As a lifelong striver, I recently came face to face with a truth I hadn’t considered. This “overachieving habit” that is so enthusiastically supported by our society actually takes me out of my life. It was a moment of waking up in my life that I want to share as I suspect I am not alone.
Overachieving doesn’t mean you accomplish more or are more successful – it simply means that there is a deep, insatiable desire to do more, be more, produce more. And while all progress comes from seeing what is and visioning the possibility of what could be, the visionary can always benefit from pausing before launching into action to make manifest the possibility. Emily Dickenson so eloquently stated, “Dwell In Possibility.” Dwell meaning to sit in observation, soaking it up, reflecting, and connecting.
And what to do in the pause of dwelling? Answer the question; Is this particular possibility / opportunity in alignment with the life you desire to create? In other words, is it the right opportunity for you?
Unless the answer is a resounding YES, taking action will create imbalance in your life. It will fill your time with effort, tasks, and requirements that may look great on paper but deplete you. In fact, like me, if you find yourself taking action when the answer is a strong no or moderate maybe, it may be worth asking yourself what you are chasing. What is really motivating you?
I sometimes find that I have taken myself out of the present moment; missing joy and contentment, because I am driven to achieve simply for the sake of achievement or getting it all done. And if we believe that we exist on this planet to live fully and love deeply, this habit or striving demands interrogation. It demands our exploration into our soul to excavate the truth of why and then carefully and gently mold a new way of being.
Making a meaningful impact in the world is part of a fully lived life. I believe that we are all called to discover and live out our purpose. We are not, however, called to drive ourselves to exhaustion and miss smelling the roses in pursuit of getting it all done. There is a fantastic image of a tombstone I look at often. The words inscribed on it are: “Got it all done. Dead Anyway.”
My commitment is to dwell in possibility more; getting choosy about commitments and honoring my family with my presence. If I choose to act, it will be because the moment of dwelling revealed a resounding YES to the question of alignment. What will you choose?