#DefinedByDamian: Being Over-Enthusiastic vs. Feeling Overwhelmed

My father used to say that worrying about a matter means you have too much time on your hands.

How often do we find ourselves overwhelmed by the need to do more, serve more, accomplish more? Well, what if we turned that feeling into over-enthusiasm? You might ask, “Isn’t over-enthusiastic just an optimist’s way of saying overwhelmed?” No, in fact, they fall on opposite ends of the spectrum – being enthusiastic is a blessing and feeling overwhelmed is a curse.

Most people often find themselves wanting to give up when they are overwhelmed. Be careful when you are feeling overwhelmed that you never give up on something worth fighting for. Tell yourself: if it is meant to be, it is up to me. People who do…do. People who don’t …don’t. Don’t spend time with people who don’t.

So, what can be done to avoid feeling overwhelmed?

Reflect on the first time you took initiative in your life.

It may seem hard to believe, but I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was six years old, living in Dallas, and had spent an afternoon rolling a red wagon through the neighborhood, selling greeting cards and jars of honey. I gave a jar of honey free to anyone who purchased an order of greeting cards for a few dollars as a thank you (and a few dollars meant much more in the early sixties than it does today – especially for a six-year-old). I came home to a smile on my dad’s face. He told me our neighbors were calling my parents through the entire journey enthusiastic about the start of my early sales career.

When did you first realize you had initiative, enthusiasm for life? What had you done that surprised others and even yourself?

You don’t have enough time on your hands to worry – follow Nike’s lead and just do it.

My father used to say that worrying about a matter means you have too much time on your hands. He used to ask me how I afforded the time to worry about an issue versus addressing it. I thanked him every time for the reality check. Who helps you in your reality checks in life? If you don’t have that person, I suggest you find them. It will make a transformative difference in your life.

Regain motivation from those who have paved the way for your successes.

Trust me – we have all benefited from those before us and received graces we never earned. It’s time to pay it forward. For the sake of those before you and those who will follow your leadership, you owe it to them not to become overwhelmed or give up, but rather to fight on (am I right, fellow Trojans?) for the benefit of the next generation. Keep in mind that the decisions you make today will impact generations to come – the lives of others you are mentoring (knowingly or unknowingly).

Look for motivating thoughts, pursue the advice of motivators in your life, and surround yourself with people in your life who can motivate you. Read books, scripture, or listen to stories about how others made their way through tough times. As Dr. Robert H. Schuller said, “tough times don’t last, tough people do.”

Collaborate and support each other in this enthusiastic buddy system we call life.

We should all commit to helping each other pursue the enthusiastic endeavors of our life and not become bogged down from the sense of being overwhelmed. If you resonated with this reflection, let me know. Let’s help promote each other into becoming a better version of who we are today and into the future.


#DefinedByDamian is a new blog series featuring McKinney Capital & Advisory’s Founder & CEO, Damian McKinney. Join Damian as he dives deep into the core principles that have shaped his successes both in business and in life over the last 30+ years.