I have pushed on this thread of soul sparks in my last few posts, and it is a concept that remains on my mind (as you might be able to tell!). First, soul sparks were defined. After this, several types of people were defined who may try to stand in our way of moving a spark to a full blaze of action.
One of the elements missing from this conversation is: How much time do we spend thinking and doing something about an ignited passion within us?
Frequently, it is not others who place barriers in front of us. We box ourselves in, preventing our movement from concept to action or initial thought to complete idea. The box we put ourselves may include:
- Not enough time
- Not good enough to move it forward
- Fear of failure
- Constantly distracted
- Work pressures
- TV, Internet, etc.
All are excuses, plain and simple. Some may feel valid, but will any of them lead us to live a life of purpose and meaning?
So, here is a simple test. Take the matrix below and plot in the percentage of time you spend in each quadrant.
As an example, if we have an average of 12 hours of awake time each day, then we have 84 hours a week to live out loud. What percentage of those hours is spent in each quadrant? Write them in.
We need to spend time in each quadrant. Our life requires a mix. Let’s discuss each:
Everyday Thinking: We need to think about work, family, budgeting, vacations, etc. We think about our daily and weekly plans, because we need to coordinate and solve problems. It is normal, daily life.
Everyday Doing: We need to do certain activities and tasks daily. We need to shower, exercise, write (!), eat, etc. We need to work, make a living, and provide for our family and communities. We need to do certain things to survive.
Extraordinary Thinking: Here we enter the challenging part. How much time do we spend thinking bigger thoughts, ideas, concepts, missions, initiatives, etc.? These are the thoughts that are inspired by our soul sparks and need to be “fleshed” out into plans of action. Our thought waves need to fan the spark to grow into a full-fledged initiative.
Extraordinary Doing: How much time do we spend converting our Extraordinary Thinking into Extraordinary Doing? In other words, how much time are we spending making our life meaningful, beyond our normal daily activities? How does our life story read today, and how will it read after we are done and gone? What actions are we taking that make our neighborhood, community, or world better? What makes our life all worthwhile?
It is our choice in how and where we spend our time.
I am not sure what the right mix is. I do know that if we are spending less than 5% of our waking hours in the Extraordinary column (Extraordinary Thinking and Doing), then we are not listening to and acting on our soul sparks. Most importantly, we are not on the track to have deeper meaning and impact in our life’s work.
What is your mix? What do you think it should be? How can you embrace your soul sparks more fully?