“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.”
We all have days, weeks, months and – for some – even years of feeling anxious and overwhelmed with the work we have yet to do. It’s an elusive feeling that aches from deep within. From the outside, people think you have it all together, but they can’t see what’s going on in your head. Stress fills your thoughts and emotions all too often, nagging at you throughout the day. You have so many things to do and they never seem to get done. You always feel a day late and a buck short. The pressure is intense and overwhelming.
Consider an email I got today from a reader named Gale:
“…the older I get the harder it is to feel peaceful and successful. I’m a wife and a working mom of two, and the thing is, I know I’d feel happier and more effective if my family and I didn’t have so many extra curricular obligations. But we do. I have a weekend job where I teach and lead a youth group my daughter is enrolled in, I help my husband coach our son’s soccer team, I lead a prayer group at my church, and the list goes on and on.
Right now, the only way to get everything done is to sleep less and hustle more, but I’ve noticed that I feel sick and can’t really do things well when I haven’t gotten enough sleep. And I want to take care of my health as well, so I’ve been sleeping eight full hours for the last few nights. And inevitably, now I’m terribly behind on everything again.”
I can relate all too well, because that’s exactly how Angel and I felt before we started simplifying our lifestyle. We were being pulled in dozens of different directions every day and never had enough time to get everything done. Naturally, we wanted to do a great job with each obligation we had, and somehow we had convinced ourselves that we could do it all. But the reality was we were stretched way too thin, and thus we were doing a lousy job at everything and completely stressing ourselves out in the process.
So to Gale, and to everyone else who feels this way, here’s the harsh truth you’ve been avoiding:
You CANNOT do it all. Your plate is too full. You have to let some things GO!
Unless you want your health to decline and your stress to continue to skyrocket, you must start doing three key things:
1. Decide what you would put back on your plate if you could wipe it clean.
Our lives get incredibly complicated, not overnight, but gradually. The complications creep up on us, one small step at a time. [Read more…]