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Focus on the Doing Not the End

It’s been a couple of weeks since I committed to starting writing again. All in all.

Written By //
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MIKE LIGUORI

It’s been a couple of weeks since I committed to starting writing again. All in all, it is a surreal feeling. I had this same one in ‘08. The same one when I finished my first book and started writing a novel sitting in a Google Drive folder. I had the feeling when I went through a heartbreak. I had the feeling when I moved to greener pastures, new cities, and a chance to hit what I thought was a reset button on my life. In reality, it was not a reset but an ending of an era—a chance to start and write a new chapter.

Externally, life is good. My work is more fulfilling; my relationships are better. My first love of writing has been rekindled and forged into a bond much stronger than before.

Internally, I am a cocktail of anxiety, self-comparison as I sit in front of this keyboard. The moment I start banging the keys, my ego jumps to the surface to tell me to stop. It is doing it out of safeguarding and protecting me from myself. It is telling me that no matter how much I write, how much I let bleed onto this paper, it’ll never be enough. There will be more to do, more to write, and I have to keep going. You would think the previous statement like that would motivate me to do more. It didn’t. It made me feel the pressure that I have to make every experience on a blank screen meaningful and worthy for others to read. I am doing this to myself, of course. I am making myself feel an incredible weight like I have to get somewhere with the writing: a goal, a checkmark of sorts to validate what I am doing.

We do this often to ourselves. Society has made us look at everything quantitatively and qualitatively. We are compelled to measure everything. Data overtakes gut decisions. And I am not arguing that looking at data is not important, but at what point do we just let ourselves enjoy the work, the process, the journey without thinking about the end in mind.

It’s cliche to say, but life is a journey, not a destination. Yet, we make life a series of destinations. We have to get somewhere, have to get promoted, have to work harder for a certain income, a status to make us feel important and matter to others. Our partners have to measure up to what we are instead of accepting them unconditionally for who they are and focusing on if we align on wanting the same things for our finite lives. We do this to our friends too.

What if we removed getting anyway and enjoying the infinite game as Simon Sinek references? What if we get back from the hustle, from the grind, and let ourselves be present to our passions? No more benchmarks, no more having to get somewhere. Just enjoying the presence of where we are now.

I measured everything. Guilty as charged. I found that things had to be done to be measured and seen all the time. I focused on the end instead of the doing.

That’s the answer right there: focus on the doing, not the end.

That sits well with me. It breeds an air of light and flows with every word. It sits much better with me than when I first started.

Writing to write, doing to do with nowhere to go and nowhere to achieve.