We have all been able to push ourselves, at one time or another, to take just one more step when we are already absolutely worn out. This is possible for us because we are able to activate our hidden resources, that is, the abilities and strength that we keep secret. These are the inner resources that help us to get up at the crack of dawn, that give us the strength to get on one more plane, or to write another piece of work just when we thought we had nothing left to give. Ultimately, it is a question of literally dragging yourself to walk that last mile when you are exhausted, a level of inner drive that can be so costly in terms of physical and mental health, that it should only be reserved for when we really need it. Unfortunately this extra push that we need to give ourselves every now and then is in danger of becoming the norm when we live a jam-packed existence stacked to the brim with too many expectations and stimuli.
The right way to live wholeheartedly is not to give up these resources by refusing to use them, but to learn to react differently to the requests and demands on the precious, scarce resources of our time and energy: we must learn to be discerning and selective, to give ourselves a moment to think, and regain clarity, so that we can take stock of the situation and take the appropriate steps, because sometimes we force ourselves into a routine that pushes us over the edge, and we end up suffering from having taken too much on, instead of radically changing our approach.
It is always possible to act “wholeheartedly”. Let’s look at a common example: when we find ourselves wasting time scrolling on social media while we know perfectly well that we should be working, we tend to become self-critical and often feel guilty, yet we cannot find the strength to put the phone down! We can try to look at things from a different perspective by realising that in that moment, we choose to spend some time on social media, and set ourselves a time limit before switching off and doing something else. In this way, as well as reducing our sense of guilt, we also enjoy a relaxing break from our work and when we get back to it, we will work more effectively for having taken the time away from it.