This is not a problem for a lot of people. But it is for me.
Ever since I've been a teenage I've been obsessed with learning things, getting better at things, and striving for something higher than myself.
What could I really achieve if I put my mind to it? How far can I take this life?
It's all well and good, but after a while you get into this rut where life becomes routine and you're on a hamster wheel of so-called achievement that can start to suck the color out of life if you let it.
I like to think I'm clever, but there are people far more observant than me about this type of thing.
I'm reading a book called Emotional Awareness, which is a conversation between Dr. Paul Eklund (the scientist who discovered microexpressions) and the Dalai Lama. While this is a great book and one I consider a must-read for anyone that struggles to understand the nature of their own mind (see: everyone), the reason I bring it up is because the Dalai Lama is pretty good at dropping knowledge bombs that can floor your entire worldview:
“Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
Boom. A hard hitter if you're someone who's constantly obsessing over the next milestone, goal, or achievement you want to hit in life.
Sometimes you need to just chill out and just be. Go on a hike with some friends. Go on a hike alone. Climb a mountain and tell nobody. Go for a swim in the open ocean. Go on a road trip with a lover.
Whatever. Just put it all aside every now and then and remember that you're just a little creature running around the Earth like everyone else.