Work Like the Rain
by Doug Sundheim
We should work like the rain. The rain just falls one rain drop after another. It doesn't ask: Am I making a nice sound down below? Will the plants be glad to see me? Millions and billions of raindrops, only falling.
-Jakusho Kwong, American Zen Buddhist Monk
Paradoxically, when you're obsessed with results, you're less effective at producing them. This is because your head isn't in the present moment. It's off in the future - worrying about the result. It's like a basketball player trying to win a game by staring at the scoreboard. It doesn't work. Focus on playing the game and the score will take care of itself.
One of my clients uses a creative exercise to get into the present moment when he finds he's obsessing about results. He closes his eyes and visualizes taking an excellent golf shot. He explained it like this, "My best shots always come when I approach the ball slowly and intentionally. I look down the fairway to where I want to hit the ball and I align myself. Then I take my mind away from the target and focus on the swing. And I've found through the years that if I don't take my mind away from the target, my swing suffers. It's the same in my business."
1. Think of something you like to do.
2. Close your eyes and imagine yourself doing it at your best.
3. Begin to understand why you are/were so good at it - what were you thinking? Feeling? Doing? Notice how present you were.
4. Reconnect with what it feels like to get lost in that moment (and work like the rain). It's your blueprint for success.
Question: How do you bring yourself back to the present moment?
The above can be related to the "Concentrate on the action, the fruits of the action will be taken care of" advice from The Gita. It is also related to the concept of "flow experience" described by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.