Humans are funny; we all know we’re eventually going to die, yet we walk around like we have all the time in the world. As if we’re immortal and going to be young forever. (It’s probably why we’re so prone to procrastination!) The harsh reality is, the older you get, the faster time seems to fly by. Too many of us wake up wondering where our lives went; years spent in a toxic relationship or at a miserable job or not pursuing our dreams.
We don’t get our days back and sometimes we need to remind ourselves that we don’t have time to not be living our lives to the fullest. So, here’s a little reminder of all the things you ACTUALLY don’t have time for. You know, because as morbid as it sounds, your days here are limited.
So, if it’s not helping you grow, it’s gotta go. Here are 8 things none of us have time for.
I’m at a really great stage in my life where I hold on to nothing; it’s very liberating. I spent a year traveling around the world and one of my stops was in Thailand where I lived for two months emerged in the culture. I spent a portion of my time volunteering at a Buddhist wellness retreat where I practiced meditation and mindfulness several times a day. A lot of Buddhism is based on loving detachment and emotional regulation; it’s about releasing situations and people without bitterness or anger. It’s the most freeing feeling in the world to be in control of your emotions and reactions.
Humans are going to human; they can be mean, petty, and backstabbing, but that has nothing to do with you. Because YOU get to choose your own response and how YOU feel. By allowing someone else’s crappy behavior to make you crappy too, you give the situation power. Take your power back, and be the best version of yourself regardless of other people’s behavior.
Our lives are simply a culmination of habits we’ve created. Everything from brushing your teeth to working out to work ethic are habits. We are not born with habits, we cultivate them from our experiences, beliefs, and surroundings. And the great thing about habits is they’re changeable. So, even if you have some negative habits, with enough effort and willpower, you can change them. It’s simple, but it’s not easy. If you need help developing healthy habits, I highly recommend The Power of Habit. It’s a life-changing book that will actually help you understand the psychology of why we do the things we do and it gives you actionable steps on creating more productive habits.
The Wrong Relationship
Going back to my previous point on loving detachment; some people are just not meant to be together. Sure, relationships are hard at times and that doesn’t mean you bail at the first sign of trouble, but if you’re spending years of your life with someone who is clearly toxic for you, it’s time to go. Life is too short to be in a miserable relationship! You’ll never get those years back, and you could spend your time in a healthy relationship with someone who is a better match.
Not Doing Purposeful Work
We spend so much of our time working and that is precisely why it’s so important to pick an occupation that you actually have an interest in and enjoy. Do not choose a career based on what your parents want or what you think will impress other people or what will make the most money. Humans need a purpose in life; a purpose that relates to their own contribution as an individual. A purpose that has nothing to do with our parental or relationship status. This is why so many people do all the “right” things; i.e college, marriage, children, and then STILL wake up bored and unfulfilled. So, find your purpose, whether that’s through your career or an outside pursuit.
The “Right” Time
Spoiler alert: there is no “right time” to do anything. Want to start that business, get in shape, pursue your wildest goal? Start now. That’s it. There is no ideal time to start, so even if you have to take tiny baby steps, don’t put it off, just get moving.
Agh, the killer of dreams! Self-doubt is the #1 crippler for so many people. Pay close attention to the feedback loop in your head and adjust accordingly. If you’re noticing negative self-talk, think about where it came from. Was it from criticism from someone else or something you’ve created for yourself? Not everyone needs to like you, but you, at the very least, need to like yourself. You need to be your own biggest fan, regardless of any “flaws” you think you have.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my wine and other cocktails, but in major moderation. If I drink, I have a strict limit of 2 or 3 drinks, max. Not because I’m a boring old shrew, but because I have too much sh*t to do. (See what I did there?) I don’t have time to be waking up not on my A-game, and frankly, neither do you. Just think of all the time wasted on hangovers and headaches. It’s not worth it.
Not Growing & Learning
Last, but certainly not least, you don’t have time to not be learning and growing. Learn from your mistakes, pick up a book, take an online course, go explore a foreign culture. Open and expand your mind. There is so much out there to learn, and even though you could spend your whole life exploring and reading, you’ll never know enough. Keep that humble thought in mind and check yourself often. You’ll never know it all, but the learning process is what makes life exciting, embrace it. So, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the late Anthony Bourdain,
“If I am an advocate for anything, it is to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody.”