Choosing to suffer on purpose in order to gain credit had become America’s favorite hobby but I’m seeing a new trend and it is largely surfacing as Gen Z and the younger millenials are understanding how important mental health is. I love this group. They are assertive and employ a wealth of confidence in the area of seeking pleasure. They know what balance is and are using it as leverage to get what they know is justified. They know their worth while many of us have full-on suffered for praise and recognition for years.
This concept is wild. The positive’s often don’t outweigh the negatives – 10 extra hours at work for someone to think you have good work-ethic? Absolutely not. Going to extra unnecessary trainings to prove that you are passionate and a go-getter? No thank you. The key word there is “unnecessary.” Trainings and working longer might be needed, or maybe working extra brings you joy. If that is the case, by all means, absolutely seek joy in that and do what needs to be done.
Like the viral quote, we’ve all seen, says, “they will post your job before your obituary comes out.” If extra work, in any regard, does not bring you joy, and the positives don’t outweigh the negatives, please stop. Most likely you will find that not much changes at work and you now have more time to engage in the other side of the balance – rest, self-care, hobbies, being present with your family or yourself. Fully living is now accessible.
We need to address the language around suffering as a badge of honor too. As always, and forever,…..language is powerful and absolutely matters. Being burned out does not showcase your level of tolerance, and in turn, your strength. Being burned out, and allowing it, is an unhealthy habit. Gen Z knows this and is using that knowledge to get access to mental health resources, more mental health personal days and living a life that balances work and leisure. And my favorite part? They are not sorry. I am inspired by those that don’t constantly apologize unessessarily. It’s a newfound skill that has entered the ring and won’t back down despite the constant punches thrown it’s way throughout history. I think when we apologize we are really saying, I don’t want to upset you but I’d rather do it this way but I’m not going to communicate that because I don’t want to have any tension between us. Sheesh. I think businesses are picking up on what people want and need and clearly incorporating it. It did take a huge mental health push, lots of research, and resistance to get there.
Saying yes to everything is also not okay. Saying yes to everything asked of you usually produces some amount of unnecessary suffering. Your ability to know what you want and STILL bending to the desires of others, for the sake of trying to control the narrative in their minds about you, is not a healthy habit-so let’s break it. And you don’t have to be mean about it either. 🙂
- Most people revert to saying “I don’t have time for that.” Instead, change it to “I don’t have space for that right now.” The word space could mean physically or mentally so it makes it clear to the other person that its off the table, either way. They don’t question it as much since your mental health is more qualitative versus a quantitative amount of time. They can’t sit down and do the math to ensure you actually can do the task you don’t want to do. I think that answer is much more clear and the other person is more apt to feel you have considered it and you are serious about it. Also, you won’t feel you have to prove you are too busy by listing all of the other things you have to do. It never feels good to be defensive when it’s something people shouldn’t need an explanation for.
- Be transparent. Transparency is nerve-wracking for most, but once you make it a habit, the benefits are 10,000 times worth the fear you racked up thinking about how you were going to get your point across in a way that doesn’t create tension. I’m still absolutely working on this but I’ve made progress. Every time I’m clear about something I would have previously been scared to discuss before, I have felt the weight of inauthenticity remove itself. It has been really transformative for me to see that I can be authentic and everything is still okay. I feel like I’m coming out of a shell or knocking down a brick wall around me to finally reveal who I am and what I stand for. Some of these experiences have been small admissions of my true feelings that are exceptionally easy for others, but each time, it feels like a big win for me so please just try it.
- Don’t cheer on others who spend their whole lives on something in order to get praise. Instead, offer alternatives for them to think about working smarter, not harder. Encourage others to spend time with their family or go home on time. Help create that culture so we won’t continue this cycle of celebrating over-working or high stress levels.
I’d love to live in a world where we wouldn’t have to spend so much time at work. Everyone knows the research that shows productivity goes up as the hours are reduced. However, if we didn’t work, we wouldn’t have many of the great advances we have become accustomed to so it’s not about getting rid of it. It’s about evaluating your values and desires and ensuring you are able to enjoy your time here on planet Earth. Don’t spend another minute bending over backwards for minimal gains. Work hard. Play hard. Be nice.
And just to blow your mind, I’ll leave you with this quote.