When you take a rubber band and stretch it too far, it snaps. Blow up a balloon too much, and it pops. At some point, there’s just so much they can take.
You and I are a lot like those rubber bands and balloons.
At work and home, we’re stretched. As spouses and partners and parents, we’re stretched. We chase success and legacy, wealth and growth, reputation and status.
You’re reading this and nodding…
We battle our own picture of perfection. Do it all, and do it well. Don’t complain, and don’t let up. Do more with less. These are the messages we hear and feed ourselves.
It’s the reason I started writing the Depth Not Width blog. As I’ve shared in the past, I wanted to feel as deep as the ocean in the areas that matter to me. Instead, I felt as wide as a puddle, with hardly any depth at all. I never said no, and I struggled to say enough. Instead of creating boundaries to protect the life I wanted, I kept stretching the lines further and further. A little more… and a little more… and a little more…
And then, the rubber band snapped.
I found myself staring at a divorce, launching a new career, and parenting my kids half-time. I found all the things I was stretching myself for in pieces and was left trying to piece it all back together.
Why share all this? It’s a reminder to myself, and to you. Today, I’m remarried, my business is successful, and my kids are growing teenagers. Everything is good. So what keeps me up at night? I’m afraid that I’m going to repeat my past mistakes. I got a new rubber band, but I’m going to stretch it too far. That new balloon? I fear blowing it up too much.
Snap and pop.
Every day, I’m intentional to remind myself that depth is what matters. I can’t do it all, and I no longer want to. I know that creating depth by trying to do it all is impossible. Creating depth by focusing on my priorities is a must. My faith, my family, my friends, my health – those are the most important things.
Today is different. I know my values and purpose, and I see the need to align my life with them. Today, I want to be successful at a few things, not everything. The right things.
Choose what matters to you, and go deep in those areas. Resist the urge and pressure to stretch yourself thin, and prevent the pop.
Ready to focus on the right things?
If you’re looking for self help, you’re in the wrong spot. Want practical tips for changing your life and perspective? You’re in the right spot.
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– John Gamades