The modern society has structured life to be a race. We need to reach goals after goals, and accumulate achievements after achievements to feel worthy. Hence, the life goes by in the process of “doing” than “being”. In my opinion, there needs to be a fine balance between doing and being. My Indian ancestry would tell me that one can attain the state of pure being or being purely present even while being engrossed in actions of the world. Personally, I need more practice and more guidance on that front, and I request whatever forces of the Universes for all the help I can get. But for now let us stick to the rudimentary analysis between the state of being present and the state of continuous action (which is often mindless) that feeds into validation model of the society. In other words, the society will reward you for the goals that you have achieved. And after you have achieved one, it will give you another goal and then another and so on.
The Ancient Greeks had the concept of an afterlife as a world of darkness, sleep and inactivity. The human life was all they had to achieve the glory. Greek heroes like Hercules, Achilles, Odysseus and more would be famed to perform Godly or Olympian tasks to attain the famed and fabled esteem, so that they are remembered by the super-human tasks they perform. That is their own claim to survival in human records. After their death, all of them leave for the kingdom of Hades, a dark realm from where there is no return. Judeo-Christian mythology, which dominates the world order today, quite literally, through economic systems, borrow heavily from their Grecian past. Thus, the condition for our existence.
We all reach for landmarks in our lives for self-validation and acceptance by society. Some of us end up taking too much on. While others, while wanting to perform great acts, feel inadequate to do so. These people are stuck in what is called the “freeze mode”, which is they find themselves unsuited for a society that continuously asks them to perform and deliver. The solution to both the models of pain is slowing down. Slowing down for super-achievers or even average achievers entails shifting towards performing acts with more mindfulness and even shifting towards tasks that bring them genuine sense of relief and happiness. Slowing down for the people in “freeze state” would mean finding ways to get out of one’s own head and undertake activities, tasks and jobs that feel fulfilling.
Hence, there is a middle path for the achievers as well as people who “don’t quite fit”: and that is finding out a course of action that is more in alignment with our well-being. Once we start doing that “how much” of it we do would slowly start mattering less, and we will discover that we are able to help ourselves and the people around us more just by focusing on the fulfilling course of action.
Read more on self-transformation: Inner Miracles.