Brick by Brick

We want to lead an adventurous life. A life filled with excitement. We want to create that is special. We want to constantly be happy and successful. We want to discover and explore and we are innately curious. This can drive us. This can also put a lot of pressure on us, too.

In addition, we see all those successful people around us. We always compare ourselves to others. Yes, in moderation, this can be beneficial. It can help us realize that we want to aim higher and we can also do what others can. If we do it excessively, it can make us feel miserable and small. Then, we are too dependent on external factors and don’t see our own strengths slumbering within us.

Take the following statement: I want to make the world a better place. It is a noble goal and speaks in favor of your character that you want to help others. But it also is a very challenging endeavor. Beside the fact that often major changes are not made due to individuals but due to groups and incremental changes.

It is the second time I use the allegory. Aiming that high is like building a skyscraper. What we need is a solid foundation to be able to create such a feat. What does this mean on a personal level? It means that we need be stable, balanced, understanding and compassionate towards ourselves, and optimistic. Otherwise, we are in danger to be overwhelmed by the sheer size of what we want to do.

Now, go even one step further. If you suffer from depression or anxiety or you have depressive episodes, or you just go through a valley (I think we also need to be careful to differentiate between depression and a very difficult time) this skyscraper might look even larger and higher and more difficult to accomplish. It is so big that the thought alone can lead to a setback. We feel overwhelmed because we don’t know where to start and if we can really manage it. Moreover, as such an achievement lies way ahead in the future, it is also very difficult to see.

We want to build a skyscraper but we might only have enough resources to build a shed. And you know what? A shed is good enough at this moment. Or maybe don’t call it a shed but call it the first floor. Our hopes and wishes and dreams can be wonderful motivators but if we don’t have the right state of mind and enough resources (mentally and physically) we set ourselves up for failure. This doesn’t mean you cannot build a skyscraper. I don’t say that. I just say that think about your own expectations and see if they overwhelm you or not. If you are overwhelmed, take a step back and go for something smaller first.

Brick by brick, you will achieve your dreams. I am convinced of that.

 

Stephan

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