Yeah, you heard that right. I know what you might be thinking: she’s gone over the edge, lost it, let go of her grip on reality. But, do me a favor and stick with me.
You might not have paid attention, but there’s a definition of the word “care” in the dictionary that frightens me. To care brings us worry, anxiety, trouble, concern, stress, pressure, strain; sorrow, woe, hardship…
Let that sink in a minute.
We “care” deeply about our family and friends. We “care” deeply about our causes, the work that we are doing in the world. There’s usually a laundry list of people and things that we “care” about – did you ever imagine that you could be causing yourself harm by caring?
To go a little bit deeper into what I mean, I’m not asking you to actually stop caring. It’s just that there’s a dark underbelly to the way that we world-changers tend to go about things. When we care about something so deeply that it brings overwhelming stress and anxiety into our lives, maybe it’s time to take a step back, take a deep breath, and reexamine what we’re really trying to accomplish.
Yes, the things that you are working on are important, perhaps even life-altering. (We are world-changers, after all.) That being said, is your work more important than you?
I know the answer that just went through your head, because it’s the same answer that I came up with as well. Take a second to think about it, though – to really think. Examine the question, and then reframe: what would be lost to the cause if you were no longer around to champion it? Imagine the world, minus the world-changers. How much more of an impact could you have if you brought a whole, happy and healthy you into the game?
Now, I want you to answer that question again: is your work more important than you?
I have a theory that we can actually increase our impact by taking a step back to care for ourselves. If one out of every 50 people is doing world-changing work, but going about it in an unsustainable way, burning out, eating poorly, getting sick often, always stressed… what kind of impression does that make to the other 49 people looking in at that person?
What if that person were to take a step back and take care of themselves, going about the same work with enthusiasm, a peaceful demeanor, good health and a positive outlook? My bet is that far more of those 49 onlookers would be willing to give that lifestyle a try versus the alternative example.
So here’s my challenge to you: quit caring. At least quit the kind of caring that makes you fifteen different kinds of stressed, and replace it with the kind of caring that allows you to provide what is necessary for your health and happiness as you go about making a difference in the world.
This is the basis of what I’m looking to bring into the world with Rebel Yogi – the good kind of caring. Do you have thoughts, comments, counter points? Let’s discuss!