Today, our lives revolve around the idea of growth. Growth in terms of self growth, economic growth, growth as a society, growth in technology – it has become a never-ending quest for becoming something more than what we are at the given moment.
We have become so obsessed with the idea of constant growth that the mere idea of stopping or staying still has become a synonym of failure, lagging behind, missing something out.
It is believed that if we stop, we die. After all, the time is ticking
This constant pressure to keep moving and keep doing something more has started to take toll on our mental health, individually as well as collectively as a society. If we look back in time, we will see that today’s generation is more prone to anxiety, depression and burnout than their ancestors. We might be progressing, achieving milestones, making things that can change the world, ticking things off our bucket lists, acquiring a new set of skills to meet with the time’s need, however all this is coming at the cost of our mental health.
Where we are getting with this calls for the need to stop, reflect and evaluate. We need to stop and breathe and let go of the notion that stopping is the opposite of growth. Growth is not linear. It is not in one direction. Growth is inwards as well as outwards. Creating a balance between ‘being’ and ‘becoming’ is too important in this time.
But, how do we do that?
It is obviously a human need to keep creating meanings out of things, keep doing and keep moving. But, it does not mean one should lead themselves to the point of burnout.
Set realistic goals for yourself. Forget there is any clock ticking. There really is not. Time is relative and it is high time that we understand this now. The purpose is to create something of value, and it can be as little as planting a new tree in your garden, painting your wall, or contributing your role in a charity cause.
The point is, to not count what you are doing. This will put a pressure on you and that will turn a healthy mind into an anxious mind – obsessive, compulsive and always restless. There won’t come a day when you are not be given an opportunity to create something, whether it is in your professional life, your personal relationships or your social life. Even if you do not realize, you are making a change. Our purpose is to live day by day so we can understand what elements make life what it is, instead of constantly chasing something.
Set goals but do not set the standards for measuring it. Do not set standards to define failure. These standards and this desire to achieve the idea of perfection are the main causes of increasing anxiety disorders and depression in today’s generation. Setting the goals too high will only throw you back too low. Go outside, exercise to feel good about your body, be generous and give as much as you can. Do not narrow the scope of your being by always trying to achieve something in materialistic terms.