A bud doesn’t have a certain day it has to open, it simply blooms when it is ready. A leaf doesn’t choose a particular day to fall, it lets go whenever it does. What a great way to live! No pressure. No to-do lists. Simply being present in the moment. That feels good. How can I remove deadlines from my world?
Unfolding has no deadline
It’s not going to happen until you are ready. And you are not ready for it to happen until you are. My huge lesson on deadlines came from my work in repositioning myself on The Rainmaker Platform and all the steps I had to take and the detours I was tempted to make and the deadline that did not exist.
It takes as long as it takes
There was no way I could anticipate how long it would take to set up my new site. Whatever deadline I chose for myself I would never have met. All I could do was work steadily and well. There were things I needed to learn, every page to rewrite, and a myriad of decisions that needed to be made as I moved along. It takes as long as it takes. I choose to be more like nature and simply go along for the ride and see where it takes me. I knew the site would be ready when it was ready. And not a minute before.
Give the question time to emerge
I was chugging along, rewriting every page, setting up a new membership site, reading directions, emailing tech support. It was challenging, it was fun, and I got to a place that I was so stuck I didn’t even know what question to ask to get me unstuck! I backed off. I stopped. I rested. I took naps. I put the project on hold. Suddenly, the question I needed to ask showed up. I asked it. I got my answer. I applied it. And I became unstuck. Sometimes it takes time for the right question to emerge.
What stops the flow and what step would unplug the most
When you are stuck, locate the place that would create the most activity if it were released. As I took my days off, I realized that if I could get the membership site up (which is where I was stuck) I could take the site live. I realized that one step would make possible a lot of other steps, like moving my email list and sending out a very late newsletter. When you are stuck, identify the step that will unplug the most next steps
Most deadlines are made up
I was changing web hosting and the renewal date was fast approaching. I could have extended the hosting a month at a time but I used that renewal as a false deadline because I really wanted to have my site ready to go when that web hosting expired. That was a deadline created by desire and choice. How can you work around or eliminate a perceived deadline?
What choices pull you off target?
The flow began again. Then I discovered that choosing to do one particular step was like unraveling an entire net. It was all connected. I had to work hard to make choices that kept me on target. I wanted to do two things: reformat my most important posts that had not migrated well and add links from one article to another to help people learn more. If one article would contain links to five other articles, I had to reformat those five articles and then they would need links too. You get the picture. Sometimes I settled for fewer links. Sometimes I simply chose one or two posts to work on at a time. It took discipline and focus to keep from feeling overwhelmed and becoming mired down in the connections. There was no conceivable timetable; there were only more steps to take. When is enough, enough?
Nature doesn’t have deadlines, why should I
As I settled into the unfolding process of seeing how interconnected everything is, I had to let go. I made decisions when a clear answer appeared. I let some things go for the time being and focused on only what would move the whole project forward. As I came up against monumental undertakings that stood in the way of progress, I philosophically tackled them one step at a time and let go of any time line.
Delays are an opportunity.
The night before my birthday (I am now 82) I got the membership signup form to work. I thought it would be a wonderful gift to me to be able to write to my list the next day and invite them to my new site. However, the next morning I found myself locked out of the back end of Rainmaker and I stayed locked out for 24 hours. Well, when you can’t do one thing you do something else. So I read up on Google+, went through my entire personal email list, and invited all the people I know to connect on Google+. It would have been a long time before I got that done if I hadn’t had the delay. I also deepened a skill around a new platform.
Barriers are there to go around.
When I could get back into my site and made the last remaining connection, I turned to my new email provider. I found I could not broadcast because there are about 800 artificial names from robots that are corrupting my list. I knew that when the list transferred but I was hoping it wouldn’t be me that had to clean out those names by hand. However, I am the only game in town and fake name elimination is the name of my new game. When a new barrier shows up, I just handled it.
Know when it is time to let go
Like the leaf falling from the tree, moving my list to a new email provider will result in a loss of connections. Some people will not be drawn this new direction but those that are will create a powerful community. Know when it is time to let go.
One step at a time
Each day I choose three important things to do that will move me or a project forward. When there are so many possible steps, I have to choose the ones that complete something, or make a next step possible. The rest I ignore. I choose three steps and complete them. That is doable.
No panic,overwhelm on regret
I do not feel panicked or pressured. Except for that one moment of backing off to regroup I have not felt overwhelmed, even as I see the huge possibilities my new site offers. I am in perfect alignment with this direction. I am content to let life and this project simply unfold. Without an artificial deadline, I’m able to simply do the next step that needs doing. It will be ready when it is ready.
What is unfolding next?
Because The Rainmaker Platform supports not only a membership site through which I can offer online courses, it makes posting podcasts and videos a breeze. I’ve had my new microphone for over a month, the time for podcasting nears. But I have learned my lesson. When the time is right it will happen.
If nature doesn’t have a deadline, why should we?