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The Continuum of Productivity Over Mental Resiliency
Getting shit done 101.
Today I’ve got a guest post from my very good friend Katie Bochenek.
Katie is a blue belt at 10th Planet Lombard, a former competitive powerlifter, and a full-time nursing student — among the many hats she wears. She wrote this article for me about balancing school, training, work, and life.
Hope you enjoy it!
As a semi-productive woman in my early 20s, I naturally have a water bottle covered in motivational stickers.
These past few weeks, one sticker, in particular, has resonated with me. I’ve caught myself staring blankly at it time and time again — unsure if this saying presents itself as a motivator, a reminder, or a source of ridicule:
“You can have it all, just not all at once.”
Anyone who finds their sole motivator in a sticker may see this and think “Hmm if I hustle hard and burn the candle at both ends, one day, I can have it all.”
But is that really the case?
Why do we find ourselves trapped in this continuum of productivity over mental resiliency?
For me, this means finding a balance between nursing school, battling burnout as a fine dining server, working on my stretch therapy clients, silencing my retired powerlifting ego by not deadlifting 315 every time I’m in the gym, and pursuing a fading dream of being a full-time Jiu-Jitsu competitor – to name a few of my endeavors.
On top of my personal pursuits, there’s the constant battle that most “adults” in their 20s face:
The struggle to gain financial stability with a social system that keeps us from gaining momentum.
The uphill battle of wanting to spend time with your friends and go out but work, school, athletics, or the lack of desire to go out and get hammered just keeps getting in the way.
The reluctance to pursue relationships because everybody your age cheats, watches Game of Thrones, is addicted to nicotine, or any combination of the three.
The desire to show the world the perfect parts (and ONLY the perfect parts) of your life through the façade of social media
Add in family, bills, cooking for yourself, and taking your vitamins, and now you have yourself a perfect recipe for a Xanax prescription.
While all of this may be daunting, we find ourselves fixated on the factors working against us, on what we haven’t accomplished. When we have every ability to concentrate on the things we have accomplished.
With that being said, the focus is a huge piece of the pie that a lot of us are missing. When I say “focus”, I do not mean we lack the ability to focus; I mean we lack the intention behind the goals toward which we are working towards.
This lack of focus may come from distractions like social media, but it can also come from having too many goals.
When we begin to work with intent and focus rather than hope and minimal direction, there is one particular result we begin to see:
We get shit done.
Essentially, you have to be realistic about yourself, your goals, and your capabilities. When you’re not honest with yourself about any of those, you may just find yourself sitting in an Arby’s parking lot in the middle of a panic attack because the weight of everything you have to accomplish in order to reach that “self-fulfillment” peak that all these influencers are talking about, is just too far out of reach.
But hey, we’ve all been there, right?
When we hold ourselves to a higher standard, not by our work, productivity, or progress; but by our effort, mindset, and intention, we begin to work more efficiently. We work with passion rather than dread, with exuberance rather than bitterness, and we find contentment rather than worry.
We value the importance of mental resiliency and its effects on productivity. Once you realize that and honestly account for your capabilities, you’re one step closer to reaching your dreams.
Unless you’re an athlete, then you’re stuck in the paradigm of being on the top of the world’s slipperiest mountain top. Where all it takes is one loss, one bad day, one bad move, and you’re crucified from the entire fan base.
But hey, that’s a rant for another article.
At the end of the day, you can have it all, and you can have it whenever the hell you want it:
As long as you work your ass off with the proper mindset and the drive to achieve.
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