2013 was definitely a challenging year for myself. My new job tested and challenged me in ways I never expected. While trying to adjust to the added responsibilities and workload (not to mention adjusting to a “new school”), I found myself compensating by working late and not communicating when it felt like too much.
I stopped freelance writing, blogging for fun, reading my favorite blogs, researching new startups and companies, seeing my friends, and working out regularly. During November and December of last year, it felt like I literally just worked, ate, and slept. I was stressed out to a point where I felt buried and the only way to mask it was to be apathetic. Being apathetic leads to the inability to feel compassion for others, which results in feeling even more alone. I wanted to regain the momentum I felt in the past where it felt like I had it all: the great job, the fun side hustle, an active social life, and the best race pace I’ve ever had.
After Christmas and New Year’s spent with family, I took off two days from work to reflect and disconnect, thinking about how I could move forward in 2014 with a better work / life balance (the ever unattainable) and not become so overwhelmed. I decided to pick up where I left off in my copy of “The Buddha Walks Into A Bar…: A Guide To Life For A New Generation” to learn how to reconnect with myself and get set on a much happier path. I definitely recommend the book for anyone who isn’t necessarily religious – or even that spiritual – but acknowledges the power of disconnecting, reflecting, and letting your thoughts “simmer.”
Some quick but insightful lessons from the book:
A good number of people in America take “getting ahead in life” as the center of their mandala (your chart of priorities). By searching for perfection, they inevitably end up disappointed or constantly searching. What would happen if’s the center of people’s mandala was to be compassionate and show generosity? How would it benefit them in the long run, spiritually or emotionally?
What makes someone spiritual or worldly is not what they do, but their view and motivation for why they do it. You might judge your own or someone else’s actions, but your final perception might change once you learn what their motivation is.
Getting “hooked” by strong emotions like jealousy and anxiety is what drains us and leads to poor decisions. Letting go or refusing to let those negative feelings affects us is what leads to lightness and energy.
Have you ever had a time in your life where you had to stop and reset course? What mindset do you adopt when work challenges you?
Originally posted on My Name Is Reb, where Reb Carlson writes once a week about social media, content, innovation, career, and culture. Reb works as a social media strategist at MKG and was one of the early founders of FindSpark.