Think about your life, your job, your purpose or personal projects at this moment in time… and ask yourself this question:
Am I striding out, or being swept along?
Not sure what the difference is? Well, do you:
A. feel like your feet are on the ground, that you are choosing your own steps, that you are moving forward with purpose and decision?
Or, B. does it feel like life never stops long enough for you to properly catch your breath - that you’re just reacting to things as they come up, and you have no real control over your future or what happens next?
How many of us all too often find ourselves living in option B…
You might say well it’s just the nature of my role, or my industry, or this point in my career - and yes, there are times when all of us have to knuckle down during an important breakthrough or season of shifting - but if that is your life, day-in day-out for the foreseeable future… you have a problem.
You’re selling yourself short. You’re misusing your potential. You’re wasting your energy on being a more mediocre you.
…Too harsh? Maybe. But it’s true isn’t it?
Living your life in a state of constantly trying to keep up, is like treading water in the shallows: it’s exhausting and unnecessary. Put your feet down and you’ll find you can stand.
But I’ll fall behind if I stop. Yup, you will fall behind.
But you’ll also be able to look up, and look around you long enough to see that you were maybe taking the long route anyway. Stopping and regrouping can mean falling behind in the short term, but the result of spending time on optimising yourself - on decluttering your brain and getting some fresh perspective, taking a break and getting re-energised - is that you can not only catch-up on the things you let slip, but you can suddenly see the areas where effort is being wasted, refocus your energy into the things that really matter, and bring greater clarity, quality and intention to everything that you do.
That might sound like a big claim, but isn’t it what we all already know to be true? The problem we face is giving ourselves permission to apply that knowledge to our own lives.
Taking a break isn’t a sign that you are lacking in diligence or ambition; it’s not slacking, and it’s not a weakness.
Smart, diligent people make time to take breaks, refresh and take care of their brains - because they know where the smarts are at, and how important it is that they are working at their full potential!
Let’s be honest: if you’re good at your job (your life, your purpose, anything) in being-swept-along mode, then you’re likely to be next level amazing at it when you’re running at full capacity.
I don’t know about you, but to me ‘next level amazing’ sounds a lot better than the mediocrity of just surviving in the endless flow of life.
I know it’s not easy to make a change when you’re dealing with a heap of pressures, and I don’t mean to belittle that struggle. But sometimes you just have to do the thing that seems crazy and impossible in the midst of pressure, and stop long enough to get a grip on what really matters.
So if you’re feeling swept along and running on an overloaded brain, make time to work out what needs to change for you to get your feet back on the ground and moving forward with intention.
Trust in your own value and potential. You got this.