3 More Brilliant Ways to Waste Your Life (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 238)
“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”
— Bruce Lee
Your focus, time, and energy each day are limited. You’ll never know what you could have done if you waste time throwing a pity party for yourself and moaning about what could have been. Life is full of choices. Every single day presents before us two options. We can choose to travel a meaningful part which is almost always debris-filled and difficult. Or we can choose to travel an easier path where we do nothing, say nothing, think nothing, and eventually be nothing. Following the path of least resistance ensures our own demise. Your life is a terrible thing to waste.
Here are some brilliant things we all do that cause us to waste our lives:
1. We waste our lives by being judgmental, critical, and negative.
Being critical of other people can make us feel good about ourselves. For some people, gossiping about what someone else did or where someone else is going is a source of entertainment. But being judgmental, critical, and negative about other people only serves to make us less attractive. No one else wants to be around a person who is negative and always talking about somebody or something in a disparaging way. Over time, being critical makes us unattractive even to ourselves.
Openness, vulnerability, and positivity are things that people like to see in others. Openness often breeds more openness. Vulnerability breeds trust. A positive attitude and actions often encourage the same in others. Being judgmental only takes away precious time that one could be spending improving one’s self. It only reinforces your own self-image as a person who needs to push people down in order to feel good. It’s a temporary pill with negative side-effects that can ruin large parts of your day and your life.
2. We waste our lives with vain distractions.
Distractions are not just little things that pop up every now and then to keep us away from our bigger goals. Little distractions turn into huge disturbances that can do more damage than we realize. A lot of times, we waste time with distractions simply because we are afraid of reality. We don’t want to face life as it is so we hide behind social media, television, music, vacations, and food. Even when we’re not listening to the television or the radio, we turn up the sound anyway just to drown out our own nagging thoughts.
We have to learn to direct distractions instead of letting them get the best of us. Every email that pops up in your inbox does not require an answer; over half of them don’t even deserve a click. Every single post made on Twitter or Facebook does not require a like or a share. A news article that looks interesting may not require a read at that particular time. Create a ritual for dealing with distractions in your life, handling the noise in your head, and sticking to one singular task until it is done to the best of your ability before moving on to anything else.
3. We waste our lives by not knowing where we’re going.
You’re halfway to your destination if you already know where you’re going. Too many people set out going nowhere and end up absolutely nowhere. Goals, both short term and long term, are necessary for intentional change and purposeful living. A lack of direction is almost always the problem, even over a seeming lack of time, resources, ability, talent, and people. If you know where you’re going, you will move heaven and earth to get there.
Moving fast is vastly different from going somewhere definite. There is no radar or compass to guide one across the vicissitudes of life. If you know where you are going, you will get there whether you have a map or GPS as your guide or not. A person without vision runs in every direction and gets nowhere. Once you know where you’re going, you can create a plan to get there. Set your goals and everything else you do will revolve around those goals. Goals give you your WHY and that why will help guide you into the direction that will make the most difference.
“Don’t waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour’s duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson