suffocation by motivation

I understand that we all set out to live the life we choose, and I think there are a lot of ingredients in that equation: two parts upbringing, one part peer group, a dash of experiences, and a tablespoon of genetic predisposition.  At least, this is to what I equate my sometimes suffocating variety of hopes/goals/dreams.

I’ve touched on this in the past, but I really do wish that for a day I could entirely step out of my body and authentically experience what it’s like to not live in my brain, constantly pressing myself to achieve the lists of things I want and am confident I can be or do.  While I certainly don’t want to lose touch with these desires, I know there’s a lot to be learned from my friends and peers who are able to really live in the moment, not to be distracted by what I ‘should’ or ‘could’ be doing.

Don’t get me wrong.  This isn’t a ‘woe is me’ swan song, but rather an honest admission that this way of life, while at times extremely rewarding, can also be quite suffocating and certainly exhausting.

If any of you are hypnotherapists and are able to help this Betwixter let go enough to fall under the spell for just a moment, take me up on this plea to put me in the trance and guide me to just enjoy!


  1. Great question! I think, for me at least, the challenge is really how to achieve ‘balance’ because that, in and of itself, does not look the same for everyone. I think, on the whole, I’m striving to have balance in the big picture, and if that means I’m slightly off-kilter from time-to-time in one area or another, that’s okay. The challenge is in the striving to take on a lot, knowing you’re capable, but simultaneously enjoying the here and now.

  2. @Caro – well put.

    @Betwixter – As your post pertains to goals and successes at work: at my company we have a different viewpoint on career growth and – as too many university career offices call it – “career-pathing.” We strongly believe that if you spend too much time thinking about, and planning, your next career move, you can’t do your job at 100%. When that happens, opportunities pass by without you ever being the wiser. This is true at my firm, because promotions are rarely applied for, but rather proposed by the management team. What this means for us is that the best performers are kept engaged and their experience can be leveraged where the company views it to be advantageous — i.e. benefit to all parties. In short, because we know we’ll be taken care of, we can just be “free” to do our best; and, in turn, those who deserve the most, receive the most.

    Now, the question is, can this same idea be applied to home life? More pointedly, can you “let go” and laissez le bon temps rouler?

  3. caro- you’re wise beyond your years. part of what i say should be taken with a grain of salt as i shoot from the hip and write what i’m feeling in the moment. i think (or hope) from knowing me that i generally am able to attain some amount of balance, but at times, not always the best at it.

  4. I think suffocation by motivation is better than suffocation by lack of motivation or boredom. But really, why suffocate yourself at all? Shouldn’t you (and everyone else) find a happy medium? Don’t let your goals stand in the way of your life. What will you do when you reach those goals and look back to an empty, yet “successful” life? If your mind doesn’t let you live in the moment, and are constantly think about what you should do and your next item on your to do list, then why don’t you put something you will genuinely enjoy on that list (NOT work related). I am sure you won’t mind checking that off of your to-do list.

    Also, in response to your earlier post about getting old…. you are only as old as you feel. And frankly, you are way too young to actually feel OLD all the time. Take a breather and recoup… you’re gonna be old for a lot longer than you are young.

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