One fine morning a while ago, my sister approached me while I was working. “Are you doing anything special today?” She asked.
Confused, I retorted, “I was until you interrupted me.”
“But aren’t you doing something special today?”
“Nope. What’s so special about today?”
And that’s when the shock spread across her face. And it quickly gave way to disappointment. Because at that moment, she realised I had forgotten my own birthday. I was so absorbed in my work that I missed it. Probably wouldn’t have noticed until days later, actually.
Even for me, that was an eye-opener. Though not for the reason you’d expect. Personally, I was fascinated by the fact that someone can be so focused on the task at hand that the outside world becomes a blur. That’s the kind of creative conviction I can only dream about. Except I don’t need to dream about it anymore, apparently. Now, my holiday-skipping function is built-in.
The point is, I now realise how much of a difference this makes. I’ve missed so many opportunities over the years because there was simply too much to fit into my life. But there’s an implicit part of that: “too much to fit into my life, comfortably”. And who says you need to be comfortable?
Let go of your obsession with being happy and you’ll go much further. Once you allow yourself to take a hit every now and then, you open up new opportunities. Am I perfectly happy that I work so much I forget my own birthday? Not quite. But I sure do get things done.