Getting Unstuck: Moving Forward on a Quest for Vision
Today I found my mind desperately constipated, so I decided to reuse some old advice from my mentor, Janine Bolon. Her prescription for a mental laxative: just start writing, stream of consciousness if necessary, and before finishing the third page, you’ll have figured it out. Since it’s worked for me in the past, I decided to try it again.
Here’s what I got down in my sketchbook/journal/commonplace book earlier.
I’m sitting in the parking lot of a city park in Phoenix, Arizona. I’m in my car because it’s too blasted hot to stay outside for any length of time, i.e. over a hundred degrees at noon. I came to the park so that I could have something to look at other than my office at work. I just had to get out. So here I sit in my gas guzzling Cadillac DeVille with the engine running and the AC on, so that I can look at the grass and trees and feel better about my life. There’s something vaguely pathetic about that.
I’ve just begun a new job (an actual full-time job, not a temporary contract), and for some reason, I find that somewhat depressing. I want so badly to be working on my own projects and mission, but the bills loom ever larger, and I’ve mostly been dodging my creditors for the past couple of months. It’s not that I don’t want or intend to pay them, I just don’t have the funds, and the thought of repeating that same excuse to each bill collector several times per week makes me want to slip into a coma. I’ve been in this situation before, I’m just not happy to be back. I know that Life’s lessons will be repeated until learned, but I just feel stuck in a lather, rinse, repeat cycle.
I’ve done some initial negotiation calls with the critical creditors: my first and second mortgages, the power company, city utilities, and the car insurance. Right at this moment, I’m putting off an overdue call to my credit union to work out something before they decide repossess my car and the family van. I will certainly have to get around to that today…
My frustration with myself is that I can’t seem to get out of the same rut that I’ve been in for years. I really just don’t want to work for other people. I haven’t been able to “buy in” to any company’s purpose for a long time. I now work for Goodwill, a non-profit charity that actually does good in the community, but I don’t feel any better about this job than I have about any other. I just don’t feel like I’m doing with my life what I’m meant to do.
I spent a long time trying to figure out what my mission in life is, and last year I think I pretty much got it tacked down, at least in general terms, and I’ve been able to refine it a bit since then. My primary purpose is to free the captive through my own example. I’ve taken that mostly to mean freedom from financial bondage and reliance on employment from others. (Ironic, isn’t it.) My secondary purpose is to educate the ignorant, which I think is more of a means to accomplish my first purpose. I know that this is what I need to be doing, but I just can’t seem to get it put together.
So much for the baggage. Where I’m stuck right now is really needing a target to shoot at. From nearly everything I’ve been reading recently (Money…It’s Not Just for Rich People!, Ditching Debt, The 4-Hour Workweek, The Jackrabbit Factor, Think and Grow Rich, The Secret), I need a specific goal, a chief major aim, a vision of what I want. I must really have a problem doing this, since everything I read asserts that this is required, but I still haven’t managed to get it done. And now, as I really try to focus on it, it’s amazing how many distractions pop into my mind from nowhere/everywhere to keep me from finishing.
- Is the engine getting too hot?
- It’s uncomfortably warm, here in the car.
- I need a drink.
- My lunch wasn’t big enough. I’m still hungry.
- It’s about time to head back to work.
- I need to call the credit union pretty soon.
I don’t care! I’m going to push through this block! WHAT DO I WANT? WHAT WILL I DO ANYTHING TO ACHIEVE? (Now, wait for it…)
I want a business that provides me with more income than my family needs, which only requires a few hours a week from me to manage, that can be run from anywhere in the world via cell phone and/or internet connection, and sells a product I truly believe in. I want this business so that I can pay all my obligations on time, own the titles to my car and van and the deed to my house, and travel the country one month out of three with my family in a schoolie. Then I want to teach other people, especially fathers, how to do the same thing, only for their own missions.
That’s what I want, at least for a start.