At the beginning of quarantine, I saw countless blog posts about letting yourself off the hook because we’re in the midst of a global pandemic. And for the first week or so, I thought that sounded pretty good.
So I let myself off the hook a little more than I normally would. I still worked full days, but I wasn’t pushing above and beyond. Ironically, I limped through every day. Getting to five o’clock and feeling exhausted.
It wasn’t until I started considering how I could help in this moment that I started to get my energy back. After several brainstorming sessions with friends and peers, we arrived at a couple project ideas that got me really fired up. I started waking up earlier. Working harder. And at the end of every work day I felt energized to keep going.
Telling myself a story about helping, and making something meaningful helped me more than telling myself a story about relaxing a little more than usual. Maybe this reveals something about how broken my wiring is. How tied up my self worth is in my production. But that exploration is for another day. Today, I think the takeaway is that you should tell yourself a story that makes you feel better.
There is rarely one, singular truth about the world. You get a choice of how you interpret events. You might as well choose the interpretation that helps you sleep better at night.