We Can Stop Crushing It Now
Four separate people sent me Shonda Rhimes’ commencement speech at Dartmouth last year, so it must have been good. It was. If you haven’t seen/read it, do so.
My favorite part:
As a very successful woman, a single mother of three, who constantly gets asked the question “How do you do it all?” For once I am going to answer that question with 100 percent honesty here for you now.
Shonda, how do you do it all?
The answer is this: I don’t.
Whenever you see me somewhere succeeding in one area of my life, that almost certainly means I am failing in another area of my life.
You never feel a hundred percent OK; you never get your sea legs; you are always a little nauseous.
Something is always lost.
Something is always missing.
Anyone who tells you they are doing it all perfectly is a liar.
Thank you, Shonda. I feel you — even though I’m just a single father with zero children.
Everywhere you turn, someone is “crushing it” or “killing it” or “living life to the fullest” to which I’d like to reply with: What in the hell does any of that mean and why are people lying to my face?
If I lived life to the fullest everyday, I’d be dead in three.
It’s simply impossible to have:
the perfect relationship
the ideal job
the most amount of sleep
the most chiseled body
the most picturesque vacation
the quintessential family life
a zen-like mindset
and all of that all the time
However, the social media monster tells us otherwise. (Seriously. Click on that. Great short film.)
Everything we see shared online is 39 other people’s perfect version of one of those categories. When we stitch that all together — all those articles, photos and updates — this online Frankenstein persona is “crushing it” in everything that it’s doing, everyday.
And we tell ourselves, “Everyone else is crushing it, why not me?”
Don’t be so hard on yourself and don’t be fooled by the aggregated digital mood. Life, success, and fulfillment are complex.
Unfortunately, we rarely say we’re “crushing it” when we:
take a day for ourselves
read the book we’ve put off
are stuck on a real problem that will take time to solve are thankful
call a friend we haven’t talked to in a while spend time with our family
But maybe we ought to.
I know we need to be delusional to succeed but when the bar is set at “publicly crushing it,” we feel subpar when we’re doing anything less important or less galactic.
What am I currently sucking at? Networking, marketing, research. But it’s ok because I’m doing other things in my life pretty well at the moment.
The First World Paradox
Just because you live in a First World country doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have the right to be in a funk.
What do we mindfully say in our heads when we’re stumbling? “I’m struggling right now. Well it can’t be that bad because I’m not in the Sudan. I don’t want people to think that I take things for granted. I’m fine. I’m happy, therefore I’m crushing it too. Here’s a forced photo or a false status update to prove it. Phew!”
True, perspective is always important but your life is your life, no matter how many bright sides you look at it with.
It’s ok to struggle, to be average at things, to chill out, to not crush it all the time.
It’s the human thing to do.
Fu*k Online Frankenstein and the bandwidth he rode in on.