“Just because we could, doesn’t mean we should.” My friend Maria (who happens to make the best vegan brownies ever) said that. She was relating it to the food chain, I’m relating it to many things. Over consumption, for example – one of my pet peeves (had to slip that in and I won’t even start on it). I’m also relating it to how hard we push ourselves. Everyone can benefit from challenging themselves in certain areas, no doubt. We all have something to learn from stepping up to a challenge and proving to ourselves that we can accomplish things outside of our comfort zones. Sometimes pushing ourselves really hard and fighting is a matter of life and death, life Olga’s fight against cancer – it was necessary and it brought her to places she could never have imagined possible, places like TedX Calico Canyon – The Human Revolution.
However, there seems to be a widespread set of beliefs that glorify the human being’s ability to push way beyond it’s own limits. I think, just because you could doesn’t mean you should. It’s not a quality/capability to be taken for granted. If you’re pushing really hard in many areas of your life, other areas will suffer. If you’re working around the clock, you may be expensing the quality of your relationship. You may be losing sight of your own personal well being. Know what you want and more importantly, know WHY you want it. Pushing really hard to get the promotion so you can get that great raise to help put your kids through school is very different than pushing really hard to get the promotion because you think the promotion will make you feel confident, make you feel like you da man! Be clear on what and WHY – and then get to it. But if you’re pushing really hard just because you can, you run the risk of a backfire. If your pushing really hard because you have something to prove to someone else, you may be sacrificing your own integrity. You might miss the really important things in life like sunsets, dawn, baby’s first step, the star in the sky, the first smell of winter coming that only lasts a couple of days but brings you back to your childhood – and in turn KEEPS you feeling young. Worse, you might miss the hidden frown in your wife’s face that’s been there for the last 6 months requiring immediate attention, the last few years of quality time with your parents before they’re too old and worn for you to benefit from their wisdom, the pain in your side that keeps coming back but you figure it’s nothing – until it’s too late.
There are lots of things I could do, doesn’t mean I should.