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I practiced my music pieces so rigorously before the exam that I ended up exhausting myself to the point of questioning my decision to even pursue music.
Despite the no-break practice sessions, I still made too many fumbles during the exam.
Why did that happen? I didn’t use my phone while practicing as that would have been a distraction. I played my pieces every day for over a month sacrificing so many outings with friends.
Then what went wrong? This wasn’t the only instance when success seemed to run away whenever I moved toward it.
When I started meditating, I changed all my daily routines: waking up early, exercising, staying away from my phone, and fighting my impulses. But still, meditation seemed too difficult to even sit through—let alone watch my thoughts. I couldn’t figure out what was going on.
Why was it that working hard toward my goal only seemed to be defeating the purpose?
Maybe this happens to all of us. Despite planning our moves carefully and working diligently toward our goal, the result isn’t even close to what we expected.
The answer to my question came to me while I was reading about emotional intelligence. Daniel Goleman, a renowned psychologist, and writer had mentioned in one of his books that stress affects our memory and efficiency.
That’s it! That was my epiphany.
I was always too stressed about being successful and ended up making my own definition of success. It became something that everything else had to be sacrificed for.
When actually, success doesn’t come with hard work—just by working regularly. It’s not just the hours put in, but the persona too; the frame of mind while working. If we look around we’ll notice that not everyone who’s happy and successful is grinding themselves. Success comes by taking it easy.
The point being made here is not to sit back and relax while someone else does everything for us, but to work smart with optimism.
If I want to achieve high sales in the next quarter and I’m so obsessed about it that I start seeing everyone I meet as a potential buyer rather than connecting with them, it can be counterproductive because people wouldn’t connect with me and only see me as a pushy salesman
Taking small steps regularly will not overwhelm us, and we’ll be getting closer to our goals. We must inculcate this easy-going frame of mind in our daily lives to see change over time.
It goes hand in hand with countering any negative thoughts with fact checks. Say a thought comes into my mind that says something would be difficult to achieve, then it would actually become the reality if I go ahead with the same mindset.
Instead, we should clearly state the reasons to ourselves as to why will we find it difficult.
Is there a history of us have done the same thing earlier? If yes, then an optimistic mind would say that since we’ve already done this in the past, it would be easier now as we have some experience.
We’ve been conditioned in a way that we now believe that every worthy thing has to be worked hard for.
Let’s see, the most crucial thing we need is oxygen.
Isn’t it free?
A walk in the park is the most efficient way to clear mental fog and reduce stress.
Isn’t it free?
So when did the worthy things become so expensive that we need to grind ourselves for them? What are those worthy things?
I’d suggest that we try taking it easy and allowing nature to contribute to our success.