I had my second therapy session of the year this week, and was told a very important thing. It was put to me in the form of an analogy (and I love analogies so that just made it even better).
The present is Room A, your life goals are in Room B.
Right now, you see a direct line to the next room: banging your head on the wall until it caves in front of you.
But that’s not the only way, and it’s certainly not the right way.
Figure out a nonlinear way of getting there: find the door. Go off on tangents, do things that don’t necessarily seem like they help.
Stimulate your creativity by doing things you love, and even though they don’t seem like they’re productive or that they matter, they’re indirectly moving you closer to your goals.
Don’t bang your head —let it rest.
So, what does that mean?
Let’s use an example: one of my life goals is to complete a biographical research project I’ve been working on for 5+ years. Ultimately, I’d like to make a documentary about it and follow the route traveled by the individual whose life I’m studying.
That’s going to take a lot of work.
Working nonstop on it will quickly burn me out. I’ve already burned myself out on social and academic matters, but this is a passion project for me. Getting burnt out on that would be heartbreaking.
So I’ll take a few months off. I’ll let the ideas simmer a bit.
And that’s okay.
It’s okay to take breaks. If your passion project involves writing or reading or painting or singing or RPing or what have you —it’s okay to take time off.
You’re not slacking off. You’re preserving your energy.
Right now it may seem like the best way to get to the End Point is by banging your head on that wall until you break through. But maybe by turning your attention to something that doesn’t tax your brain so much, you’ll be able to take a few steps to the left and find a door.