“The point of interrogation is to get at the truth, not to get at what the interrogator wants to hear.”
– Martin Seligman
Do you know someone who gets really stressed out about special occasions?
It doesn’t necessarily have to be about Christmas. It could be birthdays, anniversaries or what have you.
They try to organize and make everything “just so”. If something doesn’t go according to plan they have a nervous breakdown. You recognize this? Perhaps you’re a bit like that yourself?
In that case I’d like to throw a couple of questions your way.
Are just doing it out of habit?
Maybe it’s time to stop. At least if it causes you unnecessary stress.
Have you ever stopped to consider why you’re doing this? Could it be a false sense of obligation?
While we might feel like if we don’t do it no one else will, it’s not the healthiest way to go about it.
Are you doing it because you love going through the process? Or are you intent on creating the “perfect experience” for everybody else?
The problem with the latter is that while our intentions might be good it’s much too dependent on the outcome. We put in a tremendous amount of work and effort, and end up feeling deflated unless everyone totally loves what we’ve done.
If you, for example, truly love the process of making everything look and and taste amazing then it doesn’t matter as much whether people enjoy what you’ve created or not. You’ve gotten so much out of the creation itself that you feel fulfilled.
Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t invest your time and energy in making sure that everybody has a good time. What I am saying is that it shouldn’t come at your expense.
When you ask yourself these questions and others also make sure to ask another question too.
Are you being really honest with yourself?
Interrogate yourself like you were a hostile witness. Really make an effort to get at the truth.
Sometimes we just tell ourselves what we want to hear and convince ourselves that we’re doing it for everyone’s benefit.
The truth can be hard to swallow, especially if we’ve kept up appearances for a long, long time.
It’s better to come to that realization now than to kick the can further down the road.
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!