You do not have to conquer the world to do good things in it. (Image copyright KC Green / kcgreendotcom.com)
Ambition and a sense of drive is incredibly powerful and necessary for a person to have; it gives an individual purpose, responsibility and a fantastic work ethic.
But have you ever felt like you have an impossible amount on your plate? Especially around the holiday season, there is an intense pressure to be able to do everything at once. To be the perfect student, friend, employee, family member, citizen, and overall person. Your to-do list becomes miles long; whether it’s picking out holiday gifts, completing work at school or maintaining social ties. Sometimes, it feels like you have to be fantastic at everything, all of the time.
This feeling of ‘doing too much’ can be beneficial in some cases, but easily detrimental; it can lead us to bite off more than we can chew or drive our stress levels through the roof! We sometimes set so many expectations for ourselves that we cannot possibly achieve all of them.
By the end of the year, I always feel this way. Looking back at the year allows me to reflect on everything I’ve done, but I can’t help but feel like I failed at doing everything! I always feel like I didn’t do enough; but this simply isn’t true. I think this is a message everyone deserves and needs to hear at the end of the year.
Have confidence in the fact that you are capable of great things. You push yourself to do so much because - hopefully, you know this - if you put yourself on the right track, you can achieve anything. But you do not have to conquer the world to do good things in it.
An example of this is Mahatma Gandhi; the world knows him as an incredible activist, but he wasn’t capable of doing everything. As a teenager, he was a shy and timid boy who always slept with the lights on; as a young lawyer, Gandhi blanked and fled the room nervously when the time came to cross-examine a witness. He couldn’t handle some of the stresses and responsibility in his life; yet today, we know him for all of the wonderful acts of peaceful protest he pursued. With time, practice and reflection, he did something great.
So go easy on yourself. You don’t need to do everything and leave no time for yourself. Life is about following your passion, yes; but it is also about finding fulfillment and being truly happy. When you focus on what you didn’t do instead of what you have done, you refuse yourself the opportunity to grow from what you can already do.
Should you push yourself to be better and take up new opportunities? Without a doubt. But is it equally important to have confidence in yourself and enjoy the path in front of you? Absolutely. You are already a force for good.
Good luck with any finals, challenges or struggles this upcoming month, and take it easy on yourself!!