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3 min readStop running towards things

On success and mental health.

I’m in a good place right now.

I have a job that I absolutely love, am finishing college, have a wonderful fiance and will be moving into my own place in a few months. Better yet, I’m not stressed.

This is a recent development, however. I didn’t use to be a relaxed, let’s-wait-and-see kind of guy. Oh no. I was a hustler through and through.

I was under constant stress. To me, a minute not spent working or studying could destroy everything I was working towards. And every day that I still wasn’t at my end goal was a defeat.

This, obviously, isn’t healthy. It wouldn’t take very long before I’d break down.

In fact, in the last five years, I’ve burnt out thrice. As anyone who’s been there knows, it’s not a great feeling.

But as soon as I’d recover a little, I’d jump right back into the grind. And every time I did, it would take a little less for me to break.

It didn’t help that I was hooked on productivity porn. Everywhere I looked all I could see was people telling me that in order to be successful, I had to do more. That I wasn’t spending enough time on the things that would take me to where I wanted to be.

As it turns out, they were right. Just not about what I should be doing instead.

In my haste to “be successful already” I strained myself more and more, to the point where nothing I did mattered. The amount of energy I spent to get nowhere was staggering. And eventually, I did something I swore I’d never do.

I gave up.

In my last burn out, I decided that I had enough. What I was doing obviously wasn’t working anyway, so why bother?

So I stopped. I closed my freelancing business and decided that I was going to make a product that I liked and go from there.

As I was starting, my fiance found an add for a job that had shown up for some reason and sent it to me. Now I’ve never been a 9to5 kind of guy, but money was tight and I needed some time to recover so I figured why not. And I started 10 days later.

Honestly, I couldn’t be happier in my job. But of course, that’s not the point of this story.

Once I got the job, I started to try to follow my dreams in the form that they present themselves. And it’s been going better than ever.

In this last year, I’ve gone farther than I had in the last five. Changing my focus from what is ahead to what I can do now brought me closer than ever to my dreams. And I’m never going back.

Everyone has a different definition of success. I wrote about mine in response to Zulie Rane, which you can read here:

Wow. I love this piece so much I wish I could highlight the whole thing.

Wow. I love this piece so much I wish I could highlight the whole thing.

It would defeat the purpose, of course.

View story at Medium.com

I am still very far from my end goals. But that’s the thing. They are called end goals for a reason.

If you take anything away from this story, let it be this. Stop rushing to get to the end. You don’t have to sacrifice everything and wait to get all the good stuff at once. Conquer your dreams one small piece at a time, and enjoy them along the way.

Stop missing the opportunities to get where you want because you are so focused on what comes next.

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