Sometimes I think about things I’m not doing but could be doing. Some of those thoughts don’t stir up any emotion in me at all.
But others stir up a very strong emotion in the pit of my stomach. Strangely, two kinds of thoughts stir up almost exactly the same emotion. It seems to me that the only way to distinguish between the two are the things I know about me, about my strengths and weaknesses.
For example, I sometimes see people talking about how they are building their sales or how they just love doing door-to-door cold-calling. I get a very strong emotion to that. And it’s not a good one. I am not good at door-to-door. I am horrible at cold-calling. I can’t even pitch someone on something unless it’s coming from my heart.
I get the same thing when I see someone making advances in an area of technology that I know is way out of my wheelhouse and that I will almost certainly never need to know. They’re rocking it, changing the world. I feel a tinge of “you could be doing that” followed closely by “there is no way.”
Then I see a video of someone speaking on stage with passion, talking about their “thing.” Dave Ramsey. Jon Acuff. Andy Stanley. Men who are so into what they are speaking about, speaking from their heart. They exude passion. And I get a very similar feeling in my gut. But this one is accompanied by thoughts like “I need to be doing that!” and “I love speaking like that” (even though my audience is rarely more than 15 people – makes me no difference). That often leads to questions like, “how do I get there?” and “what would I even speak about?”
The same thing happens when I think of writing. I read some books, like material from Andy Andrews, and I feel that same churning inside me. Not the bad kind, no. The good kind, that says, “I would love to know people read something I wrote and grew because of it.” Then, once again, I hear the questions, “how can I get there?” and “what would I even write about?”
I don’t know the answer to those two questions. And that’s where I feel like I am in the mire of uncertainty. I could do it. I even feel strongly that I should do it. My eyes sometimes well with tears watching these people in action.
But notice the difference. I feel very strongly when I think of some things I should do and just as strongly about some things I should not do. And, as I said at the start, some things I just feel ambivalent about. I’ve thought about that a lot, especially the strong “should” and “should not” feelings. What’s the tie in there, aside from the strong emotion? Actually, what is causing this strong emotion?
I believe it is this: for some things, I feel strongly because “that is me!” For others, I feel just as strongly because “that is not me!” The draw for one is as strong as the repulsion for another.