You Can Do Anything for 10 Seconds

How far do we push ourselves, really? This post is brought to you by Netflix.


See those weeds up there? Multiply that photo times 20, and that was the state of my yard. Taking care of it had taken a back seat to, well, everything lately, especially after 75% of the family came down with stomach bugs, spread out over 10 days.

I’m exhausted, y’all. There’s nothing like exhaustion to get you fired up about certain projects. Yes, this makes sense — stay with me here.

You see, early in the month when I was cuddling a dehydrated toddler, I watched the entire first season of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a new series on Netflix created by the peeps from 30 Rock. A wonderfully weird show, Kimmy is that optimist many of us wish we could be.

How many times have you wanted to quit whatever it is you’re doing — folding laundry, data entry, running — just this week alone? Sometimes it seems like giving up is more a part of the human psyche than the push for success, and we do our best to self-sabatoge along the way.

We create impossible to-do lists, unreasonable expectations, and Pinterest boards full of pie-in-the-sky goals. I love you guys, but the likelihood of most of us showing up at the bake sale with Lorelei and Suki levels of awesome is 0.395%.

But here’s the thing. We can do anything for 10 seconds.

We often say to count to ten when we’re angry, to help us calm down, but what if we count to ten to help us accomplish our goals? I’ve been putting this into practice and so far I’ve found that not only am I calmer (a nice side effect) but more focused, and I’m getting more work done. Sure, I might need to count to ten about ten more times to be able to get to that focused point, but each new set is another start.

When it comes to that yard in the photo above, I knew there was no way I could tackle it in one day, and I broke it into chunks. Every chunk became an even smaller piece, and before I knew it I was in the zone, attacking every weed with abandon. Working in short bursts for three days cleared out the yard, put plenty of fresh air into my lungs, and gave me a little sunburn as well (oops).

This is not to say life isn’t hard. There are plenty of things to get us down. But compared to much of the world, we have it pretty easy. All we need is ten seconds to get us through.

How are you making sure you’re unbreakable?

Disclaimer: This post is part of my yearlong partnership with Netflix as part of their Stream Team.