Are You Self-Destructing Without Knowing it?
Ever too often, we do not even realize the damage we are doing to ourselves in the always switched-on bubble which we build around ourselves.
It’s 5 am, the alarm goes off but you do not need it, because you have already woken up with a jolt and gotten under the shower to take a freezing bath.
5:15, you are all set, your workout clothes neatly left at the side of the bed. You put them on and drink your mandatory 1 liter of water, feeling great and fresh.
You head to the gym, your mobile phone handy, ready with your self-development podcast/audiobook making the time that you spend commuting to the gym the most productive it can be.
You hit the gym, crushing those pelvic thrusts and chest muscles.
It’s 7 am, you need to do your meditation. You get back home and you sit cross-legged in silence taking deep breaths, listening to the birds, or some indie-guru music, because that’s how it’s done.
Now it’s time for that power breakfast. A bowl of muesli with half a boiled eggwhite, a bowl of fresh fruit, and green tea (woooh). You use the 15 minutes eating that health bomb to go over world events and news, probably stocks because investing is everything, we need to make our money work for us.
A fast-paced warm bath later, you are all set to take on the day. You get out and collapse while trying to get to your laptop.
While walking, you all of a sudden can’t feel your legs anymore, you try to grab on to your soundbar for support and you take it down along with you.
Your sister comes rushing in trying to figure out what is wrong and helps you up. You manage to find your footing somehow but you are sweating profusely.
You can’t figure what the fuck happened, you just sit there with a dumb expression on your face.
This happened to me some time back, except that I smoke as well, and hook up on black coffee while I am at it with my morning routine.
Now many of you reading this would say that it is because I smoke that this happened to me, I can assure you it isn’t. It is linked to a deeper reason which would never get picked up had this not happened.
I have never switched off in the past 4 years.
I incurred a massive loss in business in 2016 and had made it my life's mission to bounce back and to do so, I was willing to make myself a machine.
Get better every day had been my motto for a while and in doing so, I forced myself to do things others profess thinking they will help me get better.
My only goal was to work work work and the worse part is, I did not even realize the damage I was doing to myself.
I’d have power-packed days and drink like a fish at night before just falling on my bed and dozing off.
In making myself better, I had inadvertently made myself worse. In that pressure to compete, build, create trying to be better than everyone, and reading success stories from dumb internet self-help gurus, I forgot what it was like to be me.
All this without REALIZING it.
As I sit today, those 4 years have done more damage to me than I could ever inflict upon myself. I can’t switch off and just keep busy, not productive.
What ended up happening is I became a donkey in a sawmill, I was trying to pack stuff into my day, which I definitely did not need to do but was doing it because I thought I needed to do it, all the while starting to slowly phase out the stuff that actually needed to be done if that makes any sense.
I literally set myself on a path to self-destruct and never even knew it, realizing what I was doing is definitely better late than never.
Here is what I learned.
What works for some might not work for you.
Getting influenced by others and doing things that are working for them might not necessarily work for you. This is most evident with the diets which we end up following in our attempt to lose weight. Each person is different, and what works for you might not necessarily work for me and vice versa.
You need to do what needs to be done, not what you think needs to be done.
This one is a classic, in trying to spend our day productively, we end up trying to pack in as much as possible into our day. What ends up happening is we do not have any time left to do what we actually need to do. And trying to get everything done and not being able to do it, builds a frustration that is unparalleled to anything else, especially if you are a high-performing individual.
The things which are actually good for you end up becoming chores.
This is a little tricky to explain, but all the stuff I wrote at the start of this post is actually good for me, yet, when It comes to it, it was the reason I had collapsed.
The idea behind this thought is that exercise, audiobook, cold shower, meal are good at any time of the day, BUT, in trying to start my day strong, they became chores. Something I haaaaaaaaad to do.
And then started the cycle of constantly denying myself the things that I really love. Which is sitting by the window first thing in the morning and setting my mind right, probably eating a couple of fried eggs with buttered toasts, taking a long hot shower, listening to some music.
That constantly denying myself made them feel like a chore, which took the juice out of it anyway.
That incident made me realize something about myself, how I was living earlier was not bad at all. I used to box, eat good food, think before making decisions, and do only those things which actually mattered.
I would find the time to connect with friends, have tea with my mom, go on holidays even when things were not that great. Those things were actually what was keeping me sane.
With the path that I had set myself on, I had no time for any of that…
It was a path of self-destruction. I figured my purpose in life was to build something I could be proud of, I didn’t know I already had, it’s about the journey, not the destination.
To anyone who can relate to this or to anyone who sees themselves in this rut, please please please do not do this. We end up isolating ourselves and fuck things up, and for what?
I am currently a shadow of my old self and it’s a long road ahead to get back what I lost, but as I said, it is about the journey, not the destination.
And if all this does work for you, kudos, just remember to keep breathing.
Stress isn’t worth anything at all.
©Adnan Morbiwala, 2021.