Sometimes life gets hard.
You don’t have to work a night shift from Monday to Sunday to agree with that statement. Even the most effortless of jobs, those we believe to have truly mastered, can get unnecessarily challenging. Do you ever wonder why that is the case? You are doing everything according to textbook: waking up early, checking off the to-do list, and even putting in extra hours just to confirm that everything is going as planned. And every day the same motto echoes in your ears – “lather, rinse, repeat”.
“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to the belief.”
– Muhammad Ali
I think the reason it’s so hard for us to put a finger on the stem of our distress is because we are somewhat oblivious to our own existence. We focus on the controlled elements of our day-to-day routine – like sleep and nourishment, having a decent income and a roof over our heads. How could anything be missing from the equation? What we simply fail to notice is our behind-the-scenes involvement. Our inherent duty to maintain relationships, strengthen familial ties, keep a healthy spirit and mind, prepare for the future ahead… and that is a mere spec in a sea of personal commitment. Suddenly, all those seemingly minuscule details of our life rise-up from their hiding spots, and battle our agendas.
So how are we to manage these endlessly revolving factors?
Let me show you a day in the life of someone I like to call “The Work & Life Boss.”
Well that was unexpected. If The Work & Life Boss is not able to get it together, how can we?
I will let you in on a little secret: The Boss isn’t real.
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix that resolves all our worries in a split-second of time. There are no “5 Tips to Work Hard and Play Hard” that actually work long term. And there is definitely no human out there that figured out a way to bring 48 hour Sundays into existence. But there are a few guidelines we can all follow, to make sure we don’t lose sight of what is important.
Routinely, take time to reflect on what remains the most important aspect of your life. Deep within the chambers of our heart lives our ultimate purpose – a mission only we can identify with. It can vary from person to person, yet we all share one unyielding quality about said goal – we forget about it. Be it an aspiration to learn, to become a successful business-owner, or to raise honorable children, reconnect with yourself to reinforce your calling.
With the objective in mind, you can begin tweaking your habits to bring yourself another step closer to achieving your personal victories. How does your daily, weekly, and monthly routine contrast to your long-term goals? Being caught up in a hectic routine can easily blur the image of true commitment. And keep in mind that one-size-fits-all is not a metaphor for success. Our dreams are all truly unique and we should start using that knowledge to our advantage.
The truth is, everyone endures their own version of personal and professional distress. What sheds light on the issue is our approach to the daily interactions we have with ourselves. It is important to take time to applaud our achievements, listen to our body’s reaction to outside stress, and believe in the fact that with great dedication come tremendous results.
Instead of blaming ourselves for not being able to juggle everything that had piled up on our plate, we should commend ourselves for not spilling its contents. At the very least, we can always ask someone for a tray. The subtle practice of establishing boundaries and figuring out where to draw the line between work and life, may be the first step to gaining control of your burdened emotions. And finally –
Give yourself a break – you are doing the best you can. We are all learning here.