By Milli Thornton
Whenever a life lesson bonks me over the head, I’m the nerdy kind who will write a pithy reminder on a brightly-colored sticky note and prop it prominently on my desk to remind me.
My desk can look kind of hilarious at times. Brian remarked on it the other day, after seeing five new ones, including –
Conserve Your Strength
Don’t focus on what doesn’t matter :~)
The “Don’t focus on what doesn’t matter” is stuck to a plastic calendar card with a photo of a laughing dolphin on it. (The dolphin’s job as one of my desk mascots is to laugh at me, so he’s the perfect one to laugh with about unsweating the small stuff.)
But, to be honest, once I put the sticky notes up, I don’t usually remember to look at them at the crucial moment and take my own advice. I was ticking myself off about that this morning when a thought struck me.
Hey, I really have been doing this more. Maybe not perfectly, but more.
I think the intention is powerful, first of all. That moment of pausing and saying, “This is important. I want to remember this. I want to do it differently next time.” And then writing it somewhere prominent.
Secondly, I realized that the subliminal effect is probably a lot more powerful than anything. Just because I don’t consciously look at those sticky notes every day and base my actions on them doesn’t mean it’s not sinking in. My subconscious “eye” sees it and takes in the message. And then steers me that way.
And uses reverse psychology on me. Did I mention that part?
For the “Don’t focus on what doesn’t matter” I realized that, instead of looking at all the small things that come my way and deciding to waste less time on them, I’ve been spending more time on the things that DO matter.
I’ve been spending way more time on my writing. And that leaves me with less time to sweat the small stuff. Magic!
What’s on your latest sticky note?
Milli Thornton is the author of Fear of Writing: for writers & closet writers. She is owner of Unleash Your Writing! and the Fear of Writing Online Course, where her mission is to put the fun back into writing. Milli also blogs at Screenwriting in the Boonies and Milliver’s Travels and coaches writers at Writer’s Muse.