One of the hardest things in life is to discern good from great, better from best, full from fruitful.
We all have finite time, abilities and resources, so knowing the wisest way to spend what we have can be tough. Living in the hurl-swirl-whirl of 2016 doesn't make it any easier either.
We like things quick, convenient and comfortable. And dare I say, we like to look good and feel good in the process. The cheapest, simplest, speediest options usually comes out on top and we walk away feeling like masters and mini-gods of our own lives but sometimes with our heart & soul sucked right out in the process.
Fast-fashion, time-saving apps, quicker downloads and counters for calories and steps all seem to have us thinking we can do it all and have it all - all the time.
And in many cases, it's fine & good. You could argue it's better than it was...and that it makes life full.
But I'm wondering if it's great. If it's the best. If living this way is actually as fruitful as we think it is?
Lately, I've been asking myself why I'm so deeply enamored and drawn to these quick and convenient approaches. Why I push myself to be so productive when deep down I know I'm losing a part of myself in the process?
Of course, it depends on what we're talking about, but I'm discovering that I'm always going after that which makes me feel "accomplished". Deep down I'm craving some sort of consolation that I've got it all together, that I'm enough, that I'm okay just the way I am.
Somehow, my ego translates "enough-ness" with the things I accomplish.
We all have our own version of this. Where our ego overtakes, overwhelms, overcompensates and overcomes the true, more authentic and beautiful parts of ourselves.
Here's a small example and what I'm doing about it.
I've been blogging in this space once per week for over 6 months. For some people, this would be no big deal - they write multiple times per week about a whole host of topics. But, as much as I've loved the discipline and creativity that's come with this weekly consistency, I've also attached a weird sense of worthiness to it.
Weird, I know.
I thought I SHOULD write every week because about seven months ago I said I would. I thought I SHOULD write every week because that's what other people do. I thought I SHOULD write every week because that would be most helpful to others. I've SHOULD all over myself.
But is this the greatest, best, most fruitful version of myself? No.
How do I know? Because this weekly approach, for now, has turned into a SHOULD, not a MUST (by the way...read this brilliant article by Elle Luna about this idea). It didn't start out this way, but for right now, this weekly routine is not producing joy and peace and kindness in myself.
So, what's yours? What domain in your world have you latched onto "accomplishing" something as a way to convince yourself you're "enough".
Is it your approach to parenting? Your hobbies? Maybe it's the way you organize your house, spend your money, participate in sports or manage your team at work.
Here's what I'm doing about it. I'm getting off the "must-write-weekly" train. I'm detaching myself from this ride that leads to nowhere but burnout and a disintegrating sense of self. It sounds dramatic, I know, but think about it.
The quicker, faster, busier we tether ourselves to our accomplishments, the harder it is to slow down long enough to see we're okay without them.
I want my writing on this blog to feel like a MUST again. And I'd love your help.
If you've got a moment, head here to this "less-than-2-minute-anonymous" survey and let me know what you think I should be writing about in the coming months.
Here's to great. Here's to best. Here's to fecundity!