The brain trust. Advice from Dustin Zeuske. - Ep. 10

I get in my own way a lot. I think about what I should do next, and then I think about it some more. And then, more still. I create a thought exercise for myself that goes on for far longer than is useful, and I end up just thinking about things rather than taking action on them.

It wasn’t obvious to me the first time I misused this strategic strength of mine to appease my fears. When under stress, it feels natural to do the thing that is easy, safe, or familiar. It feels only more natural to keep doing it. Unfortunately, for me, this behavior leads to anxiety, and only gives me the illusion of progress. It’s like junk food for my mind — fun to eat, but no good for my health.

To my credit, I usually catch myself when I’m in the middle of it. I have a moment of realization, smile to myself, and then decide that it’s probably time to take some action, any action, even the wrong action.

This is exactly how Helen and I came to host an art party. I was stuck in my head making a list of what I should do next to sell some art, and I realized that I wasn’t taking any action. So, I picked an item from the list and started working at it. Within a few weeks we had people over at our house for art, dessert, and lively conversation.

I expected that the people who showed would be the people most interested in what I have been doing since quitting a stable job in the consulting world. If an index existed of Love to Busy Schedule (L/BS), those who showed up were definitely over indexed. They were my crowd, and that is probably why half of them ended up buying a piece or more of the art that we hung on our plastered walls.

A large part of what I’m doing is exposing people to art. The reason I chose an art party was to introduce people to local art in person, without anything in their way. And, an art party was the quickest, easiest way of making this introduction. It was all action, and it was a great exercise of doing rather than thinking. It helped me connect people to art, help the artists sell their art, and helped me get unstuck and out of my head. It proved to be a successful action that helped get me out of my own way.