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Too much to do? There's a better way.

I have too much to do. You've said it. I've said it. Your next-door neighbor has even said it. It's t
Too much to do? There's a better way.
I have too much to do.
You’ve said it.
I’ve said it.
Your next-door neighbor has even said it.
It’s the plague of our modern world.
And, yes, there is a lot to do.
But there’s something else going on.
It’s buried in the way we frame the statement in the first place.
Today, you’ll learn how to do that.
You’ll learn how to take your power back over al the things you need to do.

Before we get to the rest of this issue, I have something really exciting to share. I don’t normally interrupt my newsletter like this, but this is big. I got invited by NAMI Montana to tell my story. NAMI is the largest grassroots mental health organization in the US advocating for people living with mental illness and their family members. Tomorrow at 12 PM mountain time, I’m going to be sharing how my mom’s sudden mental health crisis in 2007 started me down the path to becoming a mental health advocate. This webinar is free and open to the public, but you have to register to attend. NAMI taught me so much about helping others, and they were there for me when I dealt with major depression and suicidal thoughts. This will be the first time that I’ve told my entire story in one presentation. You can sign up here. I hope you’ll join the webinar. There will be a 20-minute question and answer period at the end.

Always Having Too Much To Do
There will always be more potential paths than time available.
There will always be more potential paths than time available.
Getting things done is not a matter of no longer having too much to do.
There will always be more things to do than you possibly can do.
For example, there will always be more books that I want to read than time available.
There will always be more places on the map than I could possibly get to.
And there will always be too much to do.
But is there, really?
What if it’s not about what there is to do, but, instead, about what there is to select?
Let’s explore this, shall we?
Choosing a Dream
How have you gotten anything done in life?
No, really. How have you done anything of any importance?
Now, I’m not picking on you. I’m asking you to mine your memories for the answers to the fateful question of: “How will I get all of this done?”
If you really think about it, you’ll most likely discover that you never got all of it done. You never came close.
But, still, you persisted. And life went on.
For the reality of it all is that you don’t have to do it all–in fact, you can’t do it all–and so the way you got anything of importance done was by selecting a path, by choosing the road you wanted to go down.
Here’s another question:
Why am I sitting here typing about mental health and not something else?
Because I chose to do it.
I made a definite decision to pursue this path and not another. And in the process I rowed into a new sea of possibilities. It is by choosing–and choosing again–that the world unfolds itself.
Each choice you make leads to another one.
And so the ultimate skill is not getting so much done. Rather, it’s choosing the right things to get done in the first place.
How to Pave a Road
When you’re first starting down this path, this way of being, you will likely find that the road has not yet been paved.
And that’s OK.
The whole point of life is to pave your own path.
If you walked down the roads that others made for themselves, you would probably be doing things that are of little meaning to you. Because the paths wouldn’t be your own.
But when you begin to choose for yourself how you want to spend your own time, you set down gravel. And then you solidify the path. You begin to pour the foundation that will become your life.
And it all rests in the choices that you make.
But it’s not so much a matter of what you choose.
I know, this sounds ridiculous, especially because I’m advocating for choice over trying to do it all.
But, hear me out: What matters is that you are intentional in the act of choosing, that you put your full thought and being into how and what you choose.
It’s more about the process than anything else.
Here’s what I want you to do the next time you get snared by the “I have too much to do” trap.
I want you to stop. I want you to take a deep breath. And I want you to get in the process of choosing.
Ask yourself a few questions:
What is most important to me?
Where will this road take me?
Would I want this road to be built if I looked back on it five years from now?
You’re not going to have all of the answers right away.
But if you become intentional about entering choosing mode, about selecting one path from another, you’ll find that you start to make better decisions.
Why?
Because you’re actively creating wisdom.
You’re not wildly responding to whatever comes your way.
Thinking you have to do it all is getting stuck in the muck.
Intentionally choosing what to do next is laying down the pavement for a strong and stable life.

Now, I’m not saying this will solve all your problems. Life doesn’t work that way. What I’m saying is that you have more power than you realize. Learn to choose, and suddenly the path becomes clearer, and you won’t be wandering all over the place!

Jordan

P.S. Do you forward these emails to friends or family? Do they actually read them? I’d love to know. I’m thinking about adding a referral program with rewards to this newsletter, and I’d love to get your feedback on whether that would be something you’d enjoy.
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Jordan Brown - Mental Health Newsletter Writer, Poet, Social Worker, and Advocate


The Mental Health Update is an inspirational mental health newsletter featuring authentic mental health articles that make mental health issues like depression, anxiety, OCD meaningful AND accessible.

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