If your work or your life in general feel like a constant uphill struggle, then it’s possible that you’re not just doing battle with your boss, your competition, or the problem you’re out to solve.
You might be waging war against nature itself. Fighting reality is never going to go well.
Painting with broad strokes, here are a couple things that you might be wasting your time fighting.
1. Change Itself.
The nature of reality is change. Any endeavor intent on stopping it inevitably leads to frustration.
Not only will someone engaged in such a battle fail to stem the tides of change, what we see time and again is that the battle to stop change changes the person waging that battle. And I’ve yet to run across a situation where the person changes for the better.
To some degree, that’s because a person trying to prevent change is setting himself against a natural law. Don’t do that. Natural laws are humongous, immeasurably powerful, and don’t listen.
But there’s another, more widely applicable pitfall to such an endeavor.
2. Something You Have No Control Over.
There are some things simply too large for one man, or a thousand people, or even 100 million people, to stop or change in a meaningful way.
Climate change, for instance. Setting out to stop climate change isn’t necessarily fighting against an inexorable natural law. It’s possible that, just as human activity has contributed to the warming of the planet, we could also now change behavior so as not to do that.
But you’re not going to make that happen on your own. The problem is too big, and there are too many variables to expect to register even a blip on the radar.
This isn’t to say that working to save the planet isn’t a worthwhile endeavor. It is. We need more people taking it more seriously.
But if stopping climate change is your goal, then isn’t every day that ends without arresting climate change, in some way, a failure?
That approach to the work almost guarantees burnout and failure.