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Time to Stop Beating Ourselves Up, Charles Darwin, and Gaining Perspective

I’m at a complete standstill, as a matter of fact it was hard to write this blog today.  My mind feels like it’s on vacation, only it hasn’t gone anywhere.  The more I try to work, the harder it is to do so.

In all honesty, my brain is probably saying it needs a break, a long, well-deserved break for having fought so many tough issues for so many years straight.  Only I don’t listen, I don’t think it has time for a break so I push harder to focus and one thing at a time and I have a lot to do so keep at it. I get mad at myself for resting because I want so badly for things to happen and know I can help so many people and if I just take a little more time

Unfortunately, when we don’t take breaks we lose the most valuable thing of all — perspective.  We get so caught up in our world that we are unable to see what is really important, and what we are just making important.  Before I owned a company and nonprofit I took a minimum of three weeks vacation a year — at least — as it gave me a chance to clear out the cobwebs, refresh and revive.  In the last eight years I haven’t taken any long trips, and even the short ones always seem to include ‘work’.  I don’t like that things won’t happen or get done if I take a complete break.

A recent article in the New York Times gave me some unique perspective on this through the discussion of Charles Darwin’s depression.  I’m not sure if he had ADD / ADHD or not, he certainly had some of the symptoms, but day after day he beat himself up because of his mind’s complexity and his inability to work at times.  He mentioned that he was probably down every 1 of 3 days for depression.

He was quoted in this article as saying  “I shall probably do little more but be content to admire the strides others made in Science.”  Charles Darwin, one of the most admired biologists of our time, said that because of his depression and inability to focus at times he would never accomplish anything great.   Yet look at what he managed to achieve.

I believe anyone in the world can accomplish great things, but hope we learn lessons from our past leaders.  We don’t need to punish ourselves along the way.  If you find that trying to gain focus and clarity is next to impossible, listen to what your body is saying it needs.  Maybe it needs the health benefits of a real vacation?

We don’t have to be perfect all the time to do great things, and don’t need to be ‘on’ all the time.   Just a little reminder to those of you that have similar feelings or experiences.

Be well.

Time to Stop Beating Ourselves Up, Charles Darwin, and Gaining Perspective

Kathryn Goetzke

I own a company called the Mood-factory (, a company that creates products based on how sensory experiences effect moods. I also run a nonprofit for depressio, iFred (, we are working to change the brand of depression. And yes, I have ADHD, along with PTSD, major depressive disorder, and a host of other challenges, opportunities, and gifts.

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APA Reference
Goetzke, K. (2010). Time to Stop Beating Ourselves Up, Charles Darwin, and Gaining Perspective. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 12, 2020, from


Last updated: 5 May 2010
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