We often hear the criticisms of others telling us that we do not do enough of what we are supposed to. Seldom, however, do the words, “you have to do less” fall upon our ears.
In a society where more is merrier, and bigger is better, we strive to accumulate all that we can as fast as we can. This means more studying for students, more exercising to reach our fitness goals, and more work to earn more money! Therein arise the terms workaholic and the like, which our disdain for is nothing more than a pseudo-attempt to ease our minds at the mention of those who are bigger and better than ourselves. Deep down inside, however, we find our inner voice questioning itself, asking itself “how do they do it?”
I, for one, have lived and breathed the negative sides of too much. For months on end, I worked and worked. Praised by my family, friends, and acquaintances on my progress, those were but empty words falling upon deaf ears. I wanted more. And so, to get more, one must do more, I guessed. But how wrong I was…
Attached to the good blessings that I accumulated from simply not trying, I could not accept that what was in my hands was steadily and surely slipping away like sand. I worked day and night, grabbing onto every passing grain; and the more I focused on holding onto one, the more the rest slipped beyond my vision. I was too blind to see that the road I was to take was of another colour and, better yet, of another world.
Less was the route I should have taken embarking on my long and arduous journey. Walk slower, take it easier, worry less! Less is the mentality of a runner, realising that a marathon is not to be sprinted. Less, declare the words of a writer cutting down to linguistic perfection. Less flows the hand of an artist sculpting a grand masterpiece to a fault of none. As Antoine de Sant-Exupery would say, “perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
But one may ask, what if I want to get there faster? What if I want to reach the end in half the time? Is more not then the solution? I never said to work less, but rather to worry less. As a sprinter who trains to reach the finish line quicker, so must you first train your ability to accept results as they come in order to further yourself. Focus not on attaining more, as there is simply too much out there to be attained, but rather on giving more, as that is in plentiful abundance, and how sweet the fruit of the labour of giving. Conquer, and there will always be those who have conquered more. Find, and yet persists the fear of losing. Give, however, and you need never worry about keeping. Give, and you will effortlessly be brought closer to the things and ones you love. Is that not truly why we work?