Given my history of depression and anxiety, it would be understandable for the pandemic and the economic crash overwhelm me. But they haven’t. I’ve established a welcome sense of equilibrium in the face of catastrophe. I am understandably concerned for my health and the health of those I love, especially my parents and in-laws. But I’m doing what I can to be healthy. I recognize that thinking about what might happen is wasteful, pointless. Somehow, I can let those fears go when they arise. Likewise, I don’t linger on financial concerns beyond keeping an eye on what I can do to make sure I stay employed and spend my money wisely.
I told a colleague recently that I could write my ideal job description in three words: think, create, teach. I’m at my happiest when I have time to think and learn, headspace and time to write, and an outlet to teach others what I know. I am fortunate that my life does revolve around those three things. I spend a good portion of every day in a state of flow, where time doesn’t matter and I’m challenged to the edge of my abilities. I’m satisfied and happy as a result.
What about you? When do you feel happiest?
Every morning at work, I start with seemingly limitless reserves of energy. But by the time I wade through emails, prepare a list of things I need to do, and get ready for my first meeting of the day, I often find myself drained and uninspired. The rest of the day is harder to get through, and I often feel unsatisfied with what I’ve accomplished when it’s time to leave.
This morning, I decided to take a different approach. I didn’t check my email. I didn’t reconcile my calendars. I didn’t look at Twitter, or my schedule for the day. I picked something I needed to focus on and got to work.
What a difference it made! I finished a proposal for a speaking engagement that I fretted over all last week. I read–and understood–a systems architecture document I’ve been meaning to get to. And I reviewed a slide deck I’ll need to use for an upcoming training session. I got more done in two hours than I usually get done in twice that amount of time. After my first meeting, I capitalized on the momentum I’d built and accomplished even more.
Before I left the office, I did all the tedious chores I normally would have done first thing in the morning, and wrote a note for myself to find in the morning. When I get there tomorrow, I’ll have my day laid out for me and a head start on another good day.
Photograph by Musuvathi J Ubendran.