EPI 12: Bipolar: How Do I Build My Future While Maintaining My Present?
Welcome to the Bipolar Excellence Podcast Episode 12. How Do I Build My Future While Maintaining My Present? This is another episode in the Life Of An Outsider series. You’ll find the link to this series in the footer of the website, bipolarexcellence.com.
Alrighty. Hello, high functioning, bipolar people!
We are like… it’s so fantastic being us and yet so hard. I’m sure you’ve probably had those moments where, you know, you vacillate between it’s so awesome, what I just figured out. and I can’t figure out how to make it go cause it’s completely unique and my life sucks.
We are people of extremes.
We know this, and because of that…extremeness, we need to slow down and we need to pare down. And we need systems and we need notes. Let’s look at those things. If I can remember what I even just said, as I expound.
So, you slow down, because we have faster running minds than non bipolar people. We have the ability to spin ourselves, right the fuck out of control, in a way that’s completely harmful and totally unnecessary.
When you reach a point where you can’t think anymore on something, simultaneously being unable to solve it, learn to know when you’ve met that line and just stop and walk away from everything. Because you might do something out of desperation or frustration that’s worse than doing nothing at all.
I said in the last episode, move, move, move, go, go, go. Something like that. Right? Keep moving. This is true. But pauses do have to be built in.
There has to be time to gather feedback, even if it’s just from yourself. There needs to be time to ponder it, or there needs to be time to cool down. You need to know when you’ve gone too far in a certain direction, and it’s pointless. You do that by establishing, what is the goal?
What’s the goal that will let me know I succeeded? Should I finish all of this? Get really clear on that goal. If it’s taking forever… and it ain’t the whole goal it ain’t the whole, like I’ve made it, I’ve arrived, everybody loves me, I have a million dollars, you know, whatever… your goals need to be a little smaller and specific.
You need to know if you’re hitting that goal or not, or if you’re just barking up the wrong tree and you need to slow down entirely and reconfigure a little or quit that approach entirely and start something brand new.
That’s a bitter one. That’s a bitter one when it hits. But you’ll feel better as you develop the skill to know when it hits and act accordingly. Because when you start the new thing, you’re going to feel it.
You’re going to feel it as it takes shape, forms up, get some meat on its bones, as you build and talk to people. You’re going to know like I’m glad I didn’t, you know, continue down the path. I was going down out of stubbornness or frustration, or just… it’s very tricky knowing. Should I just keep going? Am I, am I almost there?
You hear that quote attributed to who knows who. Most people give up while being closer to success than they’d ever realized. There’s some book called, what is it? Something acres, diamonds, and acres. It’s a famous little motivational book. But there’s a guy that digs for diamonds in his backyard forever and then he quits and sells the land.
And the next guy shows up and digs one hole and finds the biggest diamond in the world. Blah, blah, blah. It’s tricky to know if you should have just dug one more hole or just given up entirely and move. You’re only going to know through a punishing series of attempts where you can gather the feedback to see, this just simply isn’t working.
I go with my gut. You might not. But my gut eventually will get so knotted up or feel sick or just dead. Flat. There’s no energy. And then combined with the feedback of here we are, again, that I know this is no longer the way to go. That’s something I can help you with.
The other things, chunk it out. I mentioned the smaller goals.
You have a present to take care of. You might have a wife and kid, you might have a house with land you gotta maintain. You might have a very demanding career that eats you up, either mentally and/or physically. So you need to chunk it out.
You need to lay out what the grand vision is. Then you got to chunk out the main topics of the grand vision. Then you’ve got to figure out the steps that go under each topic to achieve that topic in pursuit of the grand vision. Then you pick apart those little line items. If you have a full life, and who doesn’t, you’re not going to be able to just rush at this and do it.
You might, with your bipolar tendencies, you might have the juice to pull it off. You really might. But if you’re any kind of stable with your bipolar, you’re like everybody else. You’ve only got just so much juice in one day to get things done. So much ability to even think your way through a problem before you get a headache or just smoke comes out your ears. You need to find smaller goals and then make a list.
I had mentioned a list. Making lists saved my life. I read about it more than once by other successful people. You got to write a list.
