I hear a lot of people talk about the need to find balance in their lives. Whether it is between work, family, hobbies, friends, and chores, there seems to always be a pull in some sort of direction. People and things vie for our time every day and it can become quite stressful. In fact, according to physicians, chronic stress is a major reason for ailments and some types of diseases.
Why are we so stressed out? Why do we feel like we have to be super heroes that can take on the universe single-handedly without so much as breaking a sweat? Is there some sort of conspiracy that is out to make us feel super bad if we do not complete A, B, and C within a certain time period?
Are We Running Ragged?
I’m sure we all desire success at some level. I think it’s wonderful to have goals and dreams and go after them. Productivity is important and there are certain things that we can do to become more productive. We even have plenty of apps to choose from to help us. But are we running ourselves ragged in the meantime? Do we reach one goal only to pause for a second and then rush off to “secure” the next?
The road to success is paved with people running on all they’ve got, yet they are very tired. Frustrated. They look ahead at the successful and accomplished and wonder how in the world they did it. Copying their style. Buying their books. Some even sell out on their values and morals to achieve that elusive carrot which dangles before them. They feel empty at the thought of NOT being successful.
The road to success is broad, but know that there are also little trails along the way for those who are tired of the beaten path. For those who have traveled with the masses only to find themselves beaten down, frustrated, disappointed, terribly lonely, and spiritually dying. For those who have tried to “balance everything out” and have fallen short. Some lose their partners. Some put their families to the wayside. Some thought that “success” would be the one thing that makes them happy.
It’s a paradox. Success is not some “thing” you acquire. Success is simply a term. A word. Our society has put way too much emphasis on the “secret” to success in five or seven step plans. Do this. Be that. Look this way. Do it that way. I did it this way; so can you.
Success as defined by the majority is not a bad thing. Success is largely looked at as the accomplishment of certain goals or dreams. That is wonderful, but what goes amiss is when people set their goals and deem themselves unsuccessful until they achieve them. That’s like going on a long road trip and the only time you feel good is when you reach your destination. What about the hours driving? You could have some fun. Talk with your family. Jam out to the radio. Have meaningful conversations. The journey itself can be magnificent!
Does Success Chase You?
Most people like to chase after success. I like to think success chases after me. Sometimes it catches me and sometimes it’s just an inch behind giving me a boost, but it is always attached to me. I’m successful because I am alive. I’m successful because I have breath in my lungs. I’m successful because I am worthy.
The Ebb and Flow of Life
It is a good thing to seek balance in various areas of life, but don’t get so caught up in it. Life is meant to have some ebb and flow and variety is a good thing. One week you might be sailing along quite quickly with momentum galore and the next week you might hit some pretty big waves. Both are part of the journey and both are alright. You learn lessons when you hit the waves; lessons you wouldn’t have learned had you not hit them.
Get off the beaten path. Do your thing. Sing your kind of song. Walk your walk. Wear the bow tie, the edgy hair, and the bright pink socks. Be you.
Do some yoga or whatever rocks your boat. Take a long walk in nature and sing with the birds. Stop reading self-help books for just a moment and allow silence to soothe your soul. Try something new. Try nothing. Draw a line in the sand and determine that today starts a new start and though you have no idea what the journey will look like, it’s fine. There are no losers on the trails, but there are plenty of pioneers.
Be a pioneer. Feel the spirit of life and hope beating within. Carve your path and smile the whole way.
You are success every moment of every day right where you are.
It was Bob Dylan who said,
“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.”
After all, when you do what you want and what you love, not only does success permeate your being, but peace and joy as well.
And that my friends, is what we all want.
Tony Fahkry is an expert in integrating the mind-body connection with health & healing and personal growth to achieve greater human potential.
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