Sisyphus Was The Father Of Perfectionists
Success, money, happy relationships – how good it would be if they came easy?
The problem is, somehow it’s hardwired into our system that we have to work hard for what we want.
When I was in school, my mum always made me do extra homework throughout the holidays. It wasn’t the required reading list (because I always read that and more!) or the assignments given by the school. Every day she gave me a fixed number of algebra / geometry /trigonometry problems, and I was not allowed to go out to play until I finished them.
That was supposed to keep my knowledge fresh for when the school started again.
The funny thing?
I was a nerd, I loved studying; I did not need an extra push.
I was already no.1 in my class.
But apparently that was not enough – I ALWAYS had to be better than the others.
Later on, I realised two things:
1. – You attach a MUST or a SHOULD to something you enjoy, and the fun of it is sure to vanish like a trickle of water in the scorching desert sands.
2. – I had acquired a life long companion that would sit in my mind like a crow cawing on a branch. It supervised what I was doing, telling me to go the extra (few) mile(s). I could not enjoy the free time because this nagging voice demanded I should use the time to do something useful instead of idly wasting it. I had to work hard to feel that I deserved to rest on weekends. The first two-three days of any holiday I struggled to ‘decompress’, adjust to the reality that I could do what I pleased with my time. (And try not to feel guilty about it.)
When you think about it, what is your definition of ‘hard work’?
– physically demanding labour
– working long hours / almost all the time
– doing more than it’s required
– working in an unpleasant or hazardous environment
– doing work you don’t like (or even hate)
– working with people you don’t like
– doing something that diminishes your sense of value or dignity
– being constantly uncertain or stressed about your duties, responsibilities and performance
– or a combination of the above?
Some things can be difficult to reach. You might need to put in a lot of time, effort and dedication to achieve them. And I see how this can be exciting.
But do we really have to make things more difficult than they are?
Who gets to define how ‘hard’ it should be?
And why should we let ‘them’ decide for us?
10 Minutes Quiz
Is stress a normal part of your life? Do you work insanely long hours?
This 10 minutes quiz can tell you if you’re heading towards burnout or not.
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