This world is moving so fast. Everyday, we are given 24 hours to function, grow, sleep, breathe, talk, learn, love, and live. Things fill our days up–goals, work, conversations, stress. It’s hard to begin and end a day with buzzing energy and purpose when life itself seems to zap it all up in a short few hours. I have to focus on this, you tell your tired brain. I have to achieve that.
Achievements are great. They represent hard work paying off. They represent you mastering those 24 hours (or the many hours of work leading up to this specific day) and having something to check off your list with pride. Particularly big achievements sometimes call for cake, compliments, and celebrations, or they result in golden trophies or bragging rights. Whatever it is, achievements are supposed to make you feel good—and they do.
But what happens when you start to live for them? What happens when they turn your insides into a pit of shame when you aren’t number one in a specific instance or contest? What happens when you’re faced with the fact that it is physically and mentally impossible to be the best there ever was, because there’s always going to be someone who’s smarter, faster, wealthier, happier, and more successful?
This is a fact of life: there’s always going to be somebody who is better than you, even if it’s just on a particular day, competition, or test. You are not perfect, and you are never going to be. You are only human.
And does it really sound like living if you are only happy when you accomplish something? That’s 20 seconds of pride and excitement for yourself, and then it’s back to the drawing board, raising the bar for achievements even higher in because it’s impossible to be happy if you can’t reach the next big thing.
I absolutely struggle with this personally. I want to fulfill bigger dreams and work for a perfect report card, plus gain more blog views and obtain all the other titles and accomplishments society tells me I should decorate myself with.
Personal happiness isn’t enough, It whispers. You need to be academically and athletically superior, plus people need to like you, you need to look good in pictures and have interesting hobbies, and also you need to be a really good person.
If you’re like me, the voice in your head never stops and neither does its lists of “required” achievements and goals. If you’re like me, there have been times when you realize that you’ve begun to believe all the love you’ve received from others is directly correlated to your accomplishments. If you’re like me, you’ve had times when you feel like you’ll never be “good enough.” All of these ideas are simply wrong.
What even is “good enough”? Whose scale are we measuring this worth on? And why do we believe we need accomplishments to prove our existence, to prove our worth, when true worth comes from just being alive? You exist on this planet, therefore you are more than good enough.
I’ll say it again for the people in the back, and myself:
You exist on this planet, therefore you are more than good enough.