It’s easy to waste a lot of time thinking and dreaming about the ‘next biggest thing’ or regaling about what life ‘could be like’ and dreaming, hoping and wishing your life away. On the scale of proactivity it can sometimes come at the bottom – although there is always a place for being thoughtful about where you want your life to go.
Conversely we can spend hours in ‘busyness’ doing many activities and actions which lead us nowhere but only perpetuate the circumstances of the life which we continue to live. There is a time for thought and there is a time for action. Having a big dream is a good thing provided you can take action towards it in the present. If it only builds doubt and uncertainty about the reality of your life as it is in the moment, it can have the opposite effect and lower your spirits.
Chunking up and chunking down
‘Chunking’ was a term I first heard during a NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) course and refers to focusing your mind on either the long term objectives or the immediate term actions – or anywhere in between. For me, I was at the time ‘stuck’ in a ‘state’ of inactivity fueled by uncertainty over possible actions to take or not to take regarding the future. I was caught in ‘dreamer’ mode! As a result I got very little done – at least in the physical sense. The concept of ‘chunking’ was a real eye opener and it taught me to either chunk up if you are overly focused on the menial activities which only perpetuate your current circumstances, or in my case, chunk down and focus on what can be done right now, rather than simply doing nothing.
Not to say that there is anything wrong with dreaming unless it is the dreaming which becomes the goal rather than your life. ‘Dreaming’, in my opinion can be a good thing and the ability to ‘dream’ has been knocked out of most people by the time they leave school. However it is most useful when backed up by belief and action. For me the process of ‘chunking’ down from mere dreaming to taking regular daily action towards those dreams is much more proactive.
On the flip side if you find you are completing many tasks and filling your life with lists simply to distract yourself from the ‘main event’ – whatever that may be, it could be a good idea to ‘chunk up’ and look at the bigger picture of your life as a whole. Spend some time dreaming and planning what you really want to achieve in life. Think big. What would you do if money was no object? Or if time was no object? Sometimes ‘chunking up’ can help you let go of some of the limiting behaviors which currently hold your life in its current pattern.
Ideally your big goals, dreams and wishes for your life should line up with your daily habits so you are pursuing your goals in the short, medium and long term while enjoying the present. That’s when you know you are living your life on purpose. It is easy to get stuck in a rut in life because that is what is expected of you or that is what you wanted 10 years ago. Visualizing your ‘perfect day’ is a good exercise to get the ball rolling if you are out of practice in using your creative powers. If you are spending too much time thinking, worrying and dreaming, perhaps it is time to chunk down and look at your current daily activities.
You don’t need to know all the answers for your life immediately but ‘chunking’ is a great way to shake up your current operating system and get things moving towards a more positive, proactive and happy life.