In today’s world, there is so much pressure to succeed, to do well, to work hard, to make money. I hate it, and yet I love it. I love the rush that comes when I push myself, when I’m busy, when there’s several projects I’m working on and not enough hours in the day to keep up.
It’s a beautiful struggle, I call it, when there are so many opportunities that I sometimes have to run like a chicken with my head cut off to grab all of them and make them mine.
But when we’re always diving into the next thing, always chasing the bigger dream, always looking for more more more, we sometimes forget to rest.
And I’m guilty of this. I think we’re all guilty of this from time to time.
We want so much out of ourselves, our lives that we push and grab and run and scramble to do, claim, own, and work towards all that we can. From a young age we’re conditioned to pursue excellence, and while this isn’t necessarily wrong in its intent to inspire us to become our best selves…there’s a lot of pressure for perfection. And a lot of room for error, frustration, and self-doubt when we don’t reach that (unobtainable) point.
The thing is, we should try to be the best we can be, should try to pursue greatness, but we also can’t drown ourselves in the process. Working hard, being busy, living a life filled with craziness and hustle isn’t bad, but being overwhelmed to the point that we can’t celebrate our accomplishments or share love with the people around us isn’t healthy.
Wanting to be at your prime, to get the most out of your days on this earth, to be successful or financially stable or strong or at the top of your company—those aren’t negative goals—but you can’t spend every waking moment of your life in pursuit of them to the point that you’re empty.
There’s nothing wrong with being a dream-chaser, with hustling your butt off for the things, people, and passions you have. But you can’t forget to slow down sometimes, too.
Don’t neglect balance.
Push, push, push. Go, go, go. But then take time to breathe, to reflect, to put down your phone, stop checking your email, log out of your social accounts and be in the moment with your family and friends. Do something for fun. Spend a little money. Relax.
You aren’t wasting time by living in the now, by sharing special moments with loved ones, by taking a break. In fact, some of the most inspirational moments of your career/future/life will stem from the times you take a break and focus on what matters right here, right now—not what’s coming.
If you’re always looking for the next thing, always trying to be better than the day before, always trying to have more than what you do, you’ll never be satisfied. That isn’t to say you should just settle for mediocre, but it means you must learn to take breaks. To celebrate milestones. To reap the benefits, while setting goals for what’s coming.
Take some of the pressure off yourself. You don’t need to be zooming at three hundred miles an hour every second of every day. You will be successful, strong, smart, stable, and right where you’re meant to be in time and hard work, but you don’t need to kill yourself to get there.
Remember to balance. To have off days. To spend time with people instead of a computer screen. To be present with the people around you, not constantly zoned out with your next project or goal.
Balance. Be in nature. Turn off your cell phone. Make time for silly passion projects or nights to lay on the couch and watch TV instead of staying up until two with work.
Give and take, busy and rest. Give yourself time to recoup, to breathe, to settle in, to enjoy before you’re full speed ahead to the next thing.
Work hard, but relax hard, too.
Balance begets success.
Featured Image Credit: Marion Michele