Pushing the Limits – Attempting More Than One Should
Life is sort of a balancing act, at least it seems like that to me sometimes.
Thus the name of the site is See Chaos.
Really, I don't like pushing the limits yet there are times when it is necessary to put in a little more. Still doing too much can be seen by some as the equivalent of not doing anything, at least in the context on having a life. And this is somehow true. At lest it is true in the sense that you have to have a good balance to really enjoy life.
When you take on too much you end up becoming fixated on it. This "workaholic" style of existence doesn't leave a lot of room for other activities. Friends and family feel neglected though you might not be able to realize that.
I have a tendency to do, too much.
I wouldn't define myself as a workaholic. When my eight hours are complete I am ready to go home. But it is the free time that gets eaten up by extra activities.
Activities range from gym three days a week to volunteer work at our church and community center, to helping family and friends. One of the things that I have noticed is that when you are "helpful" people will ask you for help. That means that the more you make yourself available the more they are willing to ask for help. Plus they sort of expect you to say yes.
When I started working I still had a lot of volunteer work from my time in college and so it just seemed natural to maintain those obligations. These led the way to other opportunities and I quickly found all of my free time eaten up.
It took several years for me to get things balanced out. What helped bring things into balance was one simple question:
Do you want to do it?
I wish I could take credit for it. But my brother asked me the question, so no big epiphany there, but it really was an eye opener none the less. And the answer was:
No. Not really.
From that day forward I started to work on rolling back the obligations that I allowed myself to take on. And it was a good day indeed.
Of course I made sure that there was a replacement there to take on my work, but you know it is funny, the majority of the time there was. And in one instance there was another volunteer that had been patiently waiting for me to step back so that they could take over my job.
That was the funniest part.
By being so blind to what was going on around me I became oblivious to opportunities that would help me reduce that load.
Pushing the limits can be rewarding if you have a clear goal in mind and you are focusing on completing a task. The feeling of succeeding is tremendous and because there is a finishing line it is not indefinite. But when we do too much for the sake of doing it that finishing line doesn't exist. And you just keep going.
When this happens you can easily get caught in an endless cycle where you do more than you should.
This post got a lot longer than I set down to write. But I really hope it will be one of those epiphany moments for at least one other person. If my brother hadn't asked me that simple question I would probably be too busy to write on my site.