How being frantic got me nowhere

This post is not for everyone. None of us are really the same and some of the things I write about in my posts might be helpful to some people but be completely unhelpful to others. This post is specifically written for my fellow frantic friends that live with a constant need to hurry up.

I wasn’t always like this, in fact I remember a time in high school when I was the most chilled out person ever, almost too laid back. Over time I realised it wouldn’t get me anywhere and I decided to kick myself into being less laid back and more on the ball. But over the years I’ve turned “being on the ball” into a frantic monster who just doesn’t know how to take it easy.

I spent most of my life racing time to get where I need to be or do what I need to do so that I’m in control. I could hear the ticking of the clock no matter where I was. Everything needed to be done fast, I need to write fast, eat fast, take rest fast and even breathe fast. Being “quick” was always applauded in my world and I grew up believing it’s normal.

So I embraced it. I started hurrying and trying to squeeze every inch of time for “productive work”. Portfolio building, networking, working on my writing, being busy all the time…

Everything turned into one big race. And I wanted to be on top.

But I finally came to the horrifying realisation that being on top of it all is still not enough. Cause when you’re on top of that mountain of productive work, you start wondering was all that even worth it?

It had dawned on me when I was in the shower one day. I had the whole day to myself and I could have enjoyed my shower taking my time with it. But I rushed through it because my heart was pounding thinking I’m late. I wasn’t. This thought that I wasting my time with this relaxing shower was unshakable. I kept thinking, “How can I relax? That’s a luxury I cannot afford!”

I realised how it seemed to be getting harder and harder to relax. When I had energy and time, I had no idea how to relax! All I knew is how to crash with exhaustion. When you have the energy, how dare you spend it relaxing? Right?

Not being able to relax was very confronting. All this time I was not relaxing, I was collapsing.

I’ve been running for a decade now, and all I see ahead of me is more running. That’s when it hit me, where am I going? Why am I running? Why am I frantic?

here is what I discovered:
Perfection

My mortal enemy. I want everything to be perfect, I want to be perfect. That’s the main reason I keep trying to get ahead, so that I can have more time to do more and be more perfect.

Keeping up appearance

Why do I want to be perfect? I want to give the impression that I have it all together. I am efficient and I am responsible. Oh and I am the strongest person ever.

Pleasing people

Why do I want to give off that image? Somewhere in my head I feel like if I am that responsible efficient person people would love me more. It would finally give me that validation that yes, I am good enough.

The funny thing is if I make a list of people I love the most in this world, not one of them are on the list because they are efficient or responsible. It’s because they are loving and kind and amazing. Not because of their deeds and trophies but because of who they are.

Do you know what living frantically looks like to me? It looks like fear.

I start asking myself practical questions like if I become the biggest badass boss in town, queen of hustle and productivity, will I be happy?

All I could think of is that I would still have to live frantically to keep up with that badass life. What’s the point in being so responsible and efficient if you forfeit on your own life? You forfeit on things that in the end would matter more? Things like spending time with people you love, spending time with yourself, with God, and just being. Wouldn’t matter more if I lay on my deathbed? Wouldn’t that be more important than being on top of my list?

So my frantic friends, I want to ask you. What are you chasing? Why are you racing? Why are you frantic?

Fear? Pride? Ego?

Do you really think life is supposed to be like this? Running, chasing, being jittery? Not at ease or at peace?

The beauty of life is that you can change it into whatever you want it to be. I spent too much of my time chasing the wrong things, the wrong people, the wrong dreams, the wrong intentions.

Whatever you need to be happier is already with you. It would be a shame if you discover it later in life after you spent half of it trying to get on top.

That rush, that hustle, I don’t think it’s positive. It tricked me into thinking I was doing a lot and getting somewhere, but all that happened was doing a lot and getting nowhere. Nowhere that actually matters.

When you are inspired and motivated that comes from a good place of flow. But when you’re frantically trying to get everything (too much) done it’s coming from of bad place of fear. I know that cause I feel like I’m being chased by a predator at that point.   

To wrap it up I urge you to think about your own life, how do you want it to be remembered? Responsible and frantic or loving and soulful? Are those long hours and hustle necessary? Is it really adding to the quality of your life? Think about it.