Self Worth and the To Do List

Can Happiness be Achieved Without a To Do List?

Students from my online class Organize or Agonize and my regular blog readers are already aware of my recent struggles with the whole concept of the to do list. I am not at all confident in the time management techniques I have been sharing with students and anyone who would listen these past 30 years.

“Buddha had some profound thoughts on the subject”

The bottom line is all of this stuff hasn’t been working for me. I have been kidding myself into believing that I was using the latest wisdom of the self management gurus.

These techniques of goal setting, priority management, and to do lists had been creating guilt, fear, anger and I was feeling overwhelmed at the same time. For someone in my line of work, who holds himself out as being one who has his act together, this was not at all a good set of circumstances.

Without even being aware of it, I was sending out vibes to the universe for answers. Well, lo and behold the law of attraction kicked in and provided me with some new insights. In February while searching for a podcast on Internet marketing, I accidentally stumbled upon a podcast by Michael Losier on the Law of Attraction. There was precocious little of his presentation that was new. I had heard this stuff before.

I’m a certified NLP practioner, so I have had lots of exposure to these concepts. Yet, Losier had a very short segment of that presentation about letting go of the to do list and letting the emotions guide your day. My first reaction was, no way!. . . the control freak in me went into panic.

But ever since that day I have had this internal calling to examine it more carefully. Deep down inside of me this little voice kept saying “If you could make this work, it could be life-changing stuff” It is has been a mighty spiritual struggle. I’m doing research on the topic and as a matter of fact I’m mentally organizing a whole new time management concept, that might eventually become a book, or at the very least, another online class.

I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about the principals of letting go. It appears at this point that Buddha had some profound thoughts on the subject over 3,500 years ago. But this morning I happened upon an audio tape series by Marrianne Williamson entitled Handling Fear. I have transcribed about two minutes of that series:

If there is a problem confronting you it is not that it is someone else’s fault. We tend to get angry. Anger occurs because we are upset because someone failed to perform the function that we gave to that person. It’s like you wrote this movie and they are not playing the character that you wrote into the play. They are not on this earth to play the part that you dictate to them. If you understand what it means to let it be, to let people be, and if you understand what it means to let things be.

This incident stops me from gaining my greater good. If that is what you think, then that will be your experience. Why give away your power like that?


I realized after listening to this passage that same could be said about many emotions, most particularly guilt. Which I find is the emotional trauma surrounding my unfinished tasks. Who wrote into my play each day that I must get everything done? Like Marrianne, says why are we giving away our power like that? Guilt is robbing me of my power.

When I feel guilt, I cannot possibly be performing at my very best, so it becomes a viscious circle of downward momentum. The less I get done the more guilt I feel, the more guilt I feel the poorer I perform. The only way out is to end this relationship with guilt.

My worth as a human being has nothing to do with how many tasks I cross off of my to do list. Whose rules are they that my ego keeps harping at me each day about all of my unfinished tasks? I’ll never get it all done so why should I feel quilt? . . . Why indeed!

  • Cringe Busting Your To-Do List
  • Your To Do List Has Unnecessary Tasks On It!
  • PDA vs. Franklin Daily Planner
  • Why I do not trust my emotions
  • How to plan your priorities each day
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