It is often tempting to finish the race as fast as you can, to fly over 3 hurdles in one jump and to get through the finish line 3 times faster than the average racer. As impossible as this sounds (at least for most people); nowadays it is expected of us. If not from our teachers, bosses or parents, we expect it of ourselves. The world seems to be changing at such a pace that you can't follow what's happening anymore. So it is natural that we want to keep up with it and keep getting better, faster and more efficient.
And then it happens. The burnout.
Sadly, it is all too common nowadays, a lot of people realising it too late. Wanting to achieve everything in one go and be an expert at something in no time can put so much pressure and stress on a person that they never feel good enough and constantly feel nervous or even anxious. I find myself in this state so often, because as soon as I have almost achieved something, my personal expectations go up a notch again and again, and my goal is always just a little out of reach. I am known for doing ten thousand things at the same time (okay, maybe slightly exaggerated - just to get the point across) and so I often need to tell myself to slow down and relax.
The mountain top is there. Your goal is not going to go away, and you have all the time in the world to achieve it. You can get there by running and tumbling over your own feet, however, once you arrive, you'll be out of breath and sweaty, too tired to even enjoy the view. Or, you can go step by step, enjoy the journey and the wonderful scenery. You can think about the challenges that face you and perhaps find a much faster way to solve them. Whereas it may take you a month or two longer to get there, you will arrive with wonderful memories, a relaxing and energising journey behind you, and you can now conquer that mountain top with a full sense of achievement and gratitude.
This does not mean Be Lazy
What I am proposing is not that you lazy around, procrastinate and linger with decision making. No, I am simply saying to not be too hectic about life and pushing yourself to the rim of falling over your own two feet. Have a steady pace, but don't be afraid to just sit still sometime and ponder about your journey.
- Think about what you want to achieve.
- Now find one step you can take right now in the direction of your goal, and do it.
- Tomorrow, think of another step.
Achieving your goal seems much easier now right? It is like walking through the dark with a flashlight. You know where you want to go, however you can't see it yet, because the light only shines a few metres in front of you. So you can see ahead to the next few steps you need to take, with the knowledge that you will eventually get to where you want.
The question is, do you want to live life enjoying it as a whole, or do you want to get to your goal as fast as you can, so you can savour that one moment and say you made it there?
There is no wrong answer to this question, in the end, the choice is yours.
What do you choose?