Are you pushed by a drivenness to work and excel and get things done? Or are you pulled by a desire to live from a place of value and deeper meaning? I was asked that question the other day as I spent some time reflecting with one of my pillar people (a counsellor) during this journey of injury, repair and recovery.
I’ve been a driven person at times in my life. Not always in a bad way but often enough. I almost burned out once due to the external pressure I put on myself to reach certain expectations that were far from reasonable. I look back with gratitude on the key people who told me to stop and rest before driving off the burnout cliff into a place of brokenness and exhaustion.
What are the signs you are driven?
- You work and live with an unsettled anxiety in your gut.
- You take on too much in too short of time.
- You fail to take care of your body (not enough sleep, eating too much junk, too little exercise, too much caffeine).
- You fail to take care of your soul (too little time for reflection, solitude, prayer, meditation, quietness, and walking in the woods).
- You fail to take care of your mind (you skip intentional learning).
- You fail to take care of your social needs (your friend time goes down).
I know I’m driven when…
- I haven’t read any books for several days.
- I haven’t been out on my scooter (the 4 wheel variety) and the sun is shining!
- I haven’t been journaling.
- I haven’t been connecting “well” with God or people.
- I haven’t been texting my friends who need to hear from me.
- I get things done but it never seems like enough gets done.
If you turn all this around, you have a life lived more from a place of desire that pulls you forward instead of the dreaded feeling of being “pushed” which leaves you tired and anxious.
Signs you are living and doing your activities from a place of “pull”:
- You feel at peace even with a long list of things to do.
- You take on the tasks that align with your values and purpose.
- You know when to adjust your activities to be more productive.
- You practice saw sharpening which leads to better tree cutting (deepening your learning, times of reflection, quietness and rest, re-alignment with values).
- You have a richness of soul and inner peace that sustains you.
- You have time to develop friendship with replenishing people.
- You give of yourself to others because you “get to” not because you “have to.”
Sometimes the road back to living from that place of being pulled not pushed takes a while but it’s a trip well worth the effort. It starts by recognizing your life isn’t working. Then it moves to determining your new destination. It continues with a commitment to walk towards that destination one intentional action step at a time.
Which kind of person are you? Pushed by drivenness or pulled by desire?
If you too find yourself pushed, what’s the first step to a change?
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