As the new year approaches, we can’t help but look back at the past year and consider how far we’ve come and where we’re heading next.
For many of us, 2020 has felt like being in quicksand: as much as we’ve tried to wriggle ourselves free, we can’t help but feel somewhat stuck.
Many of us have shown great resilience in staying positive and making the most out of the current circumstances, but our external limitations are still very real. So if you’ve felt stuck in one way or another, you’re definitely not alone.
That was certainly the case for me. There were two types of “quicksand” in my life: the external restrictions imposed by the health authorities (which is understandable given the fact that we’re in a global pandemic), and my own internal sense of being stuck in a rut.
I didn’t feel like I was contributing to the world in a meaningful way. I didn’t feel like my soul had come alive. I didn’t feel like I was doing what I was put on this earth to do. I didn’t feel like I was growing or maximizing my full potential. I didn’t feel like I was pursuing a profound and worthwhile goal.
It made me think of something that Jordan Peterson (polarizing figure, I know) wrote about in his book 12 Rules for Life: the balance between order and chaos.
It occurred to me that too much order with no chaos; too much leisure with no responsibility; too much familiarity with no change; too much stability with no growth; too much comfort with no risk; too much receiving with no contribution … all of this is enough to dampen the human spirit because it constantly craves evolution—and to make a gift of oneself.
Of course, the opposite is also true: too many challenges in rapid succession without enough safety and stability are enough to overwhelm even the most grounded person. Balance is key.
So as you review your past year and formulate your future goals, consider how you’ve been feeling.
If you’ve been stressed and overwhelmed, scale back and focus only on your most important tasks. If you’ve been feeling listless and disengaged, push yourself more. The key is to hit that sweet spot in the middle where you feel deeply engaged with meaningful challenges.
I wish you all the best as you reflect on your hopes for the new year!
Follow me on Instagram @ItsCelineDiaz for bite-sized pieces of inspiration.