fear because I wanted to write something brilliant, something with technical genius. And that objective of course gave me writer’s block, and I couldn’t progress.
Changing my objective to writing something that would touch a chord emotionally, something that would inspire readers, even in a small way, gave me permission to write simply, but from the heart. And that is really more up my alley. Don’t get me wrong, I'm still nervous. Because I have always believed that striving for brilliance is important, otherwise I would just slacken and do what’s easy. But perhaps maybe changing definitions – of what is difficult, what is easy - is in order. It may be even harder to focus on creating something that is emotionally honest, rather than technically flawless. It may be harder to put aside one’s ego, one’s need to shine, to think about what might be more likely to bring gratitude rather than accolades.

So next time you’re worrying about getting things done, ask yourself: what is the purpose of completing these tasks, and am I coming from my lesser or greater self?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...