Throughout this past week I found myself pondering on the major causes of the ever increasing epidemic of anxiety and depression and I came to the conclusion that over-expectation, both from the self and from the society, as well as the inability to meet these insurmountable expectations is a major cause.
I thought to myself, what’s the single, most foundational way of battling this. Then it dawned on me that the backbone of over-expectation is comparison. A lot of ambitious young people measure themselves erroneously against the achievers currently being celebrated in their desired field. This is not only erroneous but also dangerous.
The truth is no one ever got to where they are overnight. You’ve probably heard this over a thousand times. No one got there without efforts which comprises of failing and rising and failing and rising.
Look at it this way: The people currently shinning at the things you want to shine in are way older than you. They have worked patiently through the years and paid their dues before they could eventually be where they are. Take some time to make a list of at least 5 of the people you look up to, check their age and read their biographies. You’ll notice a trend: they are most likely as confused, clueless, unsatisfied, anxious and frustrated as you are when they were your age.
The point is that you still have enough time to get yourself together and get it right. There’s no need to be dejected at your seemingly slow progress. It’s a journey that cannot and should not be rushed. The wisest thing to do is that instead of being anxious of the big success ahead and way out your reach at the moment, learn to realize and enjoy the many little successes you’re making in the everyday.
The #10YearsChallenge trend has taught us a great lesson: that great growth happens over a span of 10 years even though we seldom recognize this growth as it happens in real time. Until you’ve reached the hill top and then taken a look down, you may not realize how far you have come.
This week, be intentional about being realistic and gentle with yourself. Resolve to continue on your seemingly slow but steady journey to greatness. Breathe easy and be patient with yourself as you evolve steadily.
This Week’s Signal of Clarity
What is a Life Partner?
As you continue your journey to where you want to be, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of your relationships. As former White House speech-writer Benjamin Stein puts it “personal relationships are the fertile soil from which all advancement, all success, all achievement in real life grows.” Therefore this article, a short treatise that examines the way we connect, is a good place to start your reading this week.
The author, Dani Lee Collins, breaks down what a life partner means and came up with four kinds of it and how each kind fits into the ultimate fulfillment of our life’s purpose. You might want to restrategize you friendships and acquaintances after reading this.
Breathe Easy on the Job
In the same vein, Travis Bradberry’s viral LinkedIn article is trending for a reason—it speaks to the fault of many. In a workaholic world, we tend to constantly experience burnouts which in turn cuts short chances of productivity.
Travis suggests we adopt a work-rest-work-rest ethic. Instead of having a long stretched 8-5 working hour, we could break work into segments with appropriate rest. Specifically, following a loop of about 1 hour on and 15 minutes off.
Travis also passed a warning note against what people consider as rest. He believes it’s not rest if it’s still mentally engaging. “The breaks we take aren’t real breaks,” he said “checking your e-mail and watching YouTube doesn’t recharge you the same way as taking a walk does.”
Learn more about the research and analysis backing Mr. Bradberry’s inferences by reading the full article.