Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I'd rather be happy than do everything right

One of the most dangerous pitfalls of people who are dedicated workers and passionate about their careers is the desire to do each and every thing absolutely perfectly. On the one hand you might say, of course! Why would anyone want to do something wrong? But then again, it takes an incredible amount of time and discipline to do everything right. But if you want to be your best, isn't this what you have to do?

I think this is one of the critical points in life wherein we must choose to be a little more or a little less human. Doing everything correctly may appear to be the most responsible thing, thus the correct course and the choice for the most hardworking son of a gun. But I distinctly remember an episode of CSI that utilized the quote "Sometimes the hardest thing to do is nothing at all." My boyfriend at the time vehemently argued with this statement, saying that it is the mantra for lazy people and that not doing something is infinitely easier than doing it. But is it really? For those of us feeling the pressure to succeed and constantly produce work better than our last product, to rise above the competition and shine as the highest achiever in the post-5 year reunion world, is it really always more difficult to do than to not do?

Working late instead of sleeping becomes habit. Foregoing social events may be the norm. Spending idle hours on the couch in front of the television might seem pointless and irresponsible. But how many of these things can we give up before they start to be trademarks of our lifestyle? When does doing readings on a weeknight instead of going to dinner with a friend turn into the parent who was always the last to arrive at daycare? Is skipping a walk to enjoy the fall air so you can put the final touches on a presentation going to turn into being an absent spouse? I'm not saying these choices are easy. Just the opposite really; I know that risking being seen as sub par invokes a great deal of anxiety. And worse, this anxiety is never going to abate on its own. We may think that when we get to a certain level of achievement or management or income or whatever, we"ll feel safe. The truth is, we will only feel safe when we allow ourselves to, by consciously opposing our anxieties and allowing ourselves to relax and be happy.

Outside circumstances vary, and sometimes they suck. But even in good times happiness is a choice that we must make for ourselves. The truth is that life will never be perfect, and neither will we. Whether we can accept this, or instead keep chasing after an unachievable goal can transform the course of our entire lives.

posted from Bloggeroid

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