I used to be quite an overachiever. Just a year or two ago it was very normal to me not to have a single day off for about three months. It was normal to be tired all the time even though I still tried to take care of myself by eating nutritious food, exercising and sleeping well. I lived in a bubble and kept telling myself that I have to finish what I had started, and there were no such options as quitting or doing something not that perfectly. That bubble is very hard to leave. And it is even harder to ponder if you’re working for something you truly want to achieve or if you’re just working because you have to achieve.
I think I’m on my way out of that bubble. I know that if I work for something, it will be a goal I actually want to achieve and a goal that brings value into my life and makes me happier with my life as well as with who I am. But still, I’m struggling with recognising which are the things I want myself and on the other hand, which are the things I do because everyone around me does them and because they seem like smart things to do. It’s super hard to admit to yourself, not to mention to the people around you, that the goals you started work for a few years ago, aren’t something you really want to accomplish anymore today. It is especially hard when the surrounding society seems to value an overachiever or a “successful” person over everyone and everything else.
Three years ago I read a book which said that by doing things you truly enjoy you will find success. I thought it was just bullshit and only very privileged people could actually live their life according to that rule. But back then I was stuck in the bubble with my own thoughts and didn’t have any time off to be creative. I forgot to live in the moment and was constantly thinking about my goals. Whenever I achieved something, I couldn’t take time to appreciate it, because I already had another thing in my mind to accomplish. However, I almost feel like I owe to that two-year-younger me who was so freaking efficient that it has given me a chance to have lots of free time today. Even though this might be just a passing period, I’m gradually learning how to recognise the things I truly want. And those things definitely aren’t being an overachiever or being successful in the eyes of others. What I want, is to be happily average. To be able to buy a delicious coffee on my morning walk. To be able to exercise when I want to and just because it makes me feel good. To be able to travel and move abroad if I want to. To be able to work for something that brings fulfillment into my life.
I’m not saying that everyone should quit working for their goals. I’m saying that if the goal is a ruling thing in your life, just try to take some distance to it every now and then and thoroughly ponder it’s value to you and your life. Also, remember that it’s not just a cliche when they tell you that life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.