As always, I continue my project of self-improvement. I’ve long been aware that I take on too much— and yet, all efforts to “take on less” only seem to lessen the problem; Like pulling Dandelion weeds but not getting the entire root out. I’ve made an insane effort in countless ways over several decades to make progress towards “take on less.” I’ve long known there must be something underlying.

I love to use a tool I refer to as a “wedge”, to affect changes by altering the normal sequence of things. A wedge can be used to create a space for consideration, to divert my thinking, or to initiate (or change) an activity. It works because the presence of the wedge alters the mental context. My mind proceeds from idea to idea, with an evolving context for that thinking. As the context changes, it constrains—or maybe, “helps select” is a better description—what ideas are going to come to the fore of my mind next. Trains of thought develop this way. The inserted wedge causes, (if it’s done right,) enough of a shift in my mental context.

It’s really difficult to have the wedge be a thought. But orange sticky notes work well. (Until you no longer notice them, of course.)

The action of this wedge is to make me think about why I’m about to do this next thing that feels so urgent.

“Is it really [urgent]?”
…like, how a smoke detector sounding off is urgent? Okay, so it’s not that urgent.

“Where does that feeling [of urgency] arise?”

And that is where my train of thought shifts. (So far it has been every time I’ve felt urgency to do something.) Because the feeling comes from my desire for control; There are countless examples. That explains why I’m forever taking on too much.

“Sit with that?”
Sit with that realization that the urgency is a reaction to a desire for control. Sit with the knowledge that every attempt at control—all types, all sizes, all shapes, all degrees… attempted control of anything external—has never ended well for me.

That’s not hyperbole.