I’ve been reading The Fire Starter Sessions, by Danielle LaPorte, as one of the potential competitors for Lichtenbergianism: procrastination as a creative strategy. It’s not really a competitor, but it is a very good “get off your butt and do what you love” kind of guide, so I’ve been reading it and journalling answers to the worksheet questions at the end of each chapter.
The worksheet for this last chapter, “The metrics of ease,” though, has me flummoxed. Here are the questions:
- What exactly needs to get done in your life and livelihood?
- What’s your competency level for each activity?
- Which of those activities actually makes you feel strengthened?
- Which of those activities doesn’t really light your fire?
- What can you do to develop these strengths and interests?
- What three actions will you take this week to condition and nourish your true strengths?
- What three actions will you take this week to decrease your time spent on activities that drag you down and don’t feed your true strengths?
I’m kind of reading this book to get a grip on how much I really want to be some kind of workshop leader/TED Talk sort of thing, and so this chapter stopped me cold.
What exactly needs to get done in my life and livelihood? Empty the dishwasher, walk the dog, clean the litter box, cook some meals. Honestly, that’s about it. The rest of it—blogging, composing, writing, volunteering, Camping with the Hippies™—is completely optional. If I stopped tomorrow,1 it would not make a sound in the forest.2
So then the rest of the questions become moot, don’t they? Do they? Should I forget that I literally have no obligations other than to wear pants and not smell in public and pretend that she’s asking about what I wish I were doing? (Or do I?)
Understand that I am not indulging in self-pity. I am honestly at a loss as to how I should answer that first question in terms of planning my third career.
More work is required.
1 I am not stopping tomorrow.
2 For those who are just joining us, I am retired, in the sense of “Governor Nathan Deal moved the Governor’s Honors Program from the Department of Education where it had been for literally 50 years to his own Office of Student Achievement and didn’t care to move the director of the program with it.”