Let’s face it, if we want to get anywhere in life we need to be productive. But it doesn’t end there. Oh no, if we stand still too long pretty soon we’re going backwards toward failure, so we must continually strive to increase, do more, accomplish more.
I don’t know about you but that sounds exhausting! If I’m always pushing for more, can there also be time to enjoy life? Will I be alone there at the top when and if I ever reach it? Is there really a top that I should be striving for? Or is it more like the top keeps getting higher as I accomplish more of my goals?
So I take a deep breath and concentrate on breathing for a few minutes to stave off the impending panic attack. And I search for another perspective. One that allows for my ambition to always improve myself and the fact that I am an imperfect human being with limitations. Also add external circumstances – i.e. well-meaning people – that work to keep us in the same spot, usually right beside or below them.
Productive people are scary. I’m not talking about the people who are constantly ‘doing’ something or who are ‘busy’ all the time. I’m talking about the people who quietly go about their business and end up accomplishing things that most people don’t even think are possible in their lifetime. These are the people who rarely call attention to themselves so when you find yourself in close proximity with them and realize just how truly amazing they are, it makes you feel all kinds of horrible things about yourself, about them, and about life in general.
I was kind of shocked when I realized recently that I may be one of those productive people. So I rarely ever talk about the projects I’m working on for a couple of reasons. 1, I don’t want to have to explain why they go belly up if for some reason they don’t work out. And 2, I found that if I get caught in the loop of talking about my projects I run out of time to actually work on them.
There’s a third reason – the looks people give me when I start talking about things I’m doing or just finished. I know these people want to be happy for me and they try to be happy for me, but all those horrible feelings I mentioned before floods their bodies and makes it impossible to be really happy for me. I can only go by how I feel when the situations are reversed and I’m the one needing to be happy for someone else.
All the projects I’ve started and haven’t finished do the hokey pokey in my mind. Every failure pops up and says ‘remember me’ like some weird, sadistic whack-a-mole game. Then there’s my favorite, I try to remember anything about that other person that I can bring up to bring them back down.
So yeah, it’s just best sometimes to keep your productivity to yourself – especially when you know it’s only going to cause pain, yours and theirs. It’s not the productive person’s fault, though. All those awful feelings are caused because we get caught up in some twisted game of comparison and competition which is perpetuated by the same media who couldn’t call the election results.
I’ll give you a minute…
But that’s the beauty of this wild, wonderful ride we call life. Increasing my productivity has nothing to do with yours and vice versa. It’s not going to happen at the same time and it’s definitely not going to take the same path. I wouldn’t want it to and you shouldn’t either. An increase in my life isn’t going to cause a decrease in your life. There isn’t some cosmic scale out there that has to go down on one side when someone has a success on the other. We can all increase – at the same time.
I’ll give you another minute…