Confusing title? I love how punctation or the order of words can mean different things. Read the blog and the title will make total sense.
I constant evaluate the concept of why in our culture we work so hard. According to HBR , executives, managers and professionals (EMP) work average 72 hours a week.
What happened to the 40-50 hours a week?
EMPs are driven, motivated, hard workers and many love their work. They are high achievers. They don’t shy away from working hard to support their teams, help the company reach their profit goals and provide a good lifestyle for their families.
At what cost though? What is the cost of working for 72 hours? And let’s not forget those extra hours awake at 2 am thinking about work. So there is more than 72 hours…
We glorify “busyness”, we enjoy the high pace, the cortisol, the adrenaline rush of achievement. So much so that once we achieve a goal, few minutes later we are searching for the next great achievement and the next and the next…
What is enough? When is enough? What justifies the race, the 72+ hours a week?
That leaves very little time for self-care, hobbies, family, play time, chilling out, to just appreciate a Sunset…threre is little time or no time for simple joy.
If joy was what I saw among most driven successful high achievers, I would not be the type of coach I am and I would not write this blog.
We would not be a culture that is anxious, stressed out and depressed.
What I see is a quiet despair. An exhaustion underneath the drive.
I see the light of many incredible people dimmed. The burn out is real, but until the burn out feels totally physical to the point that achievers get sick, or experience deep fatigue, they will keep pushing.
Let’s pause before the burn out.
What I see more and not many are talking about is an inner spiritual crisis, which will lead eventually to physical, mental and emotional burn out.
Spiritual crisis refers to our purpose, the quality of our life, our connection with the Self and the richness of our relationships.
The pain is deep and it is easier to stay in the race tolerating anxiety, overwhelm and stress for the name of success, because that is acceptable and glorified by our society.
Working hard is easy, doing the deep spiritual and emotional work is not.
Plus we live in the happiness mindset world – lets just be happy, positive all the time. That is pure spiritual bypass.
Doing the inner work is not for the faint of heart. It is the work that asks us: Why the chase, why the working so hard, why anxiety, why stress, why the feeling that it is never enough. And even deeper questions like what is my purpose ? What do I want my life to be about? What do I want people to say about me in my eulogy?
I am pretty sure is not that we are hard workers and we made a lot of money.
We need to pause. We need to examine our lives, like Socrates said:
“An unexamined life is not worth living.”
We need to do the deep work, the work that brings us back to the heart.
The heart is about Love. The heart is about relationships, service, connections, stillness, compassion and the heart is always complete.
The heart is content. The heart does not chase. The heart just is.
I am not implying that we all need just to “kumbaya” together and forget about money and achievements.
Quite the contrary. Being a high achiever is a gift, let’s use it.
Let’s use these gifts to align our goals and actions with our heart, with our purpose which is centered around ecology – all will benefit.
The models need to be examined and re-defined. Maybe start here:
“What is enough?” “When do you know you are living a successful life?”
Create your own model of success, and stop living the model of others. That is how we shift a culture.
I feel like this global crisis is here as a cosmic call, to remind us that we need to pause because the way we were doing things was leading us to destruction, of the self and our planet because all is connected.
Ask the simple hard questions. Start asking more Why’s. What is your deep motivation? Where are you going? And what is the meaning?
Are your goals aligned with your deepest values? Do you love the person you are becoming while pursuing your goals?
I have asked myself these questions in the last 6 months, when I started seeing that my business model was going to probably crumble during this crisis, and it did.
These questions are not easy to answer. Getting real, in touch with our deepest truth is hard because it will reveal the darkness, it will reveal that we have been operating from our ego, or that maybe we were asleep, not aware. Or that maybe we abandoned our hearts, like I did.
“I am back home, the call is for us to return.”
These uncertain times are asking for new models, new thinking, new levels of consciousness.
Whatever it is for you, approach this work with curiosity and self-compassion. Do not listen to the judger in your head.
Many systems are collapsing because we need evolution. We have advanced in technology so fast, it is hard to grasp. And we have not moved at the same pace, our minds have not kept up. It does not mean we can’t.
We have to find a way. There is a way.
I believe in quantum growth, quantum leaps of evolution and starts one by one. And the accelerated frequency of the Universe is here to help us to take those quantum leaps, it feels like there is a portal that can accelerate our individual evolution. Yet, we need to choose to cross that portal. And that involves leaving the known and familiar behind.
Do the hard work, why?
Because in that work there is deep self-knowledge, there is wisdom, we get heart centered, we get stronger, we become more courageous and there is one thing in this work that we all want – Freedom.
I will leave you with a Lao-tzu quote.
“A contented man is never disappointed.
He who knows the to stop is preserved from peril,
only thus can endure long.”
44th verse of the Tao Te Ching
Much love, Alex.
P.S.: Want to book a coaching session? Email me at [email protected]