“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~ Marie Oliver
Running errands, working late, losing sleep, making annoying phone calls and being put on hold, not working out again because you got home too late, not seeing your friends for a few weeks because you’ve got your nose to the grindstone…What’s the point?
What’s the reason behind all the things you’re doing every day? What’s the MoJo behind your ToDo list? In coaching, we talk about the “little a” agenda, and the “Big A” Agenda. The little “a” agenda is the list of all the little steps that get you to your Big “A” Agenda. The Big A is your dreams, your vision, your totally fulfilled, free and kick-ass life.
It’s important to know why you’re doing what you’re doing with your precious life energy, and it’s also important not to confuse the To Dos for the MoJo itself. When we confuse the little a for the Big A…then we’re really screwed. But more on that in a bit.
Let me start with an example of little a and Big A: I want to go to Africa and travel this Fall, as well as volunteer at a refugee camp. I want to write and create and inspire and dive into – with the freedom of time – the newest epic Freedom Junkie program I am creating. On top of that, a requirement is that I do not have to be anywhere at any given moment or be held accountable to anyone but myself, my partner, and the present moment. That’s my Agenda. That’s the MoJo behind my ToDos.
In the meantime, what do I need to do to get there?
- Quit my job (the one where I loved it but didn’t have freedom of my time) – DONE. I did this a long time ago, but I like to remind myself everytime I do something cool about why I did it;)
- Not get pregnant – DONE (ditto to the above)
- Run my Freedom Junkie programs twice as often as usual since I won’t be doing them in the Fall – DONE
- Save a bunch of money so that even though I may be earning money in the meantime, I don’t have to freak out that I NEED to, and end up coming home early because I am stressed out or something sucky like that. This means I had to save 3 months worth of expenses, at least. – DONE
- Pay bills in advance – PENDING
- Write my eZine articles in advance – PENDING
- Tuck in all my loose ends and do all the crap I have been putting off so I can fully let go – definitely NOT DONE
So, a lot of little “a” things have to happen in order for my vision to happen. Some of them were really big freakin’ deals to pull off! A lot of things on YOUR ToDo list will need to happen in order for you to fulfill your MoJo too. your So, a lot of little “a” things have to happen in order for my vision to happen. Some of them were really big freakin’ deals to pull off! A lot of things onWhen I get stuck in how mundane things are because I am doing some annoying thing like spending half the day on the phone with insurance companies or filling out paperwork or screening renters for my house, getting all the service maintenance done on my car and doing prophylactic plumbing care on my vintage cottage (circa 1912, baby!), I remember my Big A. It helps.
Are you working overtime? When you feel yourself getting down on it and saying things like, “I can’t believe I’m missing out on watching the sunset on the river with my peeps,” how about saying, “I am making sure I’m getting to trek in Nepal in the Fall so I can fan the flames of my Freedom and Adventure MoJo?” That’s a much better place to have your perspective sit and take a rest.
Look at your daily habits and the things you are doing right now - your ToDo things. Are they getting you closer to, or further from, your dreams? Or are they keeping you stuck? Be honest with yourself.
Create and get clear about your vision,then make a list of ToDos that need to happen in order to be living that vision sooner than later. Then go out and do it – remembering, with focus, your reasons why.
Here are warning signs to watch out for when putting together the ToDos for your MoJo
Make sure your MoJo is honored every day. “Balance” in terms of an 8-hour workday and 8 hours of sleep is bull-honkey for most people. However, while you’re passionately cranking out the ToDos to get to your dream, make sure you celebrate some part of your MoJo. After all, you never know when you’re going to croak, so be sure to live a little passion every day. Have great sex. Eat good food. Play outside. In whatever order you like;)
Don’t keep doing things you don’t like with NO “Big A” Agenda in mind
For example, are you working overtime just to have “more money?” What the hell are you doing, amigo? I am now figuratively slapping you with a ltitle sting like in a Telenovela. Everything you do, even something seemingly banal or mundane, must contribute to your life dreams. And my bet is that if you’re a part of the Freedom Junkie Tribe, your dream isn’t to have a lot of money per se, but rather to feel free, have adventures, and take control of your time and money and where you are in the world. If financial abundance happens to come along with that wild ride, then sahweet – buy more drinks for your friends! In the Maldives;) Get in touch with your Big A – what values are you honoring?
Be aware of when your “little a” agenda items are for the purpose of someone else’s dreams, or an Agenda that is actually a really really bad idea that you forgot you were going to ditch once you realized your Badass Life was meant to be lived on your terms.
Like you used to think you wanted to be a doctor to save lives and help people. That was easy people-pleasing at cocktail parties. And you really really like shoes. You like them so much you are really freakin’ good at designing them and celebrating them. In fact, you are the only student in your medical school class who can pull off Fluvogs with scrubs.
You forgot you always wanted to open your own store. But then, in the middle of a 12 hour day indoors in the hospital on a sunny day, you remembered again. You remembered a lot of things about your dreams. So you quit med school. No shit. One of my friends did exactly that. And she has a badass shoe store and donates hundreds of pairs to kids in developing countries every year. Not Fluvogs. But you get the point.
Don’t make your Mojo items consistently eons into the future. Don’t wait for “someday.” Pick actual dates. Take, as Tim Ferriss says in The 4 Hour Work-Week, mini-retirements so that you refill your mojo regularly during this one wild and precious life. Don’t wait till you’re about to die!
Do not confuse your little a for your Big A. Do NOT work overtime thinking it will all be worth it “someday” if you never actually go on that trek in Nepal. You must go, or you’ll loose respect for yourself and your MoJo will whither. We’ve all done it. We’ve made plans, even taken some big leaps, then we make up excuses to turn away from our dreams. Then we keep doing the “little a” things all the time, and they eventually start to seem like Big A things because we forgot why they were so important, but we keep doing them anyway – but they’re not our Big A. They’re distractions.
Like checking Facebook or your emails 100 times a day so you feel important and seen and like people notice you, and that you’re doing really really well. Distraction. What could you be doing instead to get you to your big dream? All those little moments add up, hermana. One study showed employed people spend12.3 minutes on Facebook a day. That’s 76 hour a year – or 3 whole days! Another showed Americans spend 49 minutes a day on managing email. That’s 446 hours or 18.5 entire days!
In summary, I want you to get your MoJo on.
- What’s Your Mojo? What are your big visions, your passions, your up-and-coming adventures?
- What ToDos need to happen to manifest your MoJo?
- How can you keep living your MoJo every day while you work towards that epic vision?
Please share your comments below: I’d love to hear your answers to one or all of the questions above. When you speak it, there is power.
PS: If there is no MoJo behind what you’re doing, stop messing around. Discover your passions. Join the tribe at www.Facebook.com/TheFreedomJunkie and ask for some support. There are a bunch of wild and crazy Freedom Junkies out there who have been exactly where you are at!