It sounds so silly and embarrassing now that I’ve learned just how ineffective I became when I tried to carry too much.
The workaholic mentality deceives us with promises of feeling awesome and esteemed… and, of course, with hopes of success. But years of constant busyness, late nights, overcommitment, I’ll admit some resentment, and a constant awareness of my own unmet expectations did not give me nearly the satisfaction I had hoped. Instead, overcommitment and constant busyness succeeded only in making my life a busy mess and placed a wall between me and what I needed most.
I eventually came to 3 important realizations (and just so you know, these apply to you, too)…
1. I am not important. Each human life is valuable beyond measure. But mine is no more valuable than another. Human value doesn’t lie in the amount of “stuff” we take on or how many people know our names. Realizing I am not important freed me to effectively deal with the overcommitment and helped me approach life with a more healthy mindset.
2. I am not irreplaceable. Pride is ugly, and I hate to admit that there are many, many people in this world who may be better suited to carry a number of the responsibilities I have tried to shoulder alone. But eventually, coming to grips with this fact brought tremendous relief and freed me to reorganize my life without the pressure of my own unrealistic expectations.
3. I am not invincible. I used to tell myself (and others) that I didn’t need as much sleep as other people, or as much food and water, or exercise, or encouragement… the list goes on. I really had myself convinced that I didn’t need all the nurturing that others need in order to spin all my overly full plates. The reality is, I need all that and more because I am human. Humans need refueling. We need ebb and flow… balance… input… and a realistic awareness that we are not superheroes. This reality does not mean we lack drive or determination. In fact, the opposite is true. Being effective for the long haul means making intentional decisions so we don’t fizzle out… pacing ourselves so we don’t burn out.
Each moment of life is truly a gift. Moments only come to us one at a time. Some call for us to work hard and produce great stuff. Others offer us the chance to refuel. But they don’t always introduce themselves or wear badges that say, “I’m your moment to breathe and refocus.” Prayerfully consider how your moments are best spent in the grand scheme of things. You may be surprised with just how life-saving, success-building and relationship-strengthening your moments can be when they aren’t all about you. Trust me, I’ve tried it both ways.
Anyone out there in the middle of a busy mess? Or perhaps you’ve learned some things about life balance you can add below in the comments? I so love hearing from you.