Even if my upbringing was full of freedom and possibilities to do what I wanted, I still captured the “I have to” virus. It led to an approach to life containing a lot of “should”. I still took my freedom to do things I wanted to do. However, they connected quite often with a rejection of whatever “should” was involved. The wonderful thing about that is, that I’ve tried a lot of things and kept an interest in many fields. The adventurous and rebellious part of it always pleased me.
Not too long ago, Casey a coaching colleague in The Marketing Seminar wrote a blog post that gave me another perspective on that habit. She described how sometimes passion can turn into an obsession. One that may lead to feeling overwhelmed and miserable. If it happens, mostly by staying within the walls of one activity. It makes it difficult to measure one’s satisfaction as a sense of obligation steps in.
It is normal that any activity we entertain has satisfying as well as frustrating moments. By remaining within one activity we make it unnecessarily hard on ourselves to find moments of joy, pleasure, or satisfaction. The times of frustration reduce motivation and energy. With less energy available, it is natural that staying focused, keeping track of achievements, and overcoming frustrations becomes more and more difficult.
The antidote Casey describes is simple. Letting oneself discover something else we love to do. The point here is to invest enough time in side-activities and exploring them to find satisfaction in them. Having a lot of activities may not give that time. That’s when they become a distraction from the main activity. They are only there to release the frustration and don’t create the satisfaction that allows for a sustainable focus.
It doesn’t make a lot of activities bad. But it helps to distinguish when they are a distraction and when satisfaction results from the variety. A conclusion I’ve also drawn from all of my activities in the past is that they all become interconnected. It’s just a matter of connecting the dots.