What I’ve found is eventually my to do list when you start, if you’ve never done this before, if you’ve never gone after a passion project I’m talking about if you’ve never tried to go after something bigger than yourself. You probably could keep a running list in your head of what needed to be done. Because your life is fairly routine. You don’t need to write anything down.
It might be the odd thing here or there, you make a post-it note over, but that’s it. When you start a project such as, like the website I built, and the podcast that goes with it and all the marketing involved, and how I work with people. You got to get clear on all that shit.
And you need to write down all the notes. You need to write down a list of all the things it’s going to take to make these smaller goals take place, because you’re not going to remember everything. You are not going to remember everything you need to do.
Things are gonna fall by the wayside. And you’ll never know you missed them, until the worst possible moment that you needed for them to be done and they aren’t. You’ll have something all underway, ready to go. And then there’s a chunk missing.
That’s when you’ll remember that you had that talk with yourself five days ago, three weeks ago that you meant to do that thing and you didn’t. Why? You didn’t write it down.
Lists, on a side note, can become their own out of control weed.
They can grow and grow and grow. Then you have to do to your book of lists, what I just said about your, the list for your, your grand design. The list of things to do can get out of hand. Now it comes down to prioritizing.
Prioritizing means what’s most important. And it’s not always what’s most urgent.
There’s a difference between important and urgent. You’ll frequently find things need to get done right away, but they’re not that important. You’re going to have to find out what those things are on your own, but you’ll notice there’s different things that crop up, like, I gotta do this, I gotta do this. I gotta do this.
Where if you stopped and looked, before you did them, if I don’t do that, what’s really going to happen? As long as it’s not a flooding toilet, what’s going to really happen if I don’t do that? I don’t really know how to make that clearer. It’s a case by case basis when something’s urgent, but not important.
You’re trying to do what’s important. What’s going to actually change your life for the better. What’s going to actually cause you to succeed at whatever your grand vision is. You need to seriously look at and figure out what is important. Not so much urgent. There’s always going to be urgent crap. There’s always something that’s gotta be done.
You’re going to have to sacrifice. Some things are not ever going to get done. As the list grows, you’ll have to sacrifice again. There’s, I can’t count. I’ve gone through more notebooks over the years of doing this. I’ve thrown away things that make me cry. Things I wanted to do in connection to all of this that were SO awesome! And I’m fully capable.
And now, in some cases, years later, I have everything I need to put those things into play, if I remembered what they were. I only know I’ve gotten rid of more things on lists than I can remember, because you have to! There’s only right here and now. You can plan for the future as best you can. But if all you do is plan for the future, you don’t get anything done.
Something in the present has to take place. So learn how to prune. Make a list so you don’t lose track of things and then learn what needs to be lost track of Trippy, right?
That’s really about it. You can’t let your present responsibilities fall, while you are building this thing because other people depend on you. If you let them down while you’re building your project, well, that’s just no bueno. People aren’t going to help you. They’re not going to care if you made it.
We’ve seen movies and read books about this, about guys that were so successful and women. And in the end, they get to where, you know, it’s a lonely win. You make it but nobody’s there to enjoy it with you. Cause you destroyed everybody around you in the process, ignored them. You don’t want to do that.
You, once again, you prioritize who gets your time and your family and your friends and at work and there might even be sacrifices there. Sometimes you have to sacrifice who gets your time in a way that hurts, you and them, here and there. Not constantly, or you’ll lose more than you gain as you build your project.
Don’t do that to yourself. Painful experience talking to you here. Do a better job of prioritizing how much time you spend with your your special close people than I did. But keep in mind, then there comes a point of how special are they, if it’s not your spouse and your children? Could be some hard decisions you got to make.
All of this is stuff I can help you with over bipolarexcellence.com. Look at the site, you’ll see where you can potentially work with me if we fit. And I’m glad to do it. I’ll be sharing so much through this podcast and articles on the site and videos. I got so much more on my plate to do, to help you with all of this, to where you might get done what you need to get done and never even meet me.
On that I’m going to wish you to be well. And I’m going to go do the next episode. See you guys.