You probably know this by now. Life is like, as cliché as it sounds, a box of chocolates. Even if you consider yourself really lucky your whole life, 2020 definitely gave us all lemons.
I did a massive reflection the other day about productivity and attitude towards life and it kind of hurt to realise I’m a killjoy. To myself specifically. When I want to achieve something I break goals to small steps and I turn practice to habits, make sure I do it every single day, or at least every other day. Which in fact becomes a burden and I get discouraged when I cannot keep up with the streaks. I am passionate about the goals. I enjoy leisurely working towards them but I’m putting too much pressure and expectation on myself. For example I want to be better at piano improvisation. Then I want to make sure I practise at least 30 minutes per day, which is not always doable. Eventually I forget the fun of playing piano and I practise for the sake of practising. Yes, one solution is to take baby steps – e.g. playing 10 minutes per day is totally alright and I need to remind myself that 10 minutes are not “nothing”. My future self will still be thankful.
The other aspect is that people might think I am boring because I don’t do fun stuff. They mean watching Netflix and playing Animal Crossing. Am I really a killjoy? I just enjoy other things that I can put progress out there for the world to see – essentially same as how people are showing off their island and turnips on Instagram, but mine being YouTube and stuff – what’s wrong with it? And wait, since when did I start caring what others think of me?
So this whole pandemic thing got me thinking if it is finally time to chill a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy playing musical instruments and making YouTube videos. But I want to change the way I think about the process. Even during lockdown, you can still enjoy the time staying at home (by the way stop complaining, there are still people out there fighting on the frontline) by developing new hobbies, lounging on sofa whole day, trying out all ice cream flavours etc. (not something I would do, just saying) instead of feeling stuck and bored. Life is not a smooth journey anyway, so why not seek different experiences to make ourselves feel better? No wonder all of a sudden everyone becomes a baker or musician nowadays.
Yes I loving #hustling and #grinding but I don’t deny the fact that we should still enjoy the process in whatever you want to achieve. Life is supposed to be enjoyed, however you define it. Your passion won’t last long if you only focus on the end goal but ignore the process and emotional journey. It is supposed to be fun!
This leads to another point. I recently have this internal battle between “I can live without being luxurious” vs “should I justify my reason and live that life”? From small things like having 10 iPhone chargers so whether I’m in living room or balcony I don’t need to worry about my phone running out of battery to bigger things like upgrading my car or living in a nice suburb with a grand lobby vs just be humble and find a cheap neighbourhood. To be honest, who doesn’t want finer things in life? It all comes down to which aspects in life matter to you more doesn’t it?
Life might be more about fulfilment instead of happiness. The recent lockdown made me wonder if people are going to seek more extreme experience when things go back to “normal”. Some say this generation is already inclined to try, say extreme sports since they get most information online but never really experience life. I can see why. Maybe we really will treasure the freedom to fly anywhere we like later.
That being said, I still think I should be more positive about life. In “The Big Leap” Gay Hendricks described how most people don’t actually allow themselves to be happy. Somehow like how people are afraid of success. Are we prepared to be happy and contented with life? Or did the recent incidents make us “hope for the best and prepare for the worst”? It is definitely a big leap and it requires courage to take risks and ride with the tides.
Life won’t be perfect. Why not just make the most out of it?