How to Be More Grounded in a Frenetic World
15 lessons for becoming the most wholehearted version of you in 2022
Over the past few months since the publication of The Practice of Groundedness — a book which, in many ways, is a coda to what I’ve been writing about in this column for the last five years — I’ve had the chance to interact with all kinds of people, from elite athletes, to creatives, to traditional workplace professionals, on what it means to practice groundedness. What follows are the 15 most common lessons. Taken together, these lessons provide a recipe for attaining more inner strength and stability in a frantic and frenetic world.
1) Addiction to achievement is real.
It is easy to tell yourself a story that your work helps or inspires others, so therefore it is okay to go all-in, all the time. Eventually, this mindset ends in burnout. Just like in sport, in life too, it is important to create boundaries so that you can rest and recover from hard efforts.
2) Wherever you are, the goalpost is always 10 yards down the field.
If you believe that, “if I just do this, or just accomplish that, then I’ll arrive,” you are in for trouble. There is no arriving. The human brain didn’t evolve for it. Researchers call this the arrival fallacy: we think that some external goal will fulfill us, but it is this very thinking that gets in the way of our fulfillment. Instead, focus on enjoying the process and being where you are.
3) Define your own success.
Everyone wants to be successful, but few people take the time and energy to define the success they want. As a result, they spend most, if not all, of their lives chasing what society superimposes on them as success. Define your core values, or the attributes you care most about and craft a life around them. That is success.
4) Mood follows action.
You can’t control your thoughts or feelings, but you can control your actions. Here is a brief summary of what clinical psychologists call behavioral activation: You don’t need to feel good to get going, you need to get going to give yourself a chance at…