How “creative avoidance” messes with your obit

Creative avoidance is the fun stuff you do to skirt getting to the big stuff. When you’re pondering a big, juicy project, it’s hard to get started for many reasons… And if you don’t have time, you have the perfect excuse!

“I’d love to get this done but I don’t have time.”

IMG_4049Creative avoidance can include simple tasks that steal your focus – like reading online articles, reading and sorting email, or cruising social media. Or it can be cunning – like spending time organizing and not doing. Or doing research to learn more and add to your knowledge and add to your knowledge and add to your knowledge… but never do the work tied to that knowledge.

Or it can be healthy – like running, working out, or spending long hours in meditation.

Each bit of creative avoidance is like a tiny nail in this awesome work of art from the Louvre. It’s all fun, but it kind of weighs you down.

Here’s a simple exercise to help you trim some of the creative avoidance out of your life and get to the real work you came here to do

  1. Write your ideal obit. I know it seems morbid, but you are going to die. I hope I haven’t startled you by telling you that. We all die. What do you want to have in your obit by the time that happens?
  2. Look at what you wrote down and compare that to how you spend your time. What sticks out?
  3. Look at your planner for the week ahead. What’s one thing you could do differently this week to be more in alignment with your ideal obit?

What I love about writing an ideal obit is that most of what you do every day won’t end up in your obit. If your ideal obit includes, “She cared deeply for her family, friends, and community,” do you have something planned this week that reflects that? Think about time spent at the dinner table with family. A card sent to a sick friend. Volunteer work in your community.

Or if your ideal obit says you lived to the age of 104 and never slowed down, is your health and lifestyle one that will get you to 104 and still be dancing on tabletops?

Or if your obit starts, “Olympic champion”, or “Author of…” or “Movie director…” then it’s time to get the first baby steps for these massive accomplishments into your planner.

We don’t know how much time we have. It’s essential that you use it well.

I leave you today with the humor this person left behind them… Perhaps that was in their obit.

Obit tombstone







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