What Is Success?

The definition of success greatly depends on the norms of the respective society in which we live – and on the values we have grown to respect. And yet, from time to time, we must take a hard look at our usual definitions. Everyone must decide for themselves what they consider success to be, based on their own values and needs.

What Is the Origin of Mental Exhaustion?

We live in a world oriented toward success. Today, being successful is considered one of the main goals in life – indeed, to some extent the measure of all things. Everything seems to be becoming higher, faster, further. Limits to time and space are dissolving: Anything goes! Being left behind in such a world may mean missing out on many things, including success. And yet many people feel exhausted and see themselves as the “losers” of such processes. The increasing number of opportunities and junctures in the road also means a greater number of decisions that have to be made in life. This, in turn, puts pressure on us to always make the “right” decision, creating additional stress. The result: paralysis from indecision or fear of failure. 

How Does Mental Exhaustion Manifest Itself?

People who experience mental exhaustion are often confronted with limits in their daily routines. Most have the feeling that everything is just “too much,” combined with a sense of agitation and a lack of pleasure at work. They may also feel dejected or even depressed, “running on empty,” too exhausted to even participate in recreational activities. They are tense and anxious; life seems devoid of meaning, the future nonexistent. Some also withdraw from friends, even from their spouse or loved ones. Sleep becomes difficult, and some tend to drink more than they should or take tranquilizers. Headaches or backaches may ensue. Hope is abandoned that life will ever be good again. 

What to Do About Mental Exhaustion?

Many of us no longer know how to deal with life crises. When confronted with adverse circumstances, we hold tight to our dysfunctional beliefs and keep repeating to ourselves: “Just try a little harder and you´ll get it out of your rut.” Instead of dealing with our negative emotions and admitting that our inner life has taken a bad turn, we deny the present state of affairs and reject support offered from our immediate surroundings, such as family and friends. When asked, we respond: “It´ll be OK, no problem, it´s only temporary, I´ll make it.” This attitude causes us to deny important resources that could very well help us to reflect on our goals in life and to ponder how to implement possible solutions and changes.