Hi, are you a procrastinator? What do you procrastinate on right now?
Whatever it is, it probably makes you feel slightly guilty, but hey, you’re going to do it tomorrow, right? Or next week. Or whenever the deadline is.
I know that feeling. I am a procrastinator, too. I could have done my tax declaration in March, and now it’s July... so guess what I will be doing next weekend, rain or shine!
The tax declaration is one thing. Or handing in that research paper.
Basically everything that has a deadline - or an angry boss - behind it eventually gets done. But what about those things that don’t come with a deadline?
Things that we tend to postpone all the time, just because we are so stressed out and postponing them is so easy and seemingly without consequences. Important things such as spending time with our kids, having deep conversations with close friends, bringing the family together, moving to another place...
Low recognition, lack of engagement, high pressure work environments: according to the 2018 Manpower Study in Germany, half of all employees are unhappy with their work and on the lookout for a new job. But will a job change give you the satisfaction that you’re looking for? Often, after a couple of months at a new job, old desires reemerge, work starts feeling like a rut, colleagues and bosses irritate you and the unhappy cycle starts again. With a job change, you often only exchange one hamster wheel for another.
The common saying “just follow your passion” doesn’t quite cut it either. Passion alone won’t necessarily generate the desired income. Or once it does, it might suddenly not feel so fun anymore. If your escape from the rut is going to last, you have to start with an honest evaluation of your intentions. Uncover the true...
When I feel sorry for myself and toy with the idea of going back to a 9-5 full time job (knowing well that I will be unhappy with it in two years‘ time). When I have the diffuse sensation that I am stuck in my life. When my usual remedies against the blues – like a brisk walk, or a good book – do not seem to help any more.
On such days I feel as if I’m stuck in the fog on mount Rigi (one of the mountains surrounding Lucerne). Visibility of no more than 10 metres. Sense of balance uncomfortably disabled. Floating free in a muddy nothingness, without gravity, without orientation or control. My step is disheartened, my fantasy running wild – what if my next step leads into the abyss? What if the diffuse shadow over there turns out to be an eerie Yeti? What if the fog closes in for...
I had a full-time position in the finance sector and worked as an intercultural trainer in my free time. I commuted more than three hours every day by car and train. I spent my short evenings in the gym, at networking events, singing with my choir and trying to meet up with friends. On weekends I tried to do some more sports, spend time with my partner, cook something healthy and to maintain contact with my family in Germany. But instead of feeling energised by all my activities, I felt exhausted.
Just a normal life – or maybe not? It didn’t work out. I started burning out. At, first, I became aware of some physical manifestations. I noticed
One thing is for sure: we spur on the hamster wheel out of our own volition; even though we don’t like acknowledging that. It’s tempting to blame outside forces: the company, the colleagues, the partner, the family, the circumstances, the economy… But today, there’s no slave driver with a whip standing behind us, and we’re no longer subjects of an aristocratic despot. We live in a time and in a culture in which many options are open to us. We push our hamster wheel because we decided to do so at some stage, consciously or subconsciously. Our drivers have been internalized and our actions have become a habit.
What are the drivers for your hamster wheel?
Fear is a main driver.
Fear of failure, fear of missing out, fear of...
When was the last time you took a time-out to reflect on your life’s direction? Would you like to take stock of your current situation and refocus on the essential, but you just can’t find the time to do in the middle of your busy life?
You know that there is a lot of promise, of unrealized potential in you – your creativity, your compassion, your dreams. But you are stuck in the tunnel vision of the hamster wheel – a wheel in which you labor, rush around and burn yourself out. A wheel that is turning quicker and quicker but never reaches a destination.
The steps of the hamster wheel are manifold and individual. The common denominator is that all people who are treading...