Are you in a slump? 

It happens to the best of us. We drive forward for months and years on end and one day we wake up and simply say ‘meh’. 

It is the worst kind of feeling when a mission you have been striving towards for so long suddenly feels uninspiring and unachievable. 

These ruts can be brought on by many things; grief, burnout, illness or, let’s be real, watching the news for 5 minutes. 

You might be thinking “I know Haylee, I need to review my mission, my purpose, realise it’s a blessing to be able to build a business in this economy and blah blah blah.” 

Yes, we are all blessed but we are also facing a world none of us saw coming and there is going to be some emotional fallout because of it. Let yourself have a bad day, a bad week or even a bad month. 

Savour it. 

If you’ve been reading my content for a while now, you’d know I am an avid reader of  the Stoics; the philosophers who promote loving everything that comes our way, good and bad, for what it is. Staying neutral in the face of joy and misery and simply loving what is; amor fati. 

A daily practice I’ve been experimenting with to help me overcome hyper-vigilance, a heightened state of awareness due to PTSD, is that of Premeditatio Malorum. 

Premeditatio Malorum, meaning “the premeditation of evils” is about listing each day all of those things you fear happening, they can range from things as far reaching as global war, to simply not completing everything on your to-do list. You then circle those that are within your control and list out the ways you would handle that problem should it arise. 

By doing this for 10 minutes in the morning we can pre-plan for those things we fear and then score ourselves at the end of the day. I thought 5 things were going to happen, but only 1 did, so that’s 1 out of 5

Not only did you pre-empt the issue and resolve it when it happened, you were able to let go of the other concerns knowing they are not in your control. 

But, if you’re looking for an even simpler solution, consider MuchelleB’s approach to breaking through the motivation wall:

The anti-vision. 

In this approach rather than revising our mission yet again, we instead think about our life 5 years from now if we did everything we could to create a life we didn’t want. 

An anti-vision for the future. 

Ask yourself this question: 

“How could I make sure that in five years time I was extremely unhappy and unsuccessful in my life?” 

Unlike the premeditatio malorum practice, we are only listing what is in our control. In fairness to you all, I completed the exercise myself and my answers will give you a very clear idea of what I want to prioritise now. 

Here goes: 

“How could I make sure that in five years time I was extremely unhappy and unsuccessful in my life?” 

  1. I will wake up tired every day, unhappy with the way I look.
  2. I will be overweight and with a weak body that attracts illness. 
  3. My anxiety will be at an all time high and rather than being able to work through problems seeing only solutions, I will instead be defeated knowing all of the infinite possibilities of things that could go wrong. 
  4. I’ll know every TV series backwards, understand all of the gossip online and know who is dating who, but my bookshelves will be dusty and my books will be going mouldy on the shelves. 
  5. I’ll be spending all of my time growing other people’s businesses instead of my own. 
  6. My manuscripts will just be a clutter of ideas in my head and the only story I will ever tell is how I could have written a book but didn’t. 
  7. I still won’t be able to stand up on a surfboard because I gave up practising

As you can see there are some very clear ideas in here of what I would like to prioritise right now based on what I don’t want to happen. 

From here, as MuchelleB suggests, I can create a list of action items I can implement to stop these things from happening. 

So, what does your anti-vision look like? Does it scare you to act? 

As we know, business ownership is more than marketing, CRMs and automation. It’s our vision for a better future and years of unyielding effort behind the scenes that keeps a business going. 

So be unmotivated today. Have your bad moments. Write down the worst case scenario. Preempt your evils. Love your fate. Then when you’re ready, create a plan to make sure you don’t end up where you don’t want to be.