“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle once gifted us with this empowering nugget of wisdom, and it rings truer than ever. In today’s world of burnout-infused burnout topped with a fresh glaze of burnout (Would you care to add a side of burnout with that?), we must learn to fall back on practical truths that will keep us grounded, rested, well, and ready to push forward together. This is what it means to be empowered; to be prepared for greater things through concentrated effort. The key to excellence is not found in success but rather in the day-to-day journey towards achieving your goals. And what better way to combat deep mental, emotional, and physical burnout than by thinking back to a classic childhood parable.
Everyone is familiar with some version of the children’s story of The Tortoise & The Hare, and the deeper psychological truths found in Aesop’s fable are still relevant today. Where The Hare failed by trying to speed through the race and win by going too fast, The Tortoise was able to succeed by taking things as they came, slow and steady. As we all know, The Tortoise won the race thanks to their commitment to employ effort and patience instead of resistance-inducing force. Convenience is often a killer to excellence.
In the modern age of instant gratification, same-day Amazon deliveries, and music, TV, and movies streaming instantly upon release, it is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of life being quick and constant and oftentimes overwhelming. There’s a reason (or many) why burnout is so common in nearly every industry across the board. We are all collectively trying to do too much with a limited capacity and resources on top of an “unprecedented” everything. After all, could it not have been burnout (mixed with over-self-confidence) that overcame The Hare in the end?
A modern retelling of “slow and steady wins the race” could be “consistency and effort precede success.” There is a healthy dose of confidence to be found in putting in the work. Just like the detriment that a mythical all-problem-solving “happy pill” would cause, a quick and easy solution will not actually resolve the issue. There’s no light switch that will bring you from Point A to the end goal. And if there were, you may miss out on a better opportunity that comes along during the journey.
Worth noting here is the notion that improving or getting better does not have to be strictly linear. What we mean by that is that sometimes the best way forward may actually feel or seem like “less” than the day before. Your best today does not have to be better than what it was yesterday. The value of putting forth the effort to create habits is the currency of excellence; relying on convenience leads to overwhelmed capacity and later, burnout.
Consider here the physical limitations described by Newton’s Third Law of Motion: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” We are not advocating for self-limitation or opting for the easy way out. Instead, push forward with effort, but without forcing anything to happen. When we try to force too much to happen, we are met with derailing opposition, exhausted resources, and without the results we intended to realize. The subtle distinction here is that excellence-centered, consistent, contained, in-it-for-the-long-haul levels of effort will surpass burnout-inducing force every time.
Our goal at Simply Psych is to collaboratively move forward together to see mental health integrated into all aspects of life so burnout is not the norm. We continually update our processes so that we not only provide the best practice management solutions, but also allow excellence to be the result of our efforts. Together we are more. As we move forward in unity, burnout is overcome and excellence is the new normal. This is what integrating mental health into our modern lifestyle is all about! Learn more at www.simplypsych.com today!
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