Today, I decided to take a stroll in the woods after my first morning call. And in the process, I had the most beautiful opportunity to look at the secret teachings of autumn.
Lesson learnt: be like autumn. Shed the leaves that the sun do not touch and flourish in the sunlight. Focus on what matters. Everything takes time. This includes the focus of the company.
I have been feeling stressed. Burnt out, to be specific. I want to blame being ill for a week, but the truth is that I have been feeling it for a while now. I have always been on top of things, chasing after things. Not the other way around. As I fell a little into the cycle of being chased after, work piled up and I hadn’t had the opportunity to take a step back and look at things. I am aware now, but how did I get here?
- Pause time. No one can do that for you. You have to set boundaries and pause the time when you have to.
- Take a step back. It’s easy to get buried in work. Take a step back.
- Acknowledge how I’m feeling. Realise the things I have been avoiding and feeling numb about. And just acknowledge it. No judgement, no criticism. Just like meditation, note it.
- Appreciate this struggle. One thing I remember is that with every experience like this, I am better equipped with experience and skills. We only mould strong swords through plunging it into fire and ice water over and over again. I am the sword. I chose this path. Despite the hardship, I am deliberately choosing this path and would choose it all over again. This is my choice and I will embrace every step of the way.
- Re-read through the old notes of how I got through things and remember to be grateful of my journey and where I am today. I celebrate my success. Last year this time, my worries were completely different. Only a short span of 12 months and we have grown so much! I am also constantly reminded of the strong and wonderful support I have. They provide me with the best mental strength in the world.
- Come back to reality and think about this situation. How do I feel? Do I feel better or do we need to go through the process again, because we have more to uncover. I am grateful to have the time to do this, over and over. This is how we learn and grow.
- Repeat when necessary. I did it last night and again this morning, mainly focusing on #5. I am so grateful for the support by my family and friends, by my team, by people around me, by everything. My heart is so full. I’m so grateful!
So what has autumn taught me? Autumn has taught me to let go.
During my walk, I look up at the trees and just marvel at their beauty. No matter what we do, they keep growing, providing home, food, air and food for the community around. I want to be like a tree, stable and focused on its mission.
What does that look like? Letting go, deleting and removing things that do contribute to success. Tall trees only have leaves where the sun shines. Bushes are full of leaves but they remain small and tiny.
I want to be a tall tree. And that means to remove redundancy and focus on that important thing, then keep growing. And that is what I am going to do. It got overwhelming this time because there is too much on my plate. I am going to grow some balls and make decisions to be a tall tree. That means looking at what we have and focusing on things that matter. All is good, but what is that 64% that represents the 4%? That is what I am learning from autumn.
Autumn is not afraid to let things go. Autumn embraces change. Autumn adapts to change. And in its adaptation, they reveal its inner colours and lit up the world.
So here I am, adapting, embracing and letting things go. I have no qualms about that, because like the tall tree, I trust in the universe and its algorithm. Everything will be alright.
Here’s to becoming Lisa again. These burn-out cycles keep getting more intense but I learning to bounce back quickly too.