You gotta throw away that to-do list!

The Joy Activist
2 min readFeb 26, 2021

Growing up in the environment of doing and achieving, I have established a tie between happiness and productivity. When I get a high score at school or compliments at work, I feel loved. I feel like I’m on the right path with the bonus of admiration from everyone around me. When I get into spirituality, I once again underestimate the influence of bullet points in my life. I start to determine my day on how well my mediation goes, how committed I am to my yoga practice, and how positive I feel. The intention is to be conscious, but I slowly become attached to my spiritual practice outcome. I get lost in the doing. The goal of meditation is to have no goal, yet I always expect myself to feel zen and free. Unfortunately, the more resistance and expectation I have during meditation, the harder it is for me to be peaceful and calm with my thoughts. Think about the rubber bands. The more you pull them out, the easier for them to snatch back at you.

Day after day, I forgot that consciousness is a journey, not the finish line. The dark side of chasing productivity is that it’s unsustainable. There are 365 days a year, but I’m sure I cannot keep up with my to-do list every single day. If I can give my younger self a piece of advice, this would be it “ You are allowed to relax, to sit still and not doing anything. You are good enough no matter how many to-dos lists you can cross each day. Let yourself lay down if you want to. Let your body rest for as many days as it needs. Feeling high and low is just a part of life.”

The moment I let go of the “highly productive, goal-oriented” me, I become closer to my heart and my soul. After all, we are human beings, not human doings.

Since we are deeply conditioned with productivity and “success,” it’s certainly not easy to detach from the doing mindset. I know I have a long way to go and lots of work to do, but I guess if I really need to cross off one thing from my to-do list, it would be “accepting myself for all that is, here and now”.