I used to be the person who would do absolutely anything to make someone happy or make their life easier. I used to go out of my way to help others all of the time. There's a quote that goes along the lines of "don't cross oceans for people who wouldn't cross puddles for you." Well... that was me. I was the one constantly crossing oceans for those who wouldn't even bother to cross mere puddles for me. I was drowning. I seriously couldn't say no.
I wanted to be involved with everything. Whether it was helping out friends with their homework, entertaining bored friends, or picking up shifts for others. I wanted to have leadership positions so I could do more work and help more. I would help people study or help them with their homework even though I had homework of my own to do. It was to the point where if a friend asked me to hang out and watch a movie, even if I had 20 homework assignments due, I would always do whatever my friends wanted.
I was too involved and too nice. Those two things never really seemed possible before, I thought the more involvements and the more willing to please others the better! I was beyond wrong. Believe it or not, my epiphany came from an episode of "Parks and Recreation." Although, I didn't come to this conclusion until I was watching it for the third time (because I'm obsessed and I'm not ashamed). It was the episode where Leslie was trying to do too many things at once and was making careless mistakes. Overall, she was drastically overwhelmed. Ron Swanson pulled her aside and told her "You can't half-ass two things at once, so whole ass one." At first glance, this is kind of funny and the show keeps going. Leslie quits one thing and focuses all her energy on her main project and is extremely successful.
It's the little things. I took the time to write this quote on a sticky note and put it on my door so I see it every day before I walk out. It is constantly on my mind. It is engrained into my brain at this point.
Think about this quote for a second. By dividing our energy into so many different things, we will most likely fail because there isn't enough energy to go around. It's impossible to focus on 100 different things when you're simply just one person.
So, if you have four leadership positions on campus, are involved in five organizations, taking a full class schedule, are constantly doing extra for your friends and family, and trying to work out every day... You won't be successful at any of these things. By spreading yourself too thin, you're literally setting yourself up for failure.
In order to maximize my own success and become an overall happier person, I decided to minimize my involvements. I narrowed it down to three involvements and an internship. Your balance might be different and that's totally okay! What's important is that you allow yourself room to breathe and be successful.
Your happiness is what's most important. Be involved in what makes you happy. Put yourself first for once and you won't regret it!
Oh, and maybe watch some "Parks and Recreation" to find your life's calling.