Day 3: Taking the Struggle Out of Life – Appreciating My Gifts


One thing that has emerged for me is how important it is for me to appreciate my own gifts.

It seems that I have been in this weird space of desiring recognition from others in order to feel what I do best is somehow legitimatized.

But I’ve taken the “marketplace” acceptance piece too far. I think I’m so skeptical of my own value that I’ve placed the burden on outside recognition and that doesn’t work.

Today I’m exploring how to change this so that I am my own best champion.

Getting to the Sweet Spot

The diagram for this post shows how ideal work is when the marketplace will pay for what we love to do.

Where things get murky for me is how to find that intersection.

I have a lot of clarity about what I love to do. I didn’t always. I had to give myself permission to enjoy doing things even if I wasn’t sure whether there was a legitimate business opportunity.

I also believe the circle of “things I love to do” will expand because I’ll keep discovering new things I love doing.

The sticking point for me has been believing in the value of these things.

I tend to believe that my gifts, intuition, creativity, and visual design, are trivial pursuits. You don’t get paid to do these things. You do these things as hobbies … for your own pleasure.

This shows up in the way I use my time every day.

Lately, I’ve been looking at not only how I spend my time but how much I enjoyed the activity. My “Joy Scale” is:

5 – Ooh!
4 – Great
3 – OK
2 – Meh
1 – Ugh

I’ve discovered that I spend 80% of my time on activities that are “OK” or lower.

So one conclusion is: spend more time on things that are “Great” and “Ooh!”

One of the reasons, I’ve stopped shopping online is because I spend so much time doing paperwork and packaging. My intention is to use the time I save here on activities I really love.

Finding Activities that are Creative and Connecting

The reason for this blog is partly exploration but it’s also a way to express myself creatively. It’s the reason I create illustrations and diagrams. Because I’m trying out different approaches to communicating my ideas.

For example, one activity I’m considering is doing an Artist’s Way study group. Because this creates opportunities to re-engage in my inner artist and share the fun of discovery with other people.

Another option is to find ways to make things I need to do more enjoyable. For example, listening to music while I errands around the house. That’s something I’m already doing more of.

Learning to Appreciate What I Do

The second piece is learning to fully own and appreciate what I do. I’m not as sure about how I’ll go about this but I’m pretty confident I’ll get ideas as I move forward.

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