“At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
I love that quote and I believe in it with my whole heart. Any worthwhile commitment made with sincerity and certainty, even if we haven’t spoken it aloud, will reveal all manner of support. But it seems that something much less fortunate can also be true:
The moment you commit to something big or new or scary, your reptile brain tries to keep you safe by sabotaging you.
How can both of these things be true? Aren’t they contradictory?
When I finally knew with absolute certainty that I would launch my memoir into the world, I found a publisher. And when I agreed to a deadline, all sorts of other “needs” cropped up; I suddenly needed to help others, to travel, to throw a party, enter a race, and cook nightly gourmet meals.
The best explanation that I can come up with is this: Every day, and perhaps even every moment, we are choosing between our higher and lower selves. Just because our higher selves set a valuable goal and we have the means to achieve it, doesn’t mean our lower brains won’t try to lure us back to safety, familiarity, or laziness. And it really gets tricky when the so-called distractions are good, noble pursuits.
How do we know when we are engaging in “shiny new object” syndrome (SOS), and when we are simply adding more fun, meaning, or creativity to our lives? When is it self-sabotage and when is it just living?
I think that is something we all have to answer for ourselves. I’d love to ponder this more, but you’ll have to excuse me; I’ve got a party to throw.