Sometimes it is up and to the right. This kind is easy to recognize. It is success that comes from accumulation. More of this, more of that. We just need to be mindful that what we are accumulating is what is best for ourselves, for our dear ones, for our group.
Sometimes it is down and to to the right. This kind is not as intuitive as the first one. It is success that comes from reduction. Less of this, less of that. What makes this particularly challenging is that cutting what is not best (for ourselves, for our dear ones, for our group) gets more difficult over a long period of time.
Sometimes it is right in the middle. Most people feel uncomfortable with this kind. It is success that comes from consistency. One of this today, one of this tomorrow, one of this the day after tomorrow. It turns out, in the long run it is still accumulation (or reduction). Just not as evident, arguably more impactful.
We need to be able to appreciate and celebrate the different shapes of success.
If we don’t, we are stuck in a narrative that is not our own.
We can take on more or less tasks, shift the boundaries of our responsibilities, focus on the tasks that better align with our strengths and values, rethink the way things are done, come up with new processes.
We can alter the relationships with those we work with – in the same department, in the same company, and also in other companies. Establish networks, help others, connect with them outside of work.
We can reframe tasks that are assigned to us in a way that makes us see a bigger picture, a wider purpose, a better future. For us, for the organisation, for the community.
Being stuck is rare, as at any given time the opportunities are many and diverse. Feeling stuck is much more common, and fortunately feelings come and go.
We are the greatest enemy to our own purpose, satisfaction, betterment, fullfilment.
We tell ourselves stories about the world that merely reflect what we feel and fear. Others will think I am arrogant if I do that. I am not good enough. If only I could get someone who believes in me. They don’t want me here anymore. They don’t care.
We are in charge. And we have the power to change all that. Now.
I may be able to explore my past, recalling memories of incidents where I learned to hide from my life, feeling the churn in my gut that makes (and keeps) me exactly as I am. And I may be able to explore the future person I want to be, my preferred image of myself, my intended self-concept tuned to hope and maybe distracting fantasy. But between the past and the future there’s the Now, with its stubborn realities, with its unpredictability and hidden dangers. There, in the Now, that’s where the real journey is either embraced or rejected, a point at which I must make a choice about facing what I haven’t faced all along — and stick with it.
We are fourteen months into a major health crisis.
We are fourteen months (for some, even fifteen, sixteen, or more) into a major health crisis.
It is ok to feel down. It is ok to struggle to find motivation. It is ok to feel stuck, to have the impression that nothing is worth taking on, to think that this is never going to end, to believe that we will be in the middle for the rest of our days.
And a good antidote to it, is to give ourselves uninterrupted periods of doing. An even better antidote to it, is to give ourselves uninterrupted periods of doing something that matches with our broader sense of purpose. Arguably the best antidote to it, is to give ourselves uninterrupted periods of doing something that matches with our broader sense of purpose, and then talk about it with other people who share the same interest, with our loving ones, with the community we belong to.
We might feel like this is never ending, yet it will end.
We might feel like nothing matters anymore, yet most things still do.
We might feel like we are alone, yet we are not.
Here are three links to check out to help us manage languishing.