Many people perceive the world as increasingly complicated. Us, humans, are becoming more overwhelmed and stressed out every day. We find life hectic. We are running from place to place trying to simply keep up and stay afloat. Because what would happen if we had to stop checking stuff off our never ending to do list and think about what we wanted?
Many of the people in my world are surrounded by abundance and choices. There are an infinite number of coffee options for us to explore from Caffe Americano to Latte to French Press. And I always laugh when I remember this scene in LA Confidential: “I’ll have a half caf doublé de cap. No, make that a single caf cap reg cap.” ”I’ll have a decaf coffee.” ”I’ll have a decaf espresso.” ”I’ll have a double decaf cappuccino.” ”Do you have any decaffeinated coffee ice cream?” Finally, Martin delivers the nut: ”I’ll have a double decaf, half caf, with a twist of lemon.”
The abundance of coffee choices makes no one particularly happy. Because it’s not about the number of choices we have. With all this abundance, people are still feeling like they are running on empty.
So what is starving in abundance really about? It’s about being clear and true to what we want. Not what we are told we should wear and what store we need to buy it from. Where we should work and how fast we should climb the corporate ladder. How our relationships should be. The best way to raise our kids. The ultimate way not to waste our time. The books and movies we must experience. The social networks that we have to spend time on. And it goes on an on.
Are you starving in abundance? I know I was. It became such a health hazard that I had to get out. The price was too high. And I worked at a great company but the most recent culture felt more like a prison than a place I could continue to innovate. I had lots of choices and opportunities to continue to move up in my career at the company but when I realized I was starving in abundance, I had to do the hard work. I had to face that I actually could make a decision about the direction of my life that pleases me. Not what is expected of me.
And it is hard work since people constantly want to know what I’m doing. No so much how I am feeling. But the pressure cooker we are all in is one where what we do defines us. And what we forget is that these choices can also work for us.
My question to you is what are you a slave to? What’s in your control to do? And please think it through (that’s the strategist in me writing!)