I used to be one of those people who always cared about all of the little details. At home, I was very particular about how I liked things done. I wanted my laundry folded a particular way. I thought there was an art to vacuuming a rug. I liked my vegetables cut in thin slices.
And at work, it was the same thing. I liked my papers to be neatly stacked in piles on my desk. I had a color-coding system for everything. And I would lose my mind when I saw grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.
Perfectionism. Particularity. A dash of crazy. It was the perfect recipe for burnout. Not only did I want everything done right, but I also couldn’t trust anyone else to do it correctly. They would never be able to master my system. They would never get it right. It was all on me.
So naturally I wanted to design a business that would give peace of mind to overachievers like myself – the ones who were trying to do it all and struggling to find someone competent enough to share the workload. Brilliant, right?
Not so much. It took me years to figure it out, but I eventually realized that I only cared about the details because my core needs weren’t being met.
On the business side, I was operating a company that wasn’t aligned with my real strengths and what I wanted to be doing. And in my personal life, I didn’t have any time for the people and things that I loved. I was completely out of control. I was angry. And I was looking for other areas to gain back some semblance of structure (which continued to perpetuate the cycle of not getting what I wanted because I spent my time focusing on things that didn’t really matter).
And I realized this held true for so many areas of my life. I would cancel on plans with friends and family because I didn’t have control over my work schedule. I would skip going to the gym and cooking a healthy meal because I had problems delegating at work. And I would get frustrated over small things at home when I was actually upset over something that happened at work. It was misfire upon misfire because I lacked control in the biggest areas of my life.
So the philosophical question I leave you with is this: do you really care about any of the little things or is it about something else? Something bigger? And how do you get what you really want?
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