Depression, Purpose & Anxiety – Almost a year ago the perceived lack of a purpose made me notably depressed. I tackled the situation by relentlessly reading and annotating the content I had consumed.
Until I put everything together for a talk about Meaning, Suffering, Time & Imperfection which I gave to the Opal Book Club. The audience was visibly confounded.
Then, a few weeks later, almost out of nowhere, meaning, a purpose found me. And with it came: anxiety.
It felt weird – why, all of a sudden, did I not feel contentment, but anxiety, the little sister of fear? Because I cared about what was put into my lap. Because emotion was involved.
In my business and private life I have had arrived at a stage where I thought it best to quell all emotions. Be cool, be equanimous. I was still functioning – but, as if I were on remote, far, far from my A-game.
My newly-found purpose on the other hand had me emotionally involved. It confronts me with all kinds of constraints – something I had not anticipated and that I felt needed to be resolved.
I started with a book: ‘A Beautiful Constraint‘ by Barden & Morgan – which Seth Godin had listed among the suggested reading on the topic of ‘constraints’ in the altMBA that I had completed a year ago.
And there, in the book, I found it: Anxiety is essential when dealing with constraints and change. From the book: “If you can remain insecure, yet optimistic, you’ve got a pretty good chance of changing the world.” (Dan Wieden)
Alright, then. Anxiety is my new friend and I’ll team her up with Optimism, my old friend, and bring in the support team: intellectual impetus, capability, creative tenacity.