“Eating is an absolute waste of time. Keep studying!” and “If you take a break now, you will never get back to work!” are just two of the sentences the little voice in my head screamed at me last Thursday. When we try to work. When we try to pour our heart and soul into something, when we try to be good at something, it can easily happen, that we want to make ourselves spend more time with whatever that is at the moment. Because we have a goal that we want to achieve no matter what. This drive is incredible. It can make us become great people. There is just one problem. It is absolutely out of balance.
Also on Thursday I caught myself being irritated constantly. Being mad and impatient. I was swearing and screaming because I go frustrated, because it felt like nothing was working the way I wanted it to. The printer did not print. And I had failed to finish what I had planned the days before. I just hated everything. Then I realized one thing: It had been weeks since I last worked out. My body was totally out of balance. I had been challenging my mind to be disciplined and study, but at the same time I had failed to challenge my body. And this was when I got grumpy.
We may not all need exercise. But balance we all need. Because, eating and sleeping and taking breaks are not just a necessary evil, that we do in order to keep functioning. This is what I tell the little voice in my head. But what we really need is fulfillment. That is what will keep us going. If we do only one thing for days and only eat and sleep because we have to, we run the danger of depending on that one thing to fulfill us. Which can easily become an issue when that one thing starts getting on our nerves for some reason.
That is why we need hobbies and friends and work and family. And all these categories have the right to exist. And all of them have the potential to fulfill us. Sure, we do not want to choose friends that we do not actually like, but we should not rely on our friends to make us happy. Or our family, our jobs or hobbies. They all are wonderful and to lead a happy life, all of these need to be more or less intact. But we cannot depend on one or another. Because that will most likely make us neglect the others and thereby make us unhappy in the long run.
Especially recreational things like taking breaks, eating and sleeping should not be things we think of as necessities. We should be able to draw energy from them. We can actively help doing that, by creating little rituals around going to sleep for example. Or having a designated spot, where we read when we are on a break. Whatever it is, we need to convince ourselves, that we deserve those breaks. And we can be grateful for them and for deserving them, rather than hating on them. We need to believe that it is alright to not study 10 hours a day. Yes, maybe we feel like we might fail the next exams if we stop studying, but if we cannot take a break and recharge, there will be no efficient studying and then we will definitely fail.
We can take this even a step further. Which is typical for people with a positive mindset. We have to go to a doctor or dentist for a regular checkup. Most people would get annoyed by it. Consider it a waste of time. But very few see it as an opportunity. We can talk to our doctor about any concerns we might have and if we don’t we had a checkup and we know for a fact that we are fine. Not to mention the fact that we get out of the places we are on a regular basis. Maybe we can walk there and enjoy the sunshine. Or maybe we just enjoy the time to ourselves. The very same thing goes for running errands and doing groceries.
So to sum it up: there are things we need to do and we need to balance the different parts of our lives, to be able to draw energy from them. But while we are at it, we might as well think about how we can make the the small and absolutely necessary things in our lives matter. This is actively employing a positive mindset and will fulfill us and make us happy.