Are you a resolution-maker? A goal-setter? How's your new year going so far? Is it off to the start you hoped for?
As I've mentioned before, I spend time at the end of each year reviewing the accomplishments and events of the year just past, and imagining possibilities for the year to come. I love to set goals and work toward achieving them. I am an admitted productivity geek.
But the hazard of setting goals and focusing on being productive is that we can become too future-focused, too production-focused. We can come to identify ourselves by the things we do, the goals we achieve, the accomplishments we rack up. We can wear ourselves out trying to do more, reach higher, and miss the opportunities to savor the here and now.
Being productive is good. But it's also important to enjoy the people and experiences that come into our lives. It's even more important to remember that we are not what we do. Whether practicing law or writing a novel or cleaning a bathroom or curing cancer, the things we do–no matter how worthwhile or admirable–should not define us. And there is much to be lost in the constant striving to do more, achieve more.
I don't advocate abandoning the practice of setting goals and working toward achieving them. I am, and probably always will be, a productivity geek. (I'll be launching a podcast on the topic in the very near future.)
But I am trying to remember that I am not what I do. My identity is not found in my accomplishments. I'm trying to remember to not be consumed with building a life for the future that I don't make time to enjoy the life I have today. And I was reminded recently that life shouldn't be about constant striving to do more, be more.
After all, Jesus said “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
What do you think? How do you find the balance between being productive and enjoying your life?