I’ve been working a lot harder in the last few months as I build up my new copywriting practice.
That’s meant increased work hours each day. But that’s just the tip of it.
Along with the increase in time spent working comes a jump in the challenge and difficulty of the work. Every day pushes me up against my personal barriers and limits. I face new and deeper fears. I have to keep pace with the steep learning curve of the new craft. I’m constantly in over my head.
This is the path for me, the path I want to pursue, but it’s challenging and difficult.
Amid all that I’m doing, it’s tempting to scale back on all self-care.
I could reduce my meditation time: “It won’t matter if I miss this one, I’ve got lots to do today.”
I could skip my long weekly walk: “I can’t take two hours out of my day for that, I’d be more efficient taking the train.”
I could stop eating healthy: “Why bother, food is just fuel right, I just need to the calories right now.”
I could sleep less: “Why spend eight hours doing nothing? Might as well use that time to work.”
I could stop spending time with family. I could cut time reading books. I could abandon my journalling practice. I could pause my Taekwon-do training.
On the surface, cutting my practices would give me more time. I could focus more on my work.
But I’m actually doing the opposite.
I’m spending more time meditating. I’m being more careful about what I eat. I’m trying hard to get outside as best I can. I’m still showing up for black belt class each week. I’m doing my best to get to bed on time.
Because the increased demands on my energy mean I need more input, not less.
My friend, KC, talks about how practice is actually subtractive. You’re not just adding one more thing to your day; you’re removing stress, anxiety, loss of focus, and much more. It creates the space for you to be more effective and present.
Even if I was to gain by cutting my practice in the short term, I’d destroy the foundation that makes my effort more likely to succeed and thrive in the long term.
So as you face greater and greater responsibilities, as you push the limits of what you’re capable of, scale your practice. Make it a greater priority. It’s the support that fuels your life.