Embracing Discomfort in 2017

Whether we know it or not, 2017 is going to call upon us to dare in new and uncomfortable ways. The opportunities for growth are endless, so long as we can remain present, engaged and connected with our own lives. For me, this means mentally preparing for the year ahead, and building up as much gumption and gusto as I can to hit the ground running.

Chris Guillebeau said: ‘We often overestimate what we can accomplish in a day, but underestimate what we can accomplish in a year’. Every year, I understand this more and more.

Relaxing stresses me out.

It’s funny…when I’m in the thick of ‘project mode’, trying to make the deadlines (generally, ones that I’ve put upon myself), I crave relax time; just a few moments in which to stop and ‘vege-out’ – a few moments of happy, mindless (or mindful) consumption. To escape from it all for a little bit and just chill.

In early January, I, like most of us, allow myself some down time. After the first day of watching TV, playing a little XBOX, amidst enjoying the water and the sunshine, I’m already hearing the little voice in my head saying ‘time to get to work’. It’s a happy voice…after spending much time in December planning out the year ahead, I’m generally very excited about getting cracking.

After day 4, I’m climbing up the walls.

It’s now day 5, and there’s no use denying it. It’s time to get to work.

The Goal.

Throughout 2016, I’ve been working on optimising the most important elements of my life, so that life runs as a balanced, happy and well-oiled machine. As we become more experienced in the world, we learn more and more how we function and how we work. The more we learn about ourselves, the larger the opportunity we have to write the ending to our story, gearing our work and personal lives toward our strengths and joys, optimising them for maximum effect.

Of course, I’m still learning (as are we all), but getting started and putting it into practice is very easy. Once you appreciate the benefit of gentle and compassionate, yet unfailingly honest self-criticism, then it’s just a matter of remembering to check in with yourself; to constantly ask: how can I make this better? How can I improve myself? You won’t always like the answer.

But you get used to it.

Planning for a multipotential year.

It was the most important realisation of recent times to embrace my identity as a multipotentialite (someone who’s one true calling is not having just one true calling). The simple knowledge that I will work better in any job, work-environment or creative project if I’m doing several things at once has shaped both my work and personal life, and has enabled me to find an unprecedented level of personal and professional happiness.

This year, my time will be split between a number of projects. They may seem disjointed, but they are all strangely connected, in that each one of them helps each one of them.

Counselling – A new learning adventure, and a path I have been wishing to pursue for several years.
Tap Dance Teaching – After trying to leave tap dance (performance and teaching) behind, I’ve happily come to realise that, well, I can’t.
Stage Production – A new tap dance show concept that, with as much momentum and gusto from my previous stage involvements, I will develop throughout 2017, to debut in Australia early 2018.
Writing – I have yet to find my ideal, regular writing routine, but I’m working on it, and I’m getting there. I have a small book I would like to write, and give away for free.
Baristadom – In recent times, I have been thoroughly enjoying learning the art and magic of coffee as a Barista at Wolff Coffee Roasters (who also own the distinguished Brisbane cafe Dandelion & Driftwood). There is still much to learn.
Online Business – It took a lot of work to launch my first online business in April 2016 (which, I’m chuffed to say, currently generates me a daily passive income of $50-$200). I feel this can and should be improved, and I will continue to explore the exciting world of online business.

I have learned that I’m a far better barista (and employee in general) when I’m working quietly on a creative project of my own (such as a new tap show). I work better as a tap dance teacher/choreographer when I know that I’m also developing my skills as a counsellor. I study far more effectively when I know that I’ll be able to work on slowly nailing that latte-art swan tomorrow at Dandelion & Driftwood.

Write the story of your 2017.

It’s going to be a big year. Already, I’m looking at the calendar with a sense of impending discomfort wondering how I’ll accomplish it all (perhaps I won’t, and I’m okay with that).

But remember, discomfort can be a good, very necessary thing. If you’re not feeling discomfort, then you’re probably not reaching your potential.

Have a think about it: Knowing how you work best, what will you be happy to say you accomplished in 2017? At the end of the year, how are you going to look back?


Pacific Ocean by Fishing
…particularly well paired with a January-2017-afternoon-sunset.