Are You Mowing the Daisies?
Many times inspiration comes at the most peculiar times… I was mowing our pasture today and love the straight lines of the tractor carefully arching over the hills in an organized way. As I looked at my work I noticed my efforts were unsuccessful. I saw random jigs and jags throughout the otherwise straight lines. Despite loving the conformity and predictability of process and following protocol, I was unconsciously choosing beauty and immediate satisfaction over the “rules”. I found I was zig-zagging around the beautiful daisies, keeping their upright stems intact amongst the green tendrils of short grass!
I was creating a disorganized beautiful labyrinth of nature.
This got me thinking… how many times do we conform or simply stay the path despite the opportunities to savor the simplicity? So focused on the outcome, the optics of a situation, or the destination that we lose small moments in life that fill us with happiness. It is those brief moments that fuel our long road to success.
A great interview with Neil Pasricha on Coaching for Leaders talks about the “spotlight effect” which is the idea that we are being observed, watched, and judged much more than we really are therefore robbing our focus of the opportunities around us. While there are many discussions to be had about this idea the one I want to highlight is what you are missing. If you are laser-focused on the task, yourself, the budget, or the diagnosis you are simultaneously blinding yourself to the wonderful experiences, interactions, and beauty around you.
In this article about what people regret on their deathbed, spoiler- it is not about spell check, a missed email or a forgotten phone call, they regretted connection, taking chances, believing in themselves, and following moments of joy.
Coincidentally, my husband just read a wonderful book written in 1937 titled The Importance of Living, an entire chapter is devoted to the subtle wonders of flower arranging and the “noble art of leaving things undone’. Summed up perfectly “it is a wry, witty antidote to the dizzying pace of the modern world. Lin Yutang's prescription is the classic Chinese philosophy of life: Revere inaction as much as action, invoke humor to maintain a healthy attitude, and never forget that there will always be plenty of fools around who are willing-indeed, eager-to be busy, to make themselves useful, and to exercise power while you bask in the simple joy of existence.”
What are you not seeing? What are the small joys that you are depriving yourself of? I would argue that small zig-zags will not change the outcome but most certainly will bring you memories, a smile, or a deeper connection.
As I now look at the field I am happy to remind myself, nobody sees the lines in the field except the cows and I don’t think they care, but I sure love those daisies!
My challenge to you:
Zoom out and be curious about what may be blind spots, challenge the stories you tell yourself, and be intentional with every action.
Stop yourself mid-task and actually look up, be conscious of your surroundings, the sounds, the smells, and colors. Take a deep breath and be still for just ten seconds. Try to feel the present moment and be grateful.