Tell me I’m not alone…

We live in the extremes.  So motivated we’re on top of the world, or so not that we are completely under it.  We feel “right” when we are in the active pursuit of a dream or goal, and so wrong when we lose heart in the pursuit of it… temporarily.

Motivated and charging… Too many balls in the air at one time…   not asking for enough help, taking enough time off or time to relax… desperately trying to remain positive and succeeding most of the time, until we wake up one day overwhelmed and feeling like we’re sitting inside a ticking time bomb… saying “I can handle it” mostly to convince ourselves…

What exactly is temporary insanity?  Is there temporary slight insanity?  I think there is.

I am learning to recognize it when it happens to me – because even with all of the studying of happiness and having the knowledge that these physiological reactive pathways that our human models are programmed and hard wired to follow are simply programs and believing that we have the ability to program ourselves, remove old programming, decide our happiness level, beliefs and create our opportunities – design our own lives… it still happens sometimes.

Just because any of us study these things, does not make us immune to them.

“Motivationally driven overload” usually doesn’t happen in a second.  We don’t “snap” because of one occurrence.   Its usually been building for some time and we know it, we can feel it….   That circling momentum inside….  Stirring…  picking up stress speed.  And when it hits the capacity of what we can handle, we, by our incessantly productive natures, simply find another gear to kick into.

Because it serves us, but sometimes – it does not.

Finding another gear allows me to manage the current stress load without exploding, and that’s good.  Where I get into trouble is when I then put my foot back on the gas, and keep going…   because I can… because its what I do… and then I take on more and more and more and yes I make progress and yes I succeed but then I get to the point of maxing out that gear too…

I don’t think I’m alone.  I think so many of us get caught speeding up… And some of us…  push into an even higher gear…  we can feel the rotation inside spinning faster – the nervous anxiety that comes with it growing, the stress compounding…  and our high performance natures forcing ourselves to control it – with a smile on our faces.

When asked if we need anything too often we say “no…  I’m fine… I’ve got it…”  Because that’s also what we do.  We are proud of that part of ourselves, and we should be – most of the time.

But this is not one of those times.

Engines revving as fast as they can – internally racing… calculations painting checklists across our minds as we multi-solve, multi-create, multi-visualize and multi-develop insane amounts of solutions for the intricate constellation of successes required to lace up the corset of whatever project we are working to pull off….

People really can blow a gasket, or drop a transmission, or over heat their engines… We only have so many gears before protective equipment like an actual helmet, roll cage or straightjacket is required.

Can you imagine if every person was actually wearing outside equipment to match their inner stress levels?  Our cities would be filled with padded executives who may just decide to body check each other like in any other sport to work things out. (bad idea)

We need to learn to use the clutch in life, to take time to decide.  To stop.   To not simply allow the inertia we have created continue to scale our projects to a size that forces us into gears we do not want to live in.  To allow motivation to remain as something that excites us, not something that imprisons us…

To just put in the clutch – and hear the engine revving to see how fast its revving,  check in with the traffic around us, the direction we are going, and how we feel…  and perhaps decide to allow that internal engine a small bit of time, to stop raging – with no added gas.   To permit it time to slow down.  To feel the internal fury come to calm.

Its interesting.  Pushing ourselves too hard is how we have moments of bad decision, bad behaviour and moments we create we may later regret, yet we revere the concept of pushing ourselves as one of admiration – because it is…

Pushing ourselves to the right point, and the right point only depends on our relationship with the clutch.

Using the clutch to get perspective.  Respecting this human model we have each been gifted with and determine if we should take a break to get an oil change, our tires rotated or our fluids topped up…   even just thinking about that makes my toes curl.

I think we all know that its the right thing to do – permits an immediate sense of relief and makes us smile at even the simple thought of it.

And that smile genuinely has the power to push the anxiety away…

Who knew that way over on the left, beside the almighty gas pedal and the powerful brake – that the clutch is where the real influence lies….

And sometimes its only fleeting moments of suspended action that we need to have directional confidence on our individual lead feet… and the game of raising gears begins again…