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I'll just say it. I often feel I'm not doing enough.
I know, I know.
It's a problem.
Or is it?
What is enough?
And what kind of doing are we talking about here?
As you'll soon learn, with my up-and-down experiences as your guide, there is another side to "not doing enough."
It might actually be a good problem to have.
A Personal History of Not Doing Enough
For as long as I can remember, I've had this sinking feeling that I'm not doing enough.
It's a rock in the pit of my stomach.
Don't get me wrong, I'm happy.
I'm fortunate to work on things that I enjoy. I have a wonderful wife, and I have my health at the moment.
But this feeling is a murky feeling, and I'm not quite sure where it comes from.
As a child, I had to read all the time.
I like to read, but it wasn't about that.
I HAD to read. I had to finish more and more books.
So that I could get on to the next one. It was a compulsion that drove me forward.
There's an obsessive quality in my life that takes hold if I'm not careful.
You could call it OCD, and a doctor has.
But I think that's too easy. I think chalking it up to the obsessions of a tidy diagnosis doesn't describe the feeling that is part of me.
Looked at another way, I'm an Enneagram 3--the Achiever Type.
I recently have been digging into the mysteries of the enneagram, and it's not at all what I thought it was.
It's not just a silly online personality test. The wisdom of the enneagram has been formulated over thousands of years. Much like my mind and my natural tendencies.
I'm the collection of all those who have come before me.
Would they think I'm doing enough?
It doesn't seem to matter when I'm the one that gets gripped by the feeling.
Am I Doing Enough? Are You?
Why am I telling you all this?
It's not because I want you to feel bad for me.
And it's not even so you can see your exact life in mine. That would be impossible.
The reason I'm telling you that I often feel I'm not doing enough is to create an opening. A window through which we both can look.
It's very likely that you have a feeling like this, a murky gripping state of being that takes hold of you at times.
It's not all bad.
My feeling of not doing enough is a driving force. It compels me to write this newsletter for hours each week. The feeling of not doing enough drives me to start. To put words on the screen. Funny enough, the driving force that propels me forward to start gets me to a point of flow that I love being in. Starting leads to being in the moment, so the feeling of not doing enough has its benefits. It's not all bad. There are two sides to it.
So now I ask you:
What is your feeling?
What grips you without you realizing it?
Suspend your judgment for long enough to see it in its totality.
A mentally healthy existence is not shutting down everything that you initially feel is bad.
A mentally healthy existence is a full and courageous embrace.
Of the good and the bad.
Of the enough and the not enough.
Of whatever it is that drives you to do what you love.
The driving feeling may not always be pleasant.
But if the "not enough" gets you to the point of "enough" and contentment and, eventually, love, is it really all bad?