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A Million Things You Haven't Done: A Letter to My Fellow Overachievers


Dear overachievers and late-night-ers and Alexander Hamiltons everywhere:

I feel ya.

I haven’t always labeled myself an ‘overachiever.’ It’s a dirty word, isn’t it? I read too much and write too much and if you tell me you did something, I’m a failure if I don’t do slightly more than that just for myself, but that’s normal, right? There’s a fine line between wanting excellence in everything you do and feeling that you need to “win” in everything you do, you need to make a mark, you need to be the most successful and you’ll do anything to get there. I walked up to that line and threw myself over it while shrieking in denial a long time ago.

I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s easy to make excuses. I’m just trying to do my best! What kind of weak person needs sleep anyway? I just like to make sure things get done! I can’t help it!

Any idiot will take one look at me and my sleepy-eyed, Mountain-Dew-guzzling self and tell me to chill out.

Chill outtttt. You work too hard. Calm down.
So, dear fellow overachievers...do we actually need to chill out?

Yes.

But, also, no​. We can all agree that we have the tendency to drive ourselves into the ground for the sake of succeeding at everything, and that kind of constant pressure isn’t good for your physical/spiritual/mental/emotional health. Like I said earlier, there’s a fine line, even if we like to pretend it doesn’t exist. But it takes a special kind of person to work tirelessly at what they want to achieve, to have that be important to them, and to go for it 100% all the time, even if we take it to the extreme 9 times out of 10.

What I want to suggest to you, my overachieving frens...is that we ​ use our powers for good.
Self-care is important. Sometimes we should take a walk, breathe, take a day for fun and friends, and let ourselves lose at something or, heaven forbid, just be mediocre at it, without taking it as the apocalypse. These are good things. These are needed things.

It’s also important to turn our laser-focus and dedication to nailing this thang to the right place, I think. Imagine what our overachieving energy can do when we’re focusing on not just everything, and doing everything right and the absolute Best, but on doing the things that matter super duper well. Savvy?

You are dedicated. You are intense. You know what you want and you go for it. You put your heart into it, and you don’t give up.

You also probably need to chill. But that’s okay. Everyone has their weaknesses, and their strengths, too. What you’ve been given is a special sort of tenacity, and suppressing that for the sake of chilling out would be a little bit...yeah, a little bit stupid, friends.

Take care of yourself.
Recognize when to take a break and when to let it slide.

Find your priorities. Find the things that matter. The places where you’re needed.

And unleash those overachieving, hard-working powers for good. Get crap done.

Don’t forget to breathe, though. You need that air.
All the love and hard work,

A Fellow Overachiever.

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