I’ve been in a funk! You know what I mean. One of those times when nothing sounds good, you have no drive or desire, life feels dreary, your dreams feel futile, and you basically feel like… well, my life just sucks! Last week I had to deal with tragedy only to be followed this week by some frustrating disappointments.
Enough about whining… here are some positive thoughts for you to consider:
The 5 Components
Just recently I discovered what I consider to be 5 essential components of a meaningful life: (1) Passion, (2) Curiosity, (3) Imagination, (4) Critical Thinking, and (5) Grit. These are really good.
I found them in an email by futurist Peter Diamandis as he listed 5 components of a dominant, exponential business. (firstname.lastname@example.org “raising kids during exponential times”). As I pondered these 5 components it occurred to me that they are also the basics of a truly meaningful life. They also can serve as “funk-killers.”
Check it out:
First you grab onto whatever it is you are passionate about, drop everything else and go do that passion—like now! Instant cheer: guaranteed. Then, in the midst of doing your passion, employ your curiosity to question how you can even enhance and enlarge that passion.
The fun continues as you use your imagination (or creativity) to make new changes to the passion. Next thing you know is your passion is bigger, more informed and full of life. The funk begins to disappear. Then, just to make sure you are on the right track is when you apply critical thinking. You think about how to overcome the obstacles, roadblocks, and hurdles you will experience to make this imaginative passion a reality.
Then, you make your plan and you go about making it happen. Right? No, that’s not all. The most difficult part comes next.
The first four components describe the basics of a meaningful life. What’s most important here—I mean really important—is that, when in a funk, you have to do it even when you don’t feel like it. It’s not easy. In fact it may be one of the most difficult things you ever have to do.
You have to make a conscious choice to do something you really don’t feel like doing. You force yourself to be productive. And it’s electric. All of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, the funk disappears.
“Grit.” What a great word? Some people seem to have it naturally. They have the ability to hang in even when times are at their worst. But others, like me and some of you, have to work at it. It can be so easy to allow that depressive funk to take over—you get lazy and lethargic, stay in bed (if you can), call in sick, watch TV, or just sit around moping. You loose your sense of your passion and confidence. Yuk, yuk, yuk.
I think it really has a lot to do with “stinking thinking.” You only think about the downside and the problems. If you linger there, you begin to believe it’s true—that your life is virtually hopeless. But, believe me, that’s GARBAGE!!!
When you make that conscious choice to do battle with that impish little demon of despair, you can win. You can pull yourself out of that funk all on your own. It requires only one thing. Yes, just one thing: the Grit to start. You have to choose to get out of bed and just start doing something you don’t “feel” like doing. And within a short while you’ll find yourself so absorbed in your activity you will forget all about the funk, mostly. Oh, at times it tries to return. That’s when you apply even more grit.
Meaningfulness in life calls for “consistent hard work.” The key word is consistent. Peter Diamandis talks about billion dollar companies that experienced their own funks. Companies like Uber and airbnb that became multi-billion dollar companies in a couple of years after their launch, but they experienced nearly a decade in failure and development before they became huge.
These companies experienced scores of “funks,” but the leaders and dedicated workers refused to let the funk defeat them. Think of Thomas Edison and the 1000 failures he experienced attempting to create a lightbulb. He had grit. He kept going.
Do It Anyway
So… today is “Creative Thursday.” This is the day I only do creative activities: write, paint, read, museums, visit creative friends and whatever else brings out the best in me with no pressure to get anything done! I don’t care about the funk. I’m gonna do it anyway.
Yea, me and John Wayne. True Grit!
How about you? Maybe you’re in a funk right now. If not, just be patient, one will come along. What do you plan to do?
Try Funk-Killing Grit:
- Make a Conscious Choice to do something fun or productive. Shoot, go to a movie even.
- Force Yourself to get deeply involved in that something.
- Apply the Components of a Meaningful Life and you’ll be amazed at the results. Passion-Curiosity-Imagination-Critical Thinking-GRIT
Look. I know what I’m asking is hard. But you can do it!