We had a bit of a self smack-down in NVR-land, and it all started with this advice to a friend: "Be careful. It sounds like you're starting to create a new version of the very life you walked away from years ago."
We were on a catch-up-on-everything Skype call with another couple. The words flew out of my mouth with complete ease and with absolutely no thought.
The discomfort that our friends couldn't seem to wrap their minds around seemed so simple to us. They were stressed out because their new life was starting to look like an updated version of the one they had walked away from.
Simple. But they couldn't see it because they're in it.
Sometimes it's shocking when you realize that the advice you're (so easily) doling out to other people is the exact advice you should be giving yourself. That's what happened to us when we realized that "the answer" we'd been searching for was in the very advice we had given our friends.
So we decided to do something about it.
"It" being the fact that our life was starting to become an newfangled version of the busy, overly complicated life we set out to dismantle years ago.
Now, don't misunderstand. All of the piece-parts of our current life are – unlike years ago – pretty perfect. It's just that things have started to get increasingly hectic and hurried. Probably because we love all of the components of our life.
But, since we value time and space and calm, being perpetually busy was really starting to take its toll. So, we challenged ourselves to make a change. The big problem – and what we had to get really honest about – was that we had addressed this issue before with only short-term success.
We wanted it to be different this time. It would have to be.
We do our best plotting – dream-scaping, as we call it – when we mix things up and get out of our own heads. This time, though, we had to go deeper. We decided to, among other things:
1) Completely shake up our routine.
2) Have just a few minutes of tech a day.
3) Largely avoid social media.
Via our experiment, we were committed to the process of figuring out how to simplify our world even further. Long term.
We shook everything up and took a beat. We traveled. We largely avoided social media. We worked entirely differently than we normally do. We got clarity on what matters most and what we can shed.
Having decided on some significant shifts during this experiment, we're now back to reality. A few key findings:
– Starting the day with something other than tech (we usually jump right into work) is magic.
– The pull of social media can make you more of a talker and less of a doer.
– Not until you reshuffle your routine can you determine what matters and what you're simply doing on autopilot.
So, yeah, sometimes your advice to others is pointing you to advice you need to take yourself. Talk about the ultimate form of "the answer is right in front of you."
We've implemented some exciting changes – many that you'll hear about here.
Has this happened to you? What advice have you given others that you've needed to take yourself?