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What’s Your Main Thing? Is It Really Your Main Thing?

by jenny sansouci on January 2, 2016

My boyfriend sent out an email to his paleo email list a few weeks ago. It said something along the lines of, “What’s your main thing? Because the main thing has to be the main thing.”

Simple and kind of straight forward, right? Maybe not. I kept thinking about it and it kept bugging me. What is my main thing? Is my main thing really my main thing?!

This really stuck with me. I googled the quote to figure out where it came from. Turns out, it was a Stephen Covey quote about productivity and high performance: “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

I kept asking myself….”Is your main thing actually your main thing?”

I sent an email to both my boyfriend and one of my best friends, in somewhat of a frantic state, saying:

“Sometimes I’m scared that I’m not a writer anymore. What if I’m not?”

I got these 2 responses:

“YOU ARE A WRITER. You’re a really good writer too. But writers write.

“I think you’re a great writer and a natural writer. I can see how the doubts would come in since you’re not writing every day. Let me know after doing a writing challenge if you still doubt being a writer.”

They were both saying the same thing to me, basically, which was that I wasn’t in the habit of KEEPING MY MAIN THING MY MAIN THING. They were both encouraging me, but also calling me out.

Are you sick of me saying the phrase “main thing” yet? If so, dip out now, because I’m gonna say it a bunch more times. πŸ˜‰

The reason this concept resonated with me so much is because it reminded me of something.

Our actions reflect our priorities.

Every single time.

It’s kind of difficult to come to terms with that reality, because we all like to make a million excuses about why our main thing isn’t showing up as our main thing. ESPECIALLY when it comes to creative work. I’m too busy, other things got in the way, I’m not feeling inspired, it’s just so crazy this time of year, etc.

But really, we just haven’t prioritized the main thing. That’s hard for me to swallow. Because I have to come to terms with the fact that I alone am responsible for the boundaries I set regarding my time and energy.

I started thinking – if I say my “main thing” is writing or other specific projects, but I’m rarely actually taking the time to write or work on those projects, what is my main thing, then? Maybe my main thing is taking photos for instagram and traveling. My actions reflect that way more. But if I want writing to be my “main thing,” I need to take actions that are aligned with that. Or I need to just accept that it’s not my main thing. Either way is fine, who cares, but I can at least get real about that and make changes if I want to — instead of pretending I have no control over it.

This is a good thing to think about as the new year begins, because look at it this way — if you say your goal or resolution (aka “your main thing”) is fitness, or eating healthier, or having more fun, or spending more time with your family…well, you have to take specific actions to actually embody your main thing.

If you tell yourself your main thing is getting in shape or having more energy, but you’re partaking in activities that drain your energy and get you further away from fitness, you clearly see that your priorities are different than you thought. It’s more important to you to do those other things than it is to get in shape. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just the reality of your true priorities. This may be an eye opening concept. If it’s more important to you to take a nap instead of go for a run, that’s fine, but at least you can get real about that – instead of wondering why you didn’t actually get in shape for that half marathon you wanted to do.

This REALLY gets me questioning the way I want to be spending my time. It makes me want to get real with myself. I can’t just expect to live my life and think that writing is just going to spontaneously come out of me every single day with no effort just because I “declared it” as my resolution. Sometimes, yes it does, that Big Magic just comes along, but to think I’m going to get the level of creative output I really want by just “hoping” I’ll sit down to write is kinda absurd.

Let’s get real.

All you need to do to keep your main thing as your main thing is to take an action – ANY ACTION – related to your main thing.

I don’t want to be rude to my inner writer anymore. I wanna nurture it and feed it so it can blossom. I know the beginning of January is always a natural time to feel this way, so maybe I’m being clichΓ© and I won’t care about this in a month. But let’s just assume our “new years resolutions” are actually a reflection of a deeper longing — things we’ve probably cared about for years.

In fact, I wrote about this exact same topic last January. Because guess what? This is not just something that magically goes away. It’s something that requires actual effort. YEP, ACTUAL EFFORT!

If your head isn’t spinning too much from me repeating the same phrase over and over, I’d like to know:

What’s your main thing?

Have you been taking actions that reflect your main thing as your main thing?

If not, what can you do to nurture your main thing with the action it deserves?

Related reading:

The War of Art
Do The Work
Turning Pro

How To Figure Out What You’re Passionate About


Does any of this even matter? We’re all just little bits of stardust, anyway…


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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Judith Duval January 2, 2016 at 6:40 pm

This was great Jenny! Great post πŸ™‚


jenny sansouci January 4, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Thanks Judith!!


Vivian January 2, 2016 at 6:44 pm

I think this blog post is lovely! I agree a lot with what you, your boyfriend (Joel), and your best friend had to say. Now this is gonna keep me up at night thinking about my actions and life too… In a good way though :^)


jenny sansouci January 4, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Thanks for reading! Good luck getting clear in the new year… πŸ™‚


Jaime January 2, 2016 at 10:15 pm

Yes! Awesome post…I love it! Whatever is most important to us, is what we make time for…..& sometimes that makes me want to prioritize my life a little better!


jenny sansouci January 4, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Agree! happy new year!


Demetra January 3, 2016 at 3:26 pm

Fantastic post to start to 2016!
Thank you for sharing;)


jenny sansouci January 4, 2016 at 12:44 pm

Happy new year! thanks for reading. πŸ™‚


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