I keep hearing we should push past our limits, work harder, longer, smarter. Put in more, add extra effort, kill it at your day job, dedicate hours to your passion project, steal downtime minutes to double down on the side hustle while you somehow juggle a personal existence, me-time, and work-life balance. Phew.
The entire mess leaves me feeling apprehensive, frustrated, and exhausted. I have pushed myself to do my best, do it all, and move outside my comfort zone. The result is I became more stressed and more anxious. My productivity fell, my enthusiasm evaporated, and I was irritable and angry. Pushing beyond my limitations drove me straight to burnout. And to what end?
Limits exist for a reason. They protect us from unrealistic ambition, work overload, and total shutdown. No matter how many times they say it, you can’t give 110% for days and weeks or years. Learning, truly mastering your subject, requires immersion, hands-on commitment, and space to appreciate the excitement for your dream.
Let me escape the programmed fate of some device-driven, optimized, maxed-out hustling, and artificially balanced being. Yes, sign me up for waking when I am rested, for rediscovering the joy of internalizing knowledge, for attaining the goals that resonate with my soul, and for connecting with friends who help me see the best parts of being human.
Have you gone too far?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer