A guest post by Noch
Going back in time to school, university and through to my career, I was always told to do more, get higher grades, work faster, achieve more, increase sales, get more clients, go to more meetings, more titles, higher salary… it seemed all I was concerned with was how to get “more”.
So instead of running fast in the rat race, I sprinted. Instead of climbing up the corporate ladder, I leaped. And instead of trotting through school, I bounded, and on the way amassed as many awards and scholarships possible to build my CV.
I collapsed one day. No one can have energy perpetually. We all need some sort of rest.
Mine came forcibly, in form of major depression. I was compelled to stay home, unable to work or even take care of my basic necessities for I had lost all motivation for some strange reason.
In retrospect, it was not all that strange. My body was stressed out and was crying out loud with its frequent headaches, stomach aches, colds, and coughs in the past few years. I didn’t listen, and considered myself invincible, so I just kept going, more, more, more, and more. After all, I had the whole world watching me.
Recovering was a struggle, for I felt that I was not in control of my mind and myself for the longest time. I did not understand depression or what I was going through. However, as I sat everyday, beating myself up for being sick and wasting time sitting around being sick, I had a sudden revelation.
There is no deadline. Everything was self-imposed. What is the rush for?
I asked myself, why was I in a hurry everyday, that I don’t even know how to enjoy life? The last 30 years was only about achievements and yet, did I hear the birds chirping or smell the flowers along the way?
Indeed, why was I so concerned with getting more all the time? I could certainly live without a lot of the titles I obtained, and perhaps be happier and had more time to take care of my physical health instead of ticking away on my blackberry at 3 in the morning.
I had to slow down. I need less than what I have. I don’t need to go so fast. None of us do.
It feels as if we might do one less deal and make less commission for the month. However, in return, we find more time to spend with our family and friends, or simply, watch TV or play some musical instrument. Perhaps, if we weren’t running so fast, we’d have time to pause, and attend that wedding we wanted to but couldn’t fit into our schedule. Perhaps if we weren’t leaping we won’t trip ourselves up. Sometimes less is more.
Life can be simple, can be slowed down, and be less. In achieving less, we might reap more.
If I could end with my favourite quote, spoken by the great Leonardo da Vinci, whose life was nothing but vividly colourful with his ingenuous creations, and yet he understood truly the profound worth in “simplicity, the ultimate sophistication.”
About the Author
Noch Noch worked as an international executive for 7 years after graduation, travelling the world and living the life she dreamt of, or so she thought. After an episode in stress-related major depression and other illnesses 2 years ago, she is redefining the priorities in life. As she battles with depression, Noch Noch is now on a quest for clarity and self-awareness to be true to herself, jotting down her reflections at Be Me. Be Natural.