Breaking Free of the Accomplishment Addiction
Learning to live in the moment
Let's face it. So many of us are addicts. We are strung out. Our addiction may not put us on the streets. It may not come in the form of alcohol or drugs, but it robs us of life nonetheless. The addiction I am referring to is the addiction to accomplishment. You know what I'm talking about. You push yourself beyond the limit to get things done. You strive for more efficiency so that you can accomplish even more. There aren't enough hours in the day. You live in the crisis of the moment. Whatever is screaming the loudest is what you focus on. If this describes you, then you may be addicted to accomplishment. The more you accomplish the better you feel.
There is hope. You can be free from this addiction. You can learn to relax and live in the moment. Now, I did not say live for the moment. That's different. Living for the moment causes you to stop focusing on what's important. Too, it can lead you to be a very self-centered person. But you can learn to live in the moment. Here's how.
You may have never thought that you had an addiction. After all, you're not a drunk, you don't take drugs, and your life is together, right? Keep in mind that anything that controls you, leading to further bondage is an addiction. Addictions are those things that control your mind, your time, your money, and leave you with no time or energy to enjoy life and those in your life. So, if you are consumed with accomplishing tasks, and getting those things done takes you away from those in your life you very well may have an addiction. If you can't enjoy each day because you are stressed out trying to accomplish as much as possible, you are in bondage. The good news again is that you can break free and learn to enjoy life again.
Remembering what is important
A key to breaking free and learning to live in the moment is to remember what is important. We need to keep everything in proper perspective. Here are a few things to remember.
1. You can't take it with you
Many who are addicted to accomplishment spend a lot of time at the workplace. Keep in mind that the money you make, the awards you earn, and all those benefits and accolades, you can't take to the grave with you. Michael Jackson may have been very wealthy, but the minute he died he was penniless. Why spend so much time investing in those things that you can't take with you when you die?
2. There's a reason for the people in your life
God gave you your friends and family. They are a gift. Don't neglect them. They are of great value. They are not perfect, but neither are you. Just as you have to put up with some of the things they do, they have to put up with you too. When you are laying on your death bed, your money and bosses will not be there, but those closest to you- your spouse, children, etc.- will be there weeping because they love you. Pay attention to them, and invest in them. Long after you are gone, your legacy will live on in your children and others that you poured your life into.
3. This isn't the end of the show
Whether you believe it or not, this life is not all there is. There is life after life. Jesus taught us that if we invest everything into this life, then we lose out in the next life, but if we let go of this life, then we gain in the next life. This life is so very temporary, but the next one is eternal. I encourage you to store up treasure in heaven.
Some painful, yet funny accidents
Learning to laugh again
Those who are addicted to accomplishment do not laugh much. They are serious most of the time. The good news is you can learn to relax and enjoy life again. Many moments create opportunities for laughter. The other day my 19 month old son woke up form his nap. When my wife went in to get him, she saw that he had tucked his bear in. We busted out laughing at that. So simple, yet so funny.
From time to time I will visit jokes websites. I love the endless light bulb jokes. I can't get enough of quotes from Yogi Berra. There are things that just cause us to laugh. There are moments that are serious and even sad. But don't neglect those moments that are meant to be enjoyed. I love it when I see families and friends in their yards or at a park cooking, laughing and just plain having fun. It reminds me to chill out a little and take it all in.
We live in a world of "crises". I put that in quotes because many crises moments are fabrications by governments to manipulate people. I guess there is a little conspiracy theory going on here. But anyway, we would do well to not take ourselves so seriously, stop living in a crises mentality, and just enjoy the moment. Crises comes and goes, but laughter and joy can last a lifetime.