In an episode of the Normalize the Conversation series released on July 7, 2021, my guest, Alastair Ballentyne proposed this question to me: Are you content with life or is your life about producing content?
At first, I thought I was content with life. I am living my dream with Inspiring My Generation. I am obtaining my master’s in psychology. I have so many incredible things that I am beyond grateful for. I must feel content. Yet, my worth was still tied to my productivity. How much can I offer to others? What new resources or tools can I develop and share? How many blogs can I create? What more can I donate to the mental health community? How many different episodes can I produce? What else can I do? Where am I falling short? My entire thought process is “What else?”
I was so consumed with production and content that I often woke up in the middle of the night and start working. My anxiety was often triggered by taking time away from working to rest or socialize. There were periods of time where I would go more than 24 hours without rest. And this all felt normal to me. The only way to move forward is to continuously push yourself beyond your limits, right?
Our society is obsessed with overwhelming productivity.
From a young age, we teach our kids to do more. Play more sports. Join more school organizations. Take on more after school commitments. Without it, you will not get into college. If you do not get into a good college, you will not get a decent job.
Then, we get to college. Now, it is all about earning good grades. Participating in school organizations. Joining Greek Life. Maintaining a social life. Resume building. Internships. Real life work experience. Job hunting.
When we enter the work force, taking days off to rest is selfish and it may get you fired. Working past 9-5 hours is expected. You are expected to have it all and do it all.
We are constantly telling ourselves that we have to do more and be more. Our life is consumed by how much we produce. It is not what we can do for ourselves, it is all about what we can offer to everyone else around us. But, in the midst of running ourselves empty trying to live up to society’s expectations, where does that leave us?
Watch the FULL episode to learn more: https://youtu.be/XDbnwzjwxEE