The high-achieving individual

The high-achieving individual likes to do lots of things, and she likes to do them all well. But, in her quest to be a “well-rounded individual” she tends to push herself to the brink of a mental breakdown.

Sometimes I ask the high-achieving individual, “If I put a gun to your head and made you drop something, what would it be?” Amazingly, she can’t even participate in the thought exercise–the pain of dropping something is greater than the pain of psychosis. She loves everything she’s doing, so she goes on, always ready to cry, never sleeping, always recovering from her latest cold or flu, not realizing this is an unsustainable way to live. Chronic disease catches up with the high-achieving individual.

The irony is this: If you’re going to be good at lots of things you can’t be great at anything. You can be a high-achieving individual, but you can’t be the highest-achieving individual in any one thing. Maybe a better question is, “If I put a gun to your head and made you drop everything except one thing, what would that one thing be?”

There’s a fine line between poor time management and and an inability to say “no.”