I'd love to pursue my dreams Claire, but I don't have time!
So I heard this week.
I know how you feel. I was the same. Trying to increase my creative pursuits whilst working a full time job where the hours often got stretched.
Here's the thing. You have got time, for everyone has the same amount. But I'm guessing you don't have the energy.
Let's look at what happens. If you're anything like me, you're doing your best at work. Keeping everyone happy and wanting to do some good stuff. For me, it was turning out the best document possible, in the time available. I had high standards for myself.
But often the impending deadline and the coordination of a number of inputs, left me feeling the pressure. And by the time I left work I was so tired. Fed up. Barely functioning.
I could hardly think about what nutritious and healthy food I could cook myself, standing in the supermarket with its fluorescent lights and its dazzling array of signs and offers. I wanted something quick. And tasty. And easy. But mostly quick.
When I got home, I cooked my food and ate it as quickly as possible, to maximise the time I had left in the day.
I then shut myself in my room, distancing myself from the rest of the house, trying to get my head out of 'work mode' and feel like me again.
It often didn't happen.
I didn't want to eat well, even though I probably had time. I just wanted food.
I didn't want to speak to anyone, even though we were quite good friends. I wanted to get rid of the pain.
It took me most of Saturday to recover from the week. If I stayed in bed most of the day, by the evening, I'd be able to get up and walk to the shop. By Sunday I'd feel almost normal, but always with the clock ticking towards another Monday morning. Just thinking about it made my heart sink.
The time was there, the energy wasn't.
Steve Jobs in his Stanford Commencement address said this:
"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking."
It's our energy levels that make it a good or a bad week. And so many people can't remember a good week that a bad week has become normal.
We find it so tough to get going on something else, to take steps towards our dreams and to make changes, because our energy is zapped.
We're frazzled. Fed up. Overwhelmed. Tired. Exhausted.
How we feel determines how much we can do and how much we feel we're living.
This week I have a challenge for you. I just want you to watch yourself. To notice how you feel.
Notice what gives you energy and what depletes your energy. Notice what fires you up and notice what leaves you drained.
These observations were - and still are - for me, the key to making the right changes in my life.