Leaning In vs Letting Go

There are times when it is necessary to throw yourself wholeheartedly into something for the sake of achieving a goal that is important to you. This something varies for each of us. Some of you may be burning the midnight oil to turn in a paper on time, or perhaps you are up at the crack of dawn to squeeze in a gym sesh before the demands of the day come chirping through your phone. Sometimes this something can take the form of a relationship, maybe you are going the extra mile to brighten the day of your significant other- crafting thoughtful text messages and making last minute runs to Trader Joe's for sunflowers. Whatever it is you are currently investing your time and energy into, it is worth stopping momentarily to question the energetic ROI on this investment.

Does this aspect of your life provide you with more energy than it takes?

Seriously take a moment to consider how you feel after you have poured yourself into this endeavor. If you are left feeling invigorated, like you have made a sizable jump towards the person you wish to become, then chances are your energy is well-spent. On the other hand, if doing so leaves you feeling more drained than it does lift you up, you may be better off pouring your energy elsewhere.

When to say fuck it

Working towards big goals takes a great deal of energy and often pushes you out of your comfort zone. It is normal to come across challenges on the journey towards your goal, but there is a difference between feeling winded from an incline and feeling drained from sprinting on a treadmill. In one scenario your work is moving you towards a desired end point and in the other you may be working hard, but you aren't getting anywhere.

Maybe the thing you are pouring your entire being into is something that you felt obligated to pursue from the pressure of others, but it does nothing to serve who you are and the life you want to live.

In this case, it's time to say fuck it and do a little soul searching to find what does light you up.

Let go of the need to be exceptionally good at the things you try out during this self-discovery hiatus and aim to have fun with life. Also do yourself a favor and let go of the idea that if a given hobby fails to pay the bills it's not worth your time. There's no quicker way to suck the joy out of a pastime than to demand a paycheck from it straightaway. If you do end up making a living from your hobby, that's great. For now, focus on identifying the things in your life that pull you in with enough force that you forget to check the clock for hours on end. This is where your energy is best spent.