I hate stress, work, and overwhelm. Yet, I have to admit that when I don’t have work. I miss it. And you know what…so do you.
Crushing workloads, crippling deadlines are the bane of existence. But gosh so is stillness, boredom and a life deprived of challenge & growth.
I don’t know if we’re human be-ings, what I know is that We’re human do-ings. We’re only at peace when we’re moving, we’re struggling, we’re executing, we’re engaged, we’re doing!
Leave a person still and he’ll be restless. He’ll be at war with himself. He needs an external struggle, a challenge. Without it, we rust like unused machinery.
And as the cliche goes, there really is no escaping the struggles, the grind. You’re choosing some struggle even when you aren’t. Neither path is easy. But one struggle gets you stronger, sharper, tougher, leading you to a better quality of life. The other results in you being weaker, duller and makes you feel like crap.
Everyday there is some struggle you’re choosing. Be it making that difficult phone call, showing up for that tough meeting or eating healthier.
The flip side of this is someone who doesn’t show up at work or take the difficult steps with respect to health. They think they’re taking the path of least resistance. But that leads to a dead-end road filled with regret. One just ends with even greater conflict at work and physically, psychologically rotten. Either way it’s a struggle.
It is the struggle with purpose that gives life its meaning. The ones we choose to work on, and engage with help us transcend our present state and feel more fulfilled.
It’s pitiable to see people who have all the time & wealth in the world but lack the drive for self-improvement. It’s truly sad because you can see the depths of their pain that have their roots in their lack of purposelessness.
What I am saying is a tale as old as time. It’s nothing new. Going through the grind was, is & always will be what drives us. Some examples of that are Oscar Wilde’s story Happy Prince & Aesop’s Fable where a king couldn’t sleep until he came across a bird with broken wings. He walks all over his castle to find a splint, and bandage, for the bird and that’s what gives him sleep.
Perhaps that is why the most severe punishment is “Solitary confinement”. While there is the pain of no human-engagement, it’s also the pain of “nothing to do”. Ofcourse one would go insane in confinement. There can’t be more pain, perhaps except for more physical torture.
Our challenge is to find the right degree of challenge.
One that gets us in the flow. Neither should it break us nor should it cripple us into dysfunction.
That’s why I like GTD + TFC so much. These are frameworks that get you in the flow. Not only are you doing. But you are optimally doing. You are doing what you need to be doing and there is nothing else on your mind.
That’s what bliss feels like where you’re not in struggle with your struggle but working with it in harmony.
‘Work is love made visible. Work can be part of our calling, part of our search for meaning, why we exist.” ~ Khalil Gibran