Reflection: Stop pushing. Stop forcing. Stop trying so hard. That’s the message I’m getting from a couple of activities I’m enjoying immensely these days: word play and painting.
I confess to a new addiction to solving the Jumble Puzzle in our daily newspaper. The challenge involves turning five sets of random letters into five words, extracting the circled letters from the solutions, and turning that subset of letters into the answer to a question posed in the accompanying comic vignette.
What I’ve learned from solving the Jumble is the value of soft focus. When I stare at those letters, trying to force them into the proper order, I’m frustrated. However, when I glance at the letters and let my gaze drift away, my brain plays with the possibilities and out pops the answers.
Same thing happens with my painting. When I stare intently at a scene trying to make sense of shapes and values, it’s a struggle. However, when I approach the challenge with a softer, more relaxed focus and less intensity, my mind makes sense of it much more quickly and surely.
Action: When you next meet a problem that tries your patience, try softening your focus. Start with an overview of what you know and what you see. Then step away. Back off.
Stop pushing for an answer. Cool your jets. Let your subconscious take over.
When you stop forcing an answer, and take a softer, calmer, more ease filled approach, you just might be surprised at how effortlessly solutions rise to the surface,
Quotes Of The Week: Flowers do not force their way with great strife. Flowers open to perfection slowly in the sun. – White Eagle
Trust in the inexhaustible character of the murmur. – Andre Breton
The quieter you become, the more you can hear. – Ram Dass
Resources Of The Week: Here are a couple of interesting reads for you.
Bethany Butzer shares a few idedas about effort and ease in her article, Stop Trying So Hard.
In the article, Ten Signs You Need To Stop Trying So Hard, Minda Zetlin writes about the pressure of pushing and forcing results in an article based on Todd Patkin’s book, Finding Happiness.