The Underbelly of the World of Overwhelm: More is NOT Always Better
It has been said that “What we do matters. Who we are matters much more.”
And, that one word – more – is our key to today’s look in on where is your life hanging out – in excellence or overwhelm?
Let’s start with a few questions like:
- Are you doing your best work as a leader yet feeling you are failing to make an impact? Or, if not you, perhaps someone close to you?
- Have you ever felt stuck, powerless to change your environment or even your day-to-day experience of a world moving at a frenetic pace of demands for “more?”
- Do you feel too overwhelmed to enjoy life, unable to sort out the demands on your time?
If you answered yes to any one of these questions then settle in, take a deep breath or three and ponder the following with us, if you will.
One of the disabling elements against our sense of a fit life – emotional or physical - is a mindset that measures success by demanding “more.” In all our training and conditioning – physical fitness included - the mistake that repeats itself, and drives us relentlessly, is how we isolate and fragment as though the different parts of a self don’t work together. This includes all of the aspects that we imagine constitute a self, or a life, or a job well done. And, to worsen this sorry state of affairs, we measure our success based on outer appearances or what we think others will value. When we keep the various parts of our ‘self’, and aspects of our life, isolated each from the other we are guaranteed to eventually experience exhaustion, loneliness, angst, and eventually dissatisfaction and/or disillusionment, even despair.
This stems from a paradigm of doing rather than being, among other aspects of our socializing experience. That is to say we derive our sense of worth from an exterior orientation rather than an interior sense of stability and wellbeing.
An outer orientation sets up like this: when I get this…I will be happy; when I accomplish that…I will be a success; when I have ‘this much’ in my bank account…I will be good enough; when I…well, you get the idea. We “do this in order to get that.” This approach is like an addiction; it leaves us coming up with/as ‘not enough’ and needing the ubiquitous “more.”
“More” is killing us: stress, judgments, anger, frustration, depression, and exhaustion; dis-eases of the body-mind-soul. Where is “more” showing up in your life? What would it take to set up an attitude of “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Bleep” (see our Events page). In this book Mark Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them – this, he says, is the real source of empowerment. I like to think of this in terms of the malcontent content and the capacity for living with our vulnerabilities.
Isn’t it a time for a quiet revolution? Would you be willing to ask yourself some different questions and not be in a hurry to find the answers or reach the goal at the expense of a well-lived journey? Dare to “Live the questions”- questions that address life from a perspective of ‘is this life-giving?’
As a Psychotherapist and Guide to all things Great, I know that our greatest gift is our willingness to bring curiosity to our life’s experiences - as children do! They live life as an adventure, and thereby thrive; why not us? Why not now? And, if not now, when? ☺