Before I start, I want to make a disclaimer. I understand we must do hard things each and every day, especially if we want to reach our goals and become successful. I am not saying we don’t need to do difficult things, so keep that in mind as you read today’s post. :)
Okay, now for today’s thoughts.
On one of my hikes this past week I came upon this stream and it got me thinking. The pond was flooding over the trail I was on and I had two choices.
1. Walk through it, soak my shoes for the rest of day, but be to my destination quicker.
2. Turn around and go back the way I came. Longer, but my shoes would stay dry. °
This got my mind spinning on the question of how many times do we come upon a situation where we must choose to trudge through something difficult or take a few steps back and take an easier route?
--> With that, how often do we choose to go forward knowing that we will cause more chaos than if we just took a break, stepped back, and reevaluated the situation?
Sometimes I think we all believe we need to be charging forward every second of every day, doing everything and anything we are presented so we aren’t “wasting” time or opportunities. If we have to take a step back or have a setback it is the complete end of the world. It’s like we are in a race to see who can become the most “successful” the quickest, be the most busy, and accomplish the most. We value having a completely checked off to-do list more than our own sanity. How sad is that?
I was watching a video by Dani Johnson the other day and she was talking about anxiety. I loved how she defined it, because it was unlike any other explanation I have heard before. She defined it as being “over capacity”. Having too many dishes and sides on the plate, if you know what I mean.
How do you know you are over capacity, though?
Well, if you have 5 main dishes, 6 sides, and 8 desserts on one plate, unless you are Jesus, it would take a miracle to get from the kitchen to the table without some falling onto the floor. But, lets say you did make it to the table by some miracle, it is then going to be almost impossible to finish the entire plate and not feel like you are 15 months pregnant. What will either happen is you end up lethargic, overstuffed, and can’t move or you have to leave some food on the plate and don’t get to enjoy every bite of goodness in that moment.
In life, just like our eyes are MUCH bigger than our stomach at the buffet, our paper list of to-dos can handle many more tasks than our bodies can actually do. We have this foot-long paper that we just have to fill up with every opportunity, goal, and task we think we need to do. To make it even worse, if we don’t check off everything on that list, we feel worthless, like a failure, and like we can never handle as much as her over there. They have it all together and I’m a big, huge, hot mess.
Such a LIE!
Every single person’s plate is a different size. Think about it, you are not going to give a five year old the same size plate as a body builder, but even if you do, the five-year-old is not going to fill the plate with as much food as the body builder will. If that kid tried to eat everything the body builder had, he would be over-stuffed. But, if the body builder ate what the kid had on his plate, he would need five more plates. One person’s over capacity could be another person’s “taking it easy” which is why comparison is such a horrible thing!
Through, all of this, I really want to get across the point that sometimes it is okay to take a few things off your plate, to not finish them, not add them on in the first place or turn around take the easier route. Just because someone else has it on their list and can do it with excellence, doesn’t mean you can. And that is 100% okay!!
This is something I have been working on lately and my hope is that it inspires you to take a step back and evaluate what you have on your plate in ratio to how big your plate is.
“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” -Proverbs 23:4-5