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.
Many of us are scared to be alone with our thoughts. We’re scared of what they might say and how they might make us feel. We’re so plugged in and invested in other people’s worlds, but neglect out own. Here’s three reasons to tune into what’s going on inside your head.
Reason One: Find solutions
When we listen to our thoughts and emotions, it’s likely that we’ll shed light on insecurities, anxieties and fears. But don’t be afraid. Instead of burying them away, we can actually face them and find ways to conquer them. We’ll see they’re not untameable. We’ll start to untangle the problems and find ways to overcome them.
Reason Two: Set direction
When we get in touch with our thoughts and emotions, we begin to understand where we want to go. Sometimes we wander aimlessly because we’re lost. Sometimes we find ourselves walking a path because we’re following someone else. We’re not really thinking about what we want and where we want to go. But if you actually do take the time to think and listen, and you follow what your heart is saying, you’ll never be steered wrong.
Reason Three: Realise who you are
When we tune into our thoughts and emotions, we drown out the noise around us and find out who we are. That might be someone who doesn’t care what people think. That might be someone who stands up for what they believe in. That might be someone who sees things differently. Whoever you are, you don’t need to lock them away. Find out what you like and don’t like, where you want to go and what you want to do.
(Image: Kreesha Turner)
Tip One: Look inside
Sometimes we feel lost and look for guidance elsewhere. But ultimately, you’ll know what you want to do and who you want to be. And sometimes you’ll know how you want to get there. Sometimes we get distracted by other people’s plans for us and other people’s opinions about how our lives should be, often sold to us as their wisdom. But you should follow your own heart and instincts. And if you mess up, that’s ok – at least you’re being yourself and being true to who you are.
Tip Two: Stop comparing yourself to others
By all means, get inspiration from others and have role models to look up to. But remember that nobody’s path will be the same as yours and you’ll never be able to follow the footsteps of someone else. Comparing yourself with others will only highlight the flaws and gaps, that aren’t actually a bad thing. Forge your own path, take the road less travelled and focus on bettering yourself instead.
Tip Three: Take one step at a time
There may be loads of things you want to work on. Or maybe there’s just a couple. But you won’t change everything over night. Take your time and plan your time. Be realistic. Focus on one thing at a time and create a plan for it. Build a habit for one thing before incorporating something else. Don’t overwhelm yourself with lifestyle changes and restrictions and so on, because all it will do is push you back into the arms of your old self.
Many of us make the mistake that happiness can be found in material things. But they’re pretty immaterial in the grand scheme of things. Rather it is our relationships and the people we surround ourselves with that has the biggest impact on our happiness. People can lift us up and comfort us when we’re down. People can see the greatness within us, even when we cannot see it ourselves. People can make us feel comfortable and confident enough to be ourselves. People can celebrate our successes with us and forgive our mistakes. Find the people who can do this for you. Because you deserve happiness and good energy around you.
The nice-to-haves but not need-to-haves: approval, the next big thing, a particular type of education, endless time, outcomes that exceed expectations, a title. You can do anything you put your mind to, no matter who you are or what you have. Only you are in control of your success, your happiness, your life. Don’t put it in the hands of others. Just do you.
Tell me, what do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? – Mary Oliver
We all hold power. Power in our mind, power in our words, power in our actions, power in our emotions. We may not always feel it, but it’s always there. Don’t hand it over to someone else. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. You have the power to do an immense amount of good in your own life and in the world. You can do what you want, say what you want, be what you want. You’re stronger than you know. Use it wisely.