We live in a performance based world. Your time is your first kpi for performance. If you are on time, if you deliver on time, then your performance is good. If you deliver early, then it’s exceptional.
You measure your performance by what you can do in a day, if you slack too much you’re wasting time, if you’re not completing any task, work or personal related, then you’re not having a good performance.
By the end of the day you can take a look at what you _accomplished_ as if your life was a predefined todo list and based on the number of checks you can easily determine if you were on track or not.
But life, the thing that’s larger than us, is not “performance based”. Life doesn’t check on us. People do, you do.
Work is performance based, we cannot escape that. We need to be in line with the expectations of our workplace, of our boss, of our customers.
Can we say the same for our life?
Today my wife was quite exhausted from the baby and the baby didn’t want to sleep.
So I took the baby and held her into my arms, then I started walking in almost circles in the same area.
She already slept a little bit but I was sure she needed more and so I started walking while holding her onto my breast.
After 15 minutes she started to fall asleep and I kept walking in circles. It was boring.
At one point I thought “Maybe I could sit down”.
But I knew. Sitting down would change the way she sleeps.
Why do I needed to sit down? To do something else, like checking facebook, reading, listening to a podcast.
Things I couldn’t do while holding her and walking unless I started listening before holding her.
Here’s the thing: Performance in life is about acceptance, not about how much you do.
We’re used to measuring it as a form of to do list based on our workplace, but life doesn’t care.
I accepted that walking in circles with my baby was the best I could do to help.
Yes _I_ wanted to listen to something, read something. But performance wise this was the absolute best and I was right.
She slept for almost an hour while I kept walking in circles in an absolutely stunningly boring way: Slow, relaxed, without the need to do something more, because I was already doing the best thing I could.
Acceptance sometimes means doing less. Acceptance means you need to compromise between your expectations.
Acceptance is vision, because the grand scheme is vastly superior to your individual need.
In that hour my wife slept, my baby slept, and they came back both relaxed and energized.
If I had sit down, I might have woke up the baby, neutralizing any sacrifice done before.
We’re bombarded by things we _should_ do. But we are not required to do them.
If we skip facebook, if we stop being continuously engaged and accept that our best performance might come from idle time, then maybe we’ll stop obsessing about what to do, and will start thinking about what’s best.