When you seek and find, how often do you celebrate in your finding or apply what you find?
In the post, Do You Long to Hear the Word Arrived, I mentioned how we want to “arrive” someday, whatever and wherever arriving means to each of us.
But the truth is, our lives are made up of a series of arrivals. In order to grow, we will constantly be seeking.
But I’ve realized that this constant seeking can rob us of the joy in finding. It can also lead to restlessness and slow down our arriving if we don’t apply what we find.
Stop to Appreciate the Joy in Finding
I used to take great pride in calling myself a seeker. That’s because I love learning, reading books, and attending conferences and retreats.
Matthew 7:7-8 says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
If I find something I’ve been seeking, I’m joyful for a few minutes, then I’m onto seeking the next thing.
It’s come to my awareness that I don’t stop and savor what I’ve found or always apply what I’ve learned.
Seeking can lead to restlessness.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ll read a brilliant book or find a sentence in Scripture that touches my heart. If I don’t stop to truly let it sink in, even write it down in my journal, that morsel of brilliance is gone.
Then I find myself seeking the next book, course, or retreat.
Avoid Restlessness and Apply What You Find
It’s so simple isn’t it? But how often do you apply what you find?
It feels so good to seek.
Constant seeking masquerades as being productive because we are invested in self-improvement.
How can self-improvement be bad? But reading book after book and attending course after course without applying anything that you learn will keep you in a constant loop of busyness that will lead to restlessness.
Applying what we find means we can move forward and get unstuck if we are stuck. Forward motion is often met with resistance.
Applying what we find can take us out of our comfort zones where fear shows up too. It’s far easier to seek than to apply what we find.
For anyone that wishes to overcome this resistance. There is a must-have book by Steven Pressfield called The War of Art – Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. (He spells Resistance with a capital R.)
“To yield to Resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we are and were born to be. If you believe in God (and I do) you must declare Resistance evil, or it prevents us from achieving the life God intended when He endowed each of us with our own unique genius. Genius is a Latin word; the Romans used it to denote an inner spirit, holy and inviolable, which watches over us, guiding us to our calling.”Steven Pressfield
How to Seek, Find, and Apply
Becoming a published author and realizing the job description of an author was a rude awakening for me.
Finishing a book and having it published is just the beginning. The biggest job description as a writer is: CEO, CCO, CFO, marketing manager, publicist, and perhaps even web developer. The truth is, if you want to write a book and have your book land in the hands of readers, you will need to know marketing and publicity.
Even though I spent thirty years in the corporate world in radio sales and marketing, all the systems and resources were in place. I had a billing department, assistant, production team, and supportive staff. As an author/entrepreneur, I had to learn how to do it all.
So, I began seeking help and found it in a big way. I applied what I learned. But the marketing part is still hard.
Resistance showed up in a big way. I sought constant encouragement through books and courses and fell into the trap of seeking again and not applying.
My friend and brilliant author, artist, and musician, Bob Baker, wrote a book called The Passion Principles – 101 Ways to Express Your Creativity and Share it With the World.
When he released it, I bought a copy to support him. The title was also what I was seeking. Number 34 hit me right between the eyes:
“Create more than you consume.”
This was such a simple wake up call to stop consuming so many resources and to, as Steven Pressfield says in another brilliant book, Do the Work.
The Seek, Find, Apply Balance Strategy
I will continue to seek. But I’m now mindful not to allow my seeking to turn into restlessness.
We live in a world full of distractions. Mobile devices ding and ping with the latest breaking news (which is usually horrific in nature), email, voice mail, text or social media alerts. Someone tagged you. Someone posted a picture. Someone commented on your post… Drop what you are doing and look!
Email headlines tell us that we will be missing out if we don’t take advantage of this one-time offer that is going away for ever if you don’t buy NOW.
These are all distractions to our seeking, finding, and applying. Being constantly connected will also lead to restlessness.
Using Bob’s example of creating more than I consume. I need to be mindful if I am spending too much time consuming. It feels good, but I’ve also opened the door to Resistance to keep me from creating.
When you find something that you seek, savor it. Celebrate. Then take what you find and apply it. Don’t be distracted by another shiny object telling you what you need (or think you need).
Continue to seek, find and apply this sequence strategy to find balance. You will find greater peace, joy, and fulfillment. You will also accomplish those goals you wish to achieve. I’m writing this as much for me as for you!