“You have to stay in this cabin for the entire month of January. You have all the food and water you’ll need. You have enough firewood to keep a fire going until the 31st. You have no access to Internet , cell phones or TV. On the 31st of January, you walk out of the door with $100,000. Would you do it?”
Did you see this image and the challenge floating around on the Facebook over the holidays? I saw it in those slow, dark days between the bright and shiny of Christmas and the supposed-to-be bright and shiny of New Year’s Day. The darkest days, literally, of the entire year.
“Would you do it?” The answer seems like a no-brainer. Who wouldn’t want to have all of their basic needs met, and make a crap-ton of cash for one month out of the year? But when you dig a little deeper, you find out the challenge means so much more. Everything usually does. You think to yourself, maybe I would shrivel up at the thought of no human contact. Maybe the idea of living without my favorite form of entertainment would scare me into forgoing the challenge. Perhaps the monotony of the same view for 30 days wouldn’t be worth it. Not worth $100,000? Whatever. You must be doing alright for yourself if that doesn’t cause you to stop and think for a minute.
So let’s be realistic. No one is offering you $100,000. There is no cabin. There is no stockpile of firewood. There is no peace and quiet in which to rest. Except… there ARE all of these things. You have everything you need to FOCUS and FINISH the tasks you set out for yourself. You can be well on your way to success and complete engagement with the world. When you focus on what really makes you tick, even if it’s only for a short time each day, the clarity of what you should be doing with your WHOLE life comes into view. You learn your most enticing distractions, and work to minimize them. You feel the energy that comes from doing the things you love. You like it. You want to feel that way ALL OF THE TIME. So you find more cracks in the day in which to squeeze your art. Your “me time.” Your time to connect with others. These cracks can become wide enough, with enough practice, to become your whole day. Your whole way of being in the world. And as the world starts rewarding you with your noticing it, it becomes easier and easier. It becomes who you are.
What’s interesting is that you find out that those really ARE your needs- to have an escape, and to have your most basic needs provided. To feel supported and challenged, to have warmth, to have no distractions, to have no communication with the outside world. For the challenge to be for a respectable but limited amount of time. (Let’s face it, you would miss your family.) And, don’t be ashamed, how nice would it be to have a CRAP-TON of CASH?! What would you do if you had financial freedom, if only for a short time? The possibilities are wonderful to consider.
It is January 27th. I don’t have a cabin in the woods. I have many obligations and distractions. But I have holed up in the one room of my house that makes me feel away from it all, and I have FOCUSed on my heart’s desire, which has led to me FINISHing several challenges I set for myself to start the new year in a positive way. On Sunday, the last day of the month, I won’t have a pile of money waiting for me. But perhaps the things I have set into motion will begin to “pay off.” In terms of my way of being in the world, they already have.
Peace to you. And go find your cabin in the woods.