Most of us believe that the harder we work the more we receive. What do we receive? More money, security, social status. What about happiness?
In my life, I spent a lot of time achieving more by doing even more. One university degree was not enough, I got several of them and later a Ph.D. Speaking one language was not enough, I learned many additional ones. Working full-time was not enough, I founded my own startup.
Doing more became a never-ending story. Several years ago I decided to take a new job and to do only that job. I was quite excited and persuaded that I will be doing less.
That was an illusion. Inside the job I was over-performing, going the extra mile. Apart from my technical job responsibilities, I turned to become a personal coach, listener, mentor, life advisor, and leadership builder. This required me to control my emotions and to show vulnerability and build trust.
This was too much. I was doing too much again. Things stopped working.
I had the feeling to endanger other colleague’s interests and career goals. I was cursed for being too good, too nice. It hurt when doing more and receiving less. Feelings of deception, anger, fear became my daily companion.
Those feelings consumed me from within as I started making bad decisions, displaying inappropriate behaviors, becoming a shadow of myself. This crazy ride went on like a never-ending story.
Luckily, soon enough, I realized that it was all about my thoughts. There was me on one side and my dark thoughts and negative emotions on the other side. I decided to become more aware of my thoughts and emotions while trying not to control them.
I started embracing my need for social acceptance, recognizing my ego, identifying the triggers of my insecurity, being aware of my misconceptions about colleagues and other beliefs.
I have become a student of my own life. Now I know what’s happening and it is fine because it is me and it is life. I am thankful for experiencing these moments while learning about myself. I cherish contemplating who I truly am.
When you observe the thoughts generated in your mind, you can follow them, from the shore like a river. The flow is dynamic and passionate. You discover the marvel of the mind, that is generating so much richness. You do not judge yourself anymore, you stop fighting others in your mind because you have just realized that your mind is the only one generating the thoughts.
You can’t believe how much fun it is to be able to change the focus of your mind at any time, as a conscious choice. You are in control.
I realized that doing more does not define my happiness, but it is my thoughts, which ultimately create the illusion of being happy or unhappy.
Thanks to practicing mindfulness and self-awareness, I got better at disconnecting from my thoughts. These are the moments when I see my colleagues as they are, the business problems and opportunities are crystal clear. My team performance increases. I am really delighted for doing less, but achieving more for people around me and people around those people.
Our default belief is that we have to care. However doing less can be a much more appropriate option. Doing less is not laziness. It is rather what tells the world who I am and what is my purpose. Why I am born.
Doing less is not procrastination. It instead nurtures the positive beliefs which support my journey after setting an intention in my mind. That is a dream I have, a very specific higher achievement I am aiming for, not just for me.
This is why, every day you can dare a bit more to nurture yourself on that specific individual journey.
Doing less is a release of tension, the end of finger-pointing at others, the end of illusion about the self, and the beginning of freedom.
The Covid-19 pandemic is teaching us how important it is to be kind to ourselves.
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