You know when you look at a little kid without a care in the world? I want that.
You know why?
Because I had it. All of us did.
Growing up is a tricky thing. We graduate grade school, which is the end of the period where we had really no responsibility. Sure we had to do an hour or two of homework a week to pass our classes. But we chose the additional activities in our lives, whether it be sports, music, or dance. We then moved onto high school. Things got a little more serious. We had to pay a little more attention to our grades because they will affect which college we would get into. The sports and extracurricular activities became a little more important to us. We possibly had to get a side job to make a little extra money, since we were now driving and spending a little more. Once high school ended and college began, we noticed things became even more complicated. We didn’t necessarily treat it this way, as this was probably one of the best periods of our lives. We met a ton of friends. We partied. We slept in till 12. But still, those grades mattered at the time. Our work on the side became more important to get by. We had more responsibility.
Now, being in the “real world”, things continue to move in that direction. More responsibility. Less social life. More work.
I’ve noticed in myself that I have a very addictive personality. I tend to really fixate on different aspects of my life, which often consumes my attention much more than I would like it to. Many of these issues are not important in grand scheme of things. But still, they may affect my mood – sometimes for the whole day – without me understanding what’s going on. This fixation on things has led me to take things more seriously and try to fix them in a systematic way. I became more serious and calculated. I focused on these problems with more intensity than ever. My schooling conditioned me to do this. My personal life soon became a job in itself, beyond 9-5.
I’ve recently discovered that the more you focus on something, the more power that specific problem/issue has over you. It’s a very odd dynamic. I was noticing that many of the problems I was trying to overcome couldn’t be solved the way I was attacking it. The solution wasn’t more focus and problem solving. Instead, it was changing my attitude.
As I mentioned, I find myself thinking too much about certain problems – and this has haunted me in the past. I don’t know if I will ever be able to simplify my wandering mind. But one thing I can change is how I approach the problem. My goal going forward is to treat the experience in front of me less like a job and more like an adventure. I can begin to treat going to the gym as a personal challenge instead of something I have to do to stay healthy. I can be compassionate and even laugh at my failures. Instead of attacking my fears and worries with more thinking (which compounds the effect), I can face them head on with a positive energy and loose, playful attitude. This will have no effect on the pride of my work or my work ethic. This is only a shift in attitude.
This will be a challenge it itself for me. But there’s no going back…I just made my decision.
Time to play.