Maybe my challenge with Lent in the past is I try to tackle three, four, or five things. Heck, this year I have a list of seven things. It sets me up for failure. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.
Lent is working for me, this year. I confess, to you my brothers and sisters, that I typically suck at Lent. I talk a big game and put on a big show, and then kinda fail and falter and even forget what the heck I gave-up in the first place. And when I say, “forget,” …I mean I block-out certain thoughts and justify that I did pretty good and, hey, I didn’t eat after dinner in the evening 30 out of 40 days. Good enough. I fall back on the idea that Sundays during Lent are a “free day” and act badly then, too.
Not. This. Year.
For some strange reason (maybe divine inspiration) I’m resisting temptation to eat bad things. I’m praying at night with my children. I’m staying off Facebook.
It comes down to something I heard just today on Tim Ferriss’s podcast (with Seth Godin). It’s a concept called “coginitive load” and the best way I can explain it is that “multi-tasking” is a myth, it can’t be done, and by multi-tasking or taking on too many tasks, everything suffers.
Seth Godin (in his May 2014 blog) puts it this way . . .
“Cognitive load slows us down, distracts us and diminishes the quality of the work we do.”
I’m simplified Lent and it’s working. I’m doing one thing. Not eating any food that’s not “whole” or “natural”. Praying daily I stay strong (double dipping on that one, as I’m praying with my kids and asking God three times a night). Whether you believe in God, praying, or just want to call this “meditation”, it’s all healthy and encouraged by thought leaders and gurus. Meditation or prayer. A mental moment to look inward.
One thing. Eat right. One more thing. Not checking Facebook (actually pretty easy when I deleted all the shortcuts and apps from my devices). One more thing. Pray nightly with my children. Heck, I say ‘good-night’ to them, and talk about their day, so it wasn’t much to add quick prayers.
And one final thing. Write daily.
One thing. Every day. Little by little. A better me.