Is your to do list so long you never seem to get to the bottom of it? Do you repeatedly beat yourself up for not being able to accomplish everything you set out to do each day… week… month? Are you afraid that if you don’t do everything this instant that you won’t achieve your goals? If you’re like the millions of people out there with a checklist as long as two arms and in constant battle with the fear that you’re just not doing enough to achieve your dreams (or even just live your life), then listen up! Stop thinking you’re an underachiever – you’re not.
A clearer picture
In a culture that promotes perpetual motion and rewards hard work, it’s easy to think we can conquer the universe – and if we can’t do it now, we’re doing something wrong. That is simply not true. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your life won’t be either! While time is often of the essence in terms of daily tasks (the kids have to be picked up at 2:00, you have a hard deadline at the office), overall goals and bigger picture destinations require balance. Why, you ask? Because doing too much compromises your health, your sanity, and let’s face it, the quality of your work – which only lengthens the time it’ll take to get where you’re going. If you’re going to accomplish anything – from picking up your dry cleaning to building a successful business, you need to be your number one priority.
The key to finding balance is effectively managing your time and energy. This way you feel like you have enough of both. Here’s how that breaks down in real life. While it may seem like you can wake up early, exercise and get some work done before breakfast, get the kids off to school and be into the office before 9, then work through lunch, stay until 7 and still get dinner on the table by 8, which means you can work some more until 10… What is the value of living that way? Even if you can squeeze it all in, by the time the day is done you’re exhausted. With extended exhaustion, you’re likely to find you’re enjoying each thing you do less and less. And if your work itself doesn’t suffer (not to mention your personal and familial relationships), your mind and spirit do.
Go with the flow
The ancient Chinese text Tao Te Ching says “the way that can be named is not the way,” and never were truer words written. While we may all think that if we do x and y it will lead to z, life often tells us otherwise. No matter how well-planned things are, sometimes circumstances are beyond our control. And other times, grabbing the brass ring doesn’t feel quite like we thought it would during all those long nights locked away at the office. None of this means you shouldn’t set goals or that you can’t achieve whatever you set out to (or that it won’t feel amazing when you do). Quite the opposite. The point is, you need to have faith. Do everything you can, yes… but make sure you’re enjoying the moment, because really, the present is the single most important thing you’ve got.
Learning to go with the flow and trust the universe does not give you license to be a couch potato, unless that’s your life goal! What it does, is open you up to a fully-realized existence. By properly prioritizing, you make progress toward your goals and you’re supported – by your well-cared for body, mind and spirit, the relationships that sustain you, and balanced energy, which responds to your actions in kind.
In other words, if you attempt to live at a harried pace, doing more, more, more, life just gives you more of the same. But if you live in the moment, placing value on what you’ve got as well as what you hope to achieve, then all the arenas of your life are enriched… and you are rewarded.
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