“Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.”
― Mitch Albom
One of the things that I’ve been struggling with recently is managing all the responsibilities that I’ve taken on and not having enough time to do them well. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always juggled as much as I could and every time I finally settled into a routine, I would add more to my list and it would continue from there. We’re conditioned to think that more directly equates to better, doing more will get you that new job, or acceptance into the school you’re aiming for, or the recognition that you’ve been craving.
But sometimes, doing more than what you’re doing is nearly impossible because you’re already struggling. Sometimes, the things you have to do are so lengthy in number, that you can barely manage them all, let alone do them to the best of your ability. I want to tell you, that feeling like you can’t do everything is completely normal. Speaking realistically, it is ridiculous to think that anyone could do it all because we’re all beautifully flawed.
The saying that “nobody is perfect” is more than just a saying when you really think about it. Everyone has different skill sets and different things that they are good at. Maybe you’re really good at biology but one of your best friend’s struggles with it and maybe that same friend is spectacular at drawing but you can’t even make a stick figure. No matter what it is, whether it deals with education or different skills, it is okay to fail sometimes because failing means you’re trying and trying means that you’re already a step ahead.
One of my really good friends, Shahla Partowmah, said that if you never take breaks, you’ll burn out and as long as you’re doing something productive, that’s all that matters. Yeah, you might be physically capable of doing more but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to. The more you take on, the more you run the risk of taking away from your potential and the quality of your work.
She stated that our struggle most likely comes from the “I want more” mentally that plagues our society. We always aspire to be better than what we are and we’re craving to reach a level of perfection that may be unrealistic. Our parents tell us to be grateful for the things we have, but they also continue to go on and compare us to people that seem to be doing better in life. No one is happy where they are and with what they’re doing because they want to do and accomplish more. But understanding that what you’ve achieved already counts more than what you have yet to do, will make all the difference.
This serves as a reminder to myself before anyone else because it’s something that I always seem to forget. I always feel as if I’ll never become the person I crave to be or accomplish all that I want to do but thinking of life with that negative perspective only serves to add to stress. Rather than thinking of it that way, thinking of it as “I’m exactly where I should be right now in my life and this is the best I can do” will motivate to go even further.
The most important thing to remember is that you truly can do anything that you set your mind to. Even if you’re not good at it today, you may excel at it the more you practice. Or you may never be that great, but regardless, accepting life’s failures and learning from them is what will matter in the end. The quality of your work will speak for itself and you truly have nothing to prove to anyone as long as you do the best you can do.