It’s been a tough couple of years for most and as we all move forward with trying to redefine and grow our new way of life, as a performance improvement professional, I’ve seen so many great opportunities for development and greater success!
And, as is most important in any performance improvement journey, there are many opportunities to re-evaluate mental wellbeing and to ensure positive mental health and stronger resilience.
We know that time marches on and that everything in the universe is finite, including our length of time on our planet, both individually and as a species. So why the frustration, fear and pain? Surely, we are built to cope with the idea that there is only so much time to make the best of our lives as we can?
Apparently not. Or perhaps we’re evolving too quickly…..or not quickly enough, whichever makes more sense. But be cheered! Positive mental thinking is at hand.
Let’s read on.
Many people, particularly men, who I meet and talk to about their challenges tell me that they “can’t believe” some pretty easy to believe things! “I can’t believe that was 10 years ago!”, “I can’t believe I’m already 38”, “I can’t believe it’s February already”, “I can’t believe it’s Christmas in a month!” etc…
Hey, everyone, believe it!! ?
One thing that stands out to me from my work with men in the past, is the lack of a clear identity for us in the modern world. As little as 40 years ago a “man’s role” was still pretty well defined as it had been for generations before. Men work, provide, protect the tribe and stand strong. We go to work, we come home/go to the pub and we do it again the next day. A “man’s work” was historically something men would stand next to, take pride in and feel like we were making a proper and decent go of life through our contributions.
As the world has gotten smaller, as we get more and more overwhelmed by the number of products, options, possibilities and dreams shoved in our faces c-o-n-s-t-a-n-t-l-y, it’s becoming harder and harder for men to know if they are performing “well” as men or not. It’s becoming harder for us not to get distracted by all these shiny new possibilities that we keep being sold! How can a man be satisfied when he feels like he is holding up his life and potential dreams in order to work late, to raise kids, to pay for a house that he feels trapped in etc?
Nowadays many men want to be playboys, they want to have multiple partners using hook-up apps (even professionally arranged affairs!), many want a nice car, some want lots in the bank, we want to do our favourite hobbies and still have time to go on holidays abroad etc. Basically, wanting such a simple thing as ‘awesome success’ and to be amazing and to show the world your amazing perfect life, otherwise you’re #losingatlife!
Same goes for women too. Many feel pressure to be the perfect wife, mother and also have a winning career and lots of hobbies and interests, involvement in the community and, of course, the insta-worthy bikini bods in holiday photos etc!
None of the above is real of course. I mean the frustration and pain that men and women are feeling is real, but the pressure is basically self-applied, sorry.
If our current political climate tells us anything for sure (and there are few things it does actually tell us for sure) it’s that no one anywhere really has any real clue what they are doing! No one is perfect and everyone is trying to do what they think is best.
Special interests, selfishness, greed and desires driven by false impressions sold to us on the internet, are leading people to take more and more desperate steps to invest in lifestyles or desires that aren’t actually what they really want. Also, the public humiliation of individuals who “fail” in the eyes of the media, increases the stress and pressure of every-day folks who apply the same attitudes and values to themselves!
The answer? Define success for yourself!
Learn about your inherent preferences, experiment with letting some things go and investing MORE in other things and notice that the world doesn’t fall apart!
My definition of success is simple. “Never cruel or cowardly, always on the side of unity and togetherness, on the side of life and love and in my own time!”
It might sound wishy washy to you and that’s cool. For me, I don’t need fame, I don’t need riches, I don’t need to raise a family, work hard or even get out of bed in the morning to feel fulfilled and happy with who I am!
I defined me. I live me. I like me!
Define your own meaning of success and start living for yourself.
Written by Chris Cortopassi of Short Steps