Stirring the pot usually has a negative connotation. When people stir the pot, it’s often with the intent of causing drama. However, stirring your own pot of emotions and thoughts can lead to fruitful outcomes.
We are all infinitely complex beings. Our experiences shape us into the beings we are right now. I’ve spent most of my life exploring the world around me. I’ve always been introspective, but I never deeply explored my inner self. The last several-year journey of self-exploration is both perplexing and illuminating.
I’ve never been a fan of formulaic self-exploration. It seems so contrived, and it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. However, I recently went through an exercise where I rated various fulfillment requirements. It stirred the pot of past emotions, and it led me to new realizations. It fundamentally changed me.
I have a habit of cataloging and reflecting on my hangups. I check in every month or so to see if I freed myself of those hangups. It has been a beneficial exercise that hones my intent to free myself. In the past, I didn’t even know I had these hangups.
I have learned that my hangups hold me back from opportunities and are based on false information. Until I recognized I had these hangups, I was tripping myself up regularly.
Only One Number One
Knowing what’s important to you can be an elusive activity. I have found that answering these questions every day works for me.
- If today was my last day, what would I do? (Meditate on It)
- How am I grateful?
- What do I want to do tomorrow? (Visualize It)
- What did I do yesterday?
- What do you plan to do today? (Visualize It)
- What is causing the most friction in my life?
Reflecting in this way brought me to the realization that I’m doing too many things. Slowly but surely, this has helped me prioritize what’s important. It’s still a struggle, but there’s a lot less gnashing of teeth involved.
I wrote an article to help me learn how to prioritize, and it helped. I found the daily reflection to be more effective. It has led me to the creation of new habits to funnel myself towards goals by design. Knowing what’s number one makes decision-making easier and reduces energy expenditure as a result.
Stirring the pot is all well and good, but what’s the outcome? How can I benefit from stirring the pot and making myself uncomfortable?
What are your guiding principles? If you asked me that question a few years ago, I would not have an answer. If you ask me today, I would have a succinct list. I would not have come up with this list without stirring the pot in the first place.
I’ve found that knowing my guiding principles makes prioritization easier as well. When switching my focus, I look to my principles to narrow my choices.
Do I want to focus on being healthy? Do I want to focus on bringing order to the chaos around me?
Answering questions like this makes the decision-making process easier. It helps me get things done, and it helps me live in the present. Every decision takes me out of the present, and it shifts me to the future. Clearing a path in advance keeps me here, right now, and that’s the sweet spot.
This moment, right as you read these words, is the only truth. The past and the future do not exist without the present. We cannot relate to past events without the present.
The future is unpredictable beyond a certain point, so focusing on the future is often a waste of time. It pulls you out of the present and provides fewer benefits than one would expect.
I believe that living in the present is the center of existence. As I live my life, I look at the present as the balance beam between the past and present fields around me.
As a gymnast, my goal is to stay on life’s balance beam. As an Olympic class gymnast, my goal is to balance myself with finesse. I strive to gracefully pick the fruits of my past and the seeds of the future while living in the present.
You see, stirring the pot isn’t always a bad thing. Especially when you are stirring your own pot, how else will you create your perfect soup of psychological wellness?
I wish you the best of luck on your journey. Let’s have some fun, let’s stir the pot, and develop a taste for our own brand of existence.