Is more always better?

Workplace burnout is now recognized as medical diagnosis by the World Health Organization. Burnout: chronic workplace stress that hasn’t been managed leading to exhaustion, mental distance. I’m honestly surprised this is just now a thing because I think we’ve all felt it at one point or another.

Whether it was in our professional or personal lives we’ve likely experienced…
a plate that’s too full.
responsibilities that are too heavy.
too much for us to fit into one day.
souls that need room to breathe.

It’s common to think more is better. Couple that with the tendency to be a people pleaser and it’s a recipe for way too much. There’s no hard rule about doing “more” the right way. Maybe it has more to do with the situation, the season, the person, and what “more” actually is.

Nurturing my plants is a silly, yet real goal for me this month. As I was outside watering them (trying to keep my hydrangeas happy after all this heat – NC is cooking yall), I noticed the two pots on either side of our back door.

Two pots of plants

They started growing back in the spring. So much excitement in those little green buds. I was worried because one seemed to be doing so much better than the other. One had tons of little green sprouts coming up while the other was a bit delayed and had just a few. They get the same amount of sun and water, but one looked so much different than the other.

At the time I was bummed, but figured if I keep taking care, maybe the slower one will catch up. The irony stopped me in my tracks because the one I deemed slower and behind is actually taller and stronger than the one originally making so much exciting progress.

You see, when a plant is in a pot with too much, it cannot thrive. It’s literally competing for resources – for water, for nutrients, for space. The life is getting choked out of it simply because there’s too much. The “more” has taken over.

There is “more” happening in both pots. One is more growth, space, and vitality while the other is just more. I can be the best plant mom in the world, but if I don’t make space, if I don’t relieve the overcrowding, the plant will suffer. Maybe that’s what burnout looks like in plant form.

The same is true in our lives.

We’re conditioned to believe that more is always better. More money. More fame. More attention. More accolades. More ___ fill in the blank for you. But what is this costing? The more always costs something.

If you know me, you know I like the idea of more. I like the idea of better. I set goals and I strive to become more. But I have to be specific about what that more means. And I have to be careful about what it’s costing.

There are some seasons where the “more” is necessary and worth it. As you probably know, we’re in the process of building a new home. More money is required to make this happen. So in these months of home building we’re saying “yes” to one version of more while sacrificing another. We’re saying yes to more savings and sacrificing more fun, unnecessary purchases or expensive date nights.

It’s okay to have and want more. You were made for more as Rachel Hollis reminds us. But be mindful about your more. There is always a trade off. You just have to decide which side is most important.

Yours doesn’t have to look like someone else’s. It’s okay to want more in one area while your girlfriend or the world is telling you to get it somewhere else. You might be craving more rest, peace, quiet or more fun, spontenity, adventure.

Pull out anything that’s overcrowding your space so that your “more” can grow.

What do you want more of in your life?
What are you willing to say no to in order to say yes to your “more”?

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