Learning Balance in College:
Finding the perfect balance between speeding full force ahead towards your goals, aspirations and passions, and slowing down enough to stay in tune with yourself and appreciate what truly matters in life, is an incredibly difficult balance to find. I personally go back and forth between whether or not I am obsessed with, or detest, the act of hustling. To give you a picture of my constant struggle to find balance between working hard and hardly working, here's a tweet I posted last week: “This semester is basically me fluctuating between "Straight As, law school here I come," and "Cs get degrees. I just want to be a mommy."
And although I still struggle to find balance in my life, I am starting to discover when it is time for me to buckle down and plug away at my goals, and more importantly, when it necessary to step back and refocus my perspective on life. So with that, today I am going to write about three different indicators that help me know when to speed my hustle up, and when to slow it down...
When to speed up:
When I feel that God has given me a passion and I have to run with it.
Being filled for passion for anything is a beautiful, but sometimes rare blessing. And while my personal passion for certain things comes in waves, those waves are nevertheless evidence of God’s creative handy work in my heart. Sometimes I feel an ever-growing fiery passion in my heart, whether that is a fire to love deeply, work diligently, study extensively or create passionately. And so I have discovered that if, and when, I feel that fire ignited in my heart, speeding up is often the only way to both share, and keep, my passion kindled.
When I become lazy and start to waste my time away.
I have found that speeding up, which for me normally includes structuring my time better in order to be more productive, is the perfect way to put a very needed end to my poor time managing habits. Unfortunately I will be the first to admit that a schedule filled with Netflix marathons and selfies, doesn’t exactly scream, “Amazing steward of the limited time on earth” And so because of this, if I am wise, I sometimes need to speed up my schedule and become more productive in order to better use my time and talents.
When I become too self-centered.
If we are being really honest right not, it is really easy to become all too self-centered with our time, and personally, my self-focused mentality is usually revealed when I realize that my entire schedule consists of “me tasks.” “Me tasks” are tasks that are extremely self focused, such as working out MY body, making MY money, cleaning MY room or working diligently on MY future. And because of my natural tendency towards “me tasks,” I have discovered that in order to fit more opportunities to complete more OTHERS focused tasks, such as volunteering at church, leading YL club or writing letters to a friend in need, speeding up is often incredibly necessary.
When to slow down:
When my identity has become based on my ability to speed to success.
I will be the first to say that having a goal-orientated and driven personality can be just as much as a curse as it can be a blessing. Because unfortunately being driven can consequently become a curse when it is used as a way to determine my self-worth. For example, in the midst of my fast paced hustle, I sometimes ask myself questions such as, “Do I feel like people would view me differently if I stopped striving so diligently?” or, “Am I enough without my worldly accomplishments?” And fortunately for my wellbeing, asking myself these revealing questions has allowed me to acknowledge that I sometimes need to slow my drive down if I start to feel as if my identity is based solely on my outside successes.
When the fuel for my speed comes from fear of inadequacy, rather than passion.
Hustling towards your future goals and aspirations is a beautiful personal quality that shows self-discipline and passion. But what if a person’s hustle is rooted in fear, rather than genuine passion? Well if that is the case, as it has been for me in the past, it may be time to deliberately slow down. For example, ever since I became chronically ill during middle school, I have battled feelings of inadequacy. These feelings have sprung from my continual belief that my prolonged period of illness robbed me of the ability to compete academically with anyone my age. And for that reason, in the past I have unfortunately placed my physical and mental wellbeing on the line by striving so vigorously in school to prove to the world, or in reality myself, that I am NORMAL. Thankfully however, what I have found, and what I am struggling to remember every day, is that even if I am completely inadequate by the world’s standards, in the eyes of my creator, I am completely adequate and uniquely designed. And because of my discovery, there may be times when I need to slow down and stop hustling, if I am doing so for the wrong reasons, such as reassurance of my adequacy from the worldly standards.
When my priorities regarding what really matters in my life, become fogged by my race towards success.
Sadly, speeding up can make me entirely too goal orientated and willing to isolate myself from things and people who hamper my race to my never-ending finish line. And the mentality that speeding up sometimes brings me can become extremely dangerous to my spiritual wellbeing. Because in reality, if I lose sight of what matters the most to me, namely my relationship with my savior, friends and family, it is quite possible that I may look up from my race toward success only to find myself completely alone. So after further contemplation, I decided that I would chose, no matter how humbling it may be, to finish DEAD last in the race towards EARTHLY success, if it meant that I was able to slow down enough to solidify the magnificent relationships God has given me that will ultimately keep me nearer to Him.