A Torch in the Night

 Photo by Aziz Acharki

Photo by Aziz Acharki

Waiting for something good to happen can be like waiting for the end of the earth.

One of my goals has been to find better ways to get what I want out of my time, relationships, and life as a whole. I don’t mean this in such a selfish way that I disregard someone’s wants.

I mean it the way that the pursuit of happiness means the right to refine your life, to go after what you want, and with hope, find success on your journey.

I’ve been one to refine my process to get more—and with less effort too. I want to work smarter and achieve more.

The funny thing is this—what I consider work, and worthy to work towards, others wouldn't think is important, or at least, they imply that.

Why is it that people talk about values, family, and friendships, but all that seems to matter is your bank account?

Not many people, if you corner them and ask them what they stand for, or what they’re working towards, could give you an answer, let alone a plan to achieve it...

I know that’s not you.

Have you ever had recurring thoughts that haunt your brain? They can be small ideas that appear trivial on the surface, but they are not. They push us towards certain actions that define who we are.

The only thing that you have to do is turn of the pop-up blocker in your browser—aka, your mind.

Over the last year, I’ve improved my process of getting things done. If I have a task that I want to finish, I have a rock-solid way of completing it which I talk about in my article, “Use Timed Intervals to Get Anything Done.”

This method will help you accomplish what you set out to do. The only issue I have with it is it doesn't account for the quality of items that you put on your list.

The quality of the list, for me, should be influenced by the thoughts that bubble up in your mind—the ones that come back, over and over, out of nowhere, unprompted, that pop up in the background almost like from a subconscious scheduling app.  

How did these thoughts get programmed in the first place and why are they surfacing now?

It’s these mundane details about thoughts that shape and give meaning to what we do and should do. I’m starting to pay attention, because behind the triviality of a thought, my mind is leaving breadcrumbs of truth—a path to follow.  

Here are a few things that keep coming up:

  • Learn something new and commit to it (Improve)

  • Read all the books in my library (Reflect)

  • Have something to look forward to (Anticipate)

They are simple, unique to me, and in no way exciting. They might appear to be trivial, but they are important, at least my mind keeps reminding me about them.

You’ve probably experienced something similar; ideas keep coming back over extended periods of time, requesting your attention like a friendly ghost. I’m not exactly sure where it comes from, but the essence of who we are is revealed by these pop-ups.

If we listen, are open, and pursue them, there is truth about what path we should take—it’s our trajectory towards greatness.

However it happens, our mind reminds us of the path we should take, but not the answers that we will find when we get there

As I refine my process, and work smarter towards my goals, I'm open to exchange the content of my goals with the breadcrumbs that my mind leaves.

I have many interests—some would say, almost to a fault. Could it be that what I’m uniquely qualify to do, the actions that I should take to reach my potential, are making themselves clear to me? I don’t know if it’s a spiritual process or mental alignment born out of evolution…

Either way, there is always a whisper. Now I’m getting closer, listening with my full attention to the alerts. Maybe it is a friendly ghost, but I like to think of it as a torch in the night that lights up the path. Everyone has one.

This, I’m guessing, is why we know what we should do to reach our potential but don’t always get there—we see hints of the path, but never follow it long enough to get out of the darkness.

Follow the torch...