As you may have experienced, it can be quite liberating to tear everything down, at least as a mind game. After demolition, when you swipe off the pieces, the crumbs, and the dust – suddenly you see all the freed-up space, a fertile ground, where new ideas can grow.
Here’s a method that I have used for the last five years that helps me decide what projects we at Wonderwork want to keep and what competences, talents, or abilities we want/need to develop.
Let’s get started!
Step 1: Swipe clean
For a moment, imagine that you must swipe your life clean of everything: your identity, your belongings, and projects. Even family and friends (no worries, it’s a game!)
Swipe carefully and softly, no need to be violent. When you’re done, there’s nothing left but a clean surface. Breathe and take in what it feels like with all that empty space in front of you. Sit for a few minutes or take a break for as long as you need before moving on.
Step 2: Thoughtful rebuilding
In step two it’s time to use your intuition and gut feeling. What people, projects and belongings do you really want in your life? Make it simple: If it’s a: “Hell yes, I want it/them in my life” place them in the centre of the swiped surface. If it’s a “Hmm, not quite ready to get rid of this yet.” Place it/them in the outskirts. Piece by piece, put people and things back. But only the things who are truly important and valuable.
Step 3:The freed-up space
Most people who do this exercise put far from everything back. Suddenly there is space and a feeling of freedom and lightness. Connect with your gut feeling again, is there something you have being longing for to do? You may want to leave some empty space, as an invitation to new beginnings.
Step 4: Your Habits form your Identity
In the fourth step, I reflect on who I need to become and what habits I need to develop to succeed with a new project, relationship or career. Habits, values, and identity are closely intertwined. If you write with focus every day (habit), and make sure get proper training and feedback, it's likely you’ll become a writer (identity). If you run every day (habit), in a year or so, you might call yourself a runner (identity). So, reflect on your habits and choose them carefully. I highly recommend Atomic Habits by James Clear if you want to dive deeper into habits, values and identity to change your life.
Step 5. Start over more often!
Reflecting on what creative projects feels most valuable (or frustrating!) is a useful tool for making changes, in your private and your professional life. I encourage you to do that more often.
Rooting for you in 2023!