Question of the week: How are you spending your time?
It’s a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. We all have the same amount of time in a day, yet we spend it so differently.
Some of us go after our goals with everything we have but don’t stop to enjoy it, some of us dream bigger than our imagination but hardly put anything into action, and some of us go along with the path set out for us even if it’s not what we want. And there’s every other combination in between.
We all have less and less time as we get older. Are you wasting it? We need to be more conscious of the excuses we’re using and be more honest about what is holding us back. Only then can we move onto what makes us happier and keeps us fulfilled. We might not spend every day to its highest potential, but we can always do better, before it runs out.
To be rich is often synonymous with having a great deal of money. But we can create riches beyond money and possessions from within. We can be rich in love, friendship, family. We can be rich in knowledge, ideas, experience. And when we realise that richness often doesn’t come from money or what money can buy, we will also be rich in happiness. It’s all within us already. Don’t miss out.
Our bodies are simply a package. Our humanity is the gift inside. Some bodies may demand attention where others go unnoticed. But with time, they will all wear away. Youth fades, beauty fades, and even health fades. But our humanity doesn’t. Not unless we let it. Our kindness, forgiveness, strength, passion, love – these, and many others, are the gifts that matter. Don’t be careless with them. Nurture them, share them and treasure them.
Over time, our perspectives can slowly become clouded, our direction can become aimless, and our vision can crumble. Sometimes we don’t notice. Sometimes we do but we keep doing more of the same anyway. But every now and then, we need to take a moment to refocus. Those moments can put us back on track or reveal an entirely new road. Those moments can reenergise us by uncovering what matters most to us. Those moments help us figure out what’s working and isn’t. Don’t underestimate those moments. Stop and refocus the lens. You’ll notice much better quality if you do.
What is opportunity? Does it sit behind every corner or does it come knocking on the door? Both. Opportunity comes to those who see it. There’s opportunity in every job, in every relationship, in every problem. Sure, there are dead-end jobs and dead-end relationships and never-ending problems. But that doesn’t mean we have to be dead-end people. We can make the best of every situation. We can give our best to every situation. And in those situations, we improve, we grow and we thrive. When we see opportunity in the dead-end situation, we do not see a dead-end at all.
To worry is to feel anxious or troubled about actual or potential problems. It doesn’t solve or comfort or help, yet we still spend significant time worrying. We have to realise that it’s not going to change anything. In fact it only makes things worse. We worry about things that haven’t even happened, and all it does is rob us of any joy we have at that moment in time. We cannot predict everything, but that doesn’t mean that everything will turn out badly. Face the problem when it comes to it. We don’t want to look back on our lives wishing we’d spent less time worrying about things that were just drops in an ocean. Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joys.
We have a tendency to over complicate our lives. We overanalyse and misinterpret our own and other people’s feelings, opinions, words, actions, and behaviours. We obsessively compare ourselves to others and the expectations of our culture. We hang onto the past to bring ourselves down. But all it leads to is heartache and insecurity. Life can be simpler, if we let go of the chains we’re carrying around. Sometimes it’s just seeing the best in people, seeing the best in yourself, and seeing the best in the world. Sometimes it’s just living life the way that makes you happy. Simple.
There comes a time when we’ll get caught in a downpour. Our first instinct is to take cover from it. But that isn’t always an option. Sometimes we have to weather it. And whatever we do, we’re bound to get soaked. But that’s ok, as long as we try to do our best. Don’t give into the raindrops of adversity. You’re better than that. You’re smart and courageous and innovative. And even if all else fails, you can still dance in the rain and laugh a little. Keep holding on, because the sun will come out once again and it will shine brighter than before.
We all have weaknesses. We all have flaws. We all have vulnerabilities. And so we should. We should be raw. We should be authentic. We should be imperfect. It’s precisely our imperfections that promise living rather than existing. Imperfections are the place where we grow, where we dream, and where we act. Imperfections are where beauty blossoms, character builds, and life happens. Embrace your imperfections. Let people see your imperfections. Know that your imperfections are what make life perfect.
What does it mean to grow up? Growing up is often muddied with seriousness and responsibility, and we interpret it as being tied down. But whilst we should keep our inner child within, growing up and taking responsibility for yourself is empowering, fulfilling and liberating. Because the best part of growing up is defining who we’re going to be, owning it and running with it. It takes courage, and that’s why so many of us suck at it. But it will be so worth it. Growing up isn’t something to shrink away from or fight against, it’s something to embody and embrace.