“Try to remember these things - drive a different way to work, read a book you wouldn’t normally gravitate towards, or experiment with a new interest….but whatever you do….promise me you will never get stuck in a rut,” my seventh and eighth grade social science and English teacher reiterated to me and the rest of his students, over and over again.
I was reminded of his wisdom this past weekend as my husband and I, while spending time at a friends’ home on Little Sebago Lake. Not only was it the Sebago Lake and Cumberland County Ice Fishing Derby but there were many ice-fishing hobbyists on the lake who were enjoying the weekend fishing for togue, grilling sausages and hamburgers and spending time with friends and families as their dogs romped in the snow.
During my afternoon walks with my own four-legged mutt on the frozen freshwater, I watched the Maine tradition unfold before my Kansas born eyes. The relaxed faces sitting around a perfectly round hole in the ice would invite me to spark up a conversation or two.
“Have you caught any fish, yet,” I would inquire. “No,” was always the answer. But it seemed it didn’t matter to them whether they had succeeded in their endeavor or not. It was the experience, the relaxation, the change from the regular routine of life that seemed to be what they were after.
I have absolutely no experience with fishing, but I would love to give this Maine tradition a whirl. Perhaps it’s the result of my teacher’s not so subtle suggestion of long ago, but I have always been motivated to learn and grow – to try something new that isn’t a part of my everyday experience.
Whenever the opportunity arises to explore beyond my usual routine, I grab it by the tail and off I go.
But I must admit, adulthood and the demands of everyday life sometimes has me going in circles and I often feel overwhelmed. I know that if I continue in this pattern, I will be disappointing my middle school English teacher.
Leadership Development Consultant, Kristi Hedges believes that chronic overwhelm is one of the most serious challenges we face in today’s workforce – impacting everything from productivity to health.
“When we’re on the hamster wheel of overwhelm, we get in a heads down, stressful rut of trying to get it all done each day before we drop. We do little to inspire ourselves or to tap into our own creative energy.”
If you, like me, also fee a little “ruttish”, Life Coach, Tom Casano makes the following suggestions:
: When you feel stuck, oftentimes you just need a new perspective or a shift in your thinking. Ask your best friend or family member what they think.
Make a list of every idea that comes to mind without judging it, even if it’s the worst idea ever. After your “brain dump”, go back and revise your list. Let some fresh ideas come to you.
Casano reminds us that Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Try doing something new, even if it’s small. Getting unstuck is all about taking some baby steps to start moving forward again towards what you want. So, take the first step.
My first step? Purchase an auger.