Note: This is from my Medium blog. Published in 2016
I recently had the following conversation with myself:
You have downloaded 3 new productivity apps this week. Why?
I want to increase my effectiveness/efficiency.
You involve yourself in so many useless activities that you convince yourself you care about. Why?
I want to live up to my maximum potential, and I trust my mental abilities to be potent enough to help me achieve anything I want.
Does the fact that you can achieve anything mean you must achieve EVERYTHING?
Um, I guess.
You are worn out and restless, shouldn’t you sleep early tonight?
Because I would be wasting time I could use to achieve something. Code something. Write something. Get ahead on school work.
At the expense of your health?
You just don’t understand. I need to achieve more, and get to THAT point.
The point where I can finally rest in peace!
Wait, you mean when you die?
No, you just don’t get it…
Because I just need to sleep later. If I don’t it would mean that I haven’t lived up to my fullest potential and fulfilled my God-given destiny!
Hum, so what you are saying is that the amount of things you “achieve” is tantamount to your WORTH? Did I get it right?
So just imagine that right now, right in front of you, are two dying old men. One is rich and the other is abjectedly poor. You’ve been given the power to stop one of them from dying and so their fate is litterally in your hands. Who will you save?
I don’t know. Both deserve to live :(
Why aren’t you concerned, in this case, with each man’s wealth?
Because this is a life or death situation. Money or anything else for that matter, doesn’t matter here. Everyone is equally and inherently deserving of life.
So both men have the same worth, regardless of their financial position and societal achievements right?
So external factors really don’t add anything to your worth? Right?
Then why in the world are you equating your OWN worth to what you have achieved? Why?
I …don’t… know…
The fallacy that our self worth can be measured by anything external has spawned substantial problems; we are becoming zombies and have never been more restless, all under the guise of achieving more productivity. Some of us even have trouble enjoying the few things we do have just because there is always something considered “better” out there that we must have in order to be satisfied.
When you completely disconnect your inherent sense of worth from your accomplishments, looks, or wealth, you will truly impact the world to your fullest potential. You will live meaningfully and care genuinely for others because you will neither feel superior nor inferior to them, and most importantly, you will not live your life on autopilot.
So if being more productive is already a goal you’ve set for yourself on your mental New Year’s resolution list for 2017, I urge you to also add:
“To be more authentic.”
Be yourself and remember that nothing out there can make you more valuable than you already are. Realize that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, and go make the world a better place — this time with selfless intentions.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
God bless you! :)