6 Things We Waste Time Thinking About (365 Days of Spirited Living — DAY 334)
“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.”
— Frank A. Clark
Our thoughts have the power to control our lives. The more we think, the more we act. Sometimes, our thoughts are good and they propel us to do good. Other times, our thoughts are the exact opposite of who we are at our core and we act accordingly. Changing the way we think can change the way we live and make all the difference in our future. Here are 6 things we waste time thinking about and what we can do about it:
1. Thinking you’re a failure.
No one is really a failure unless they stop trying to be a success. When you are young especially it is nearly impossible to be a failure because you are still growing and still learning. Nothing is final when you’re young. What does it matter that you didn’t get your dream job straight out of college of that you’re behind your best friend in marriage, children, and having a secure life? You will make mistakes and you will sometimes fall flat on your face but the point is that you are always growing and making the effort to the better. And there is no failure in that.
2. Thinking you’re better than or worse off than someone else.
Social media doesn’t make not doing this any easier. It starts out with the very beautiful photos from a friend’s family vacation in Azores, Portugal or some other exotic land or an engagement announcement on Facebook complete with 25 photos of the ring and the kiss and the smiles. For many people, it is hard not to entertain the thought that everybody’s got it better than you or if you’re on the other end that you’ve got it so much better than everyone else. That’s how social media is designed — to make us look more awesome than we really are. The truth is, anyone can make themselves look like they have it all together from the outside and you don’t need to judge yourself by what someone else is doing. It’s the inside that we need to worry about.
3. Thinking that one certain path is the only way forward.
I agree that at some point in your life, you need to be somewhat certain of who you are and what you were created to do and then make every effort to go in that direction. However, just because you got a degree in a certain field doesn’t mean you have to stay in that field especially if you’re not passionate about it and if you only got into it for the money to begin with. We’d all like for the things we set our hands to do to work the first time, but it is very unlikely that life will work that way. If you feel you need to change direction, by all means, do so. It could be the best thing you’ve ever done.
4. Thinking that money, people, and stuff will make you happy.
The idea that money, other people, or material possessions are going to make you any happier than you are right now is one of the biggest lies that has ever been told to society. Once you arrive at the end of getting everything you think you want, you will wonder if this is it. You need something to keep you grounded and from going insane because all the stuff you have isn’t enough to satisfy. Ask yourself if you would like yourself and if you could live with yourself if you didn’t have any of the things or even the people you think you need to survive in life. If you answer “no”, it might be time for a values check.
5. Thinking that the wrong partner is the right one.
So all the red flags and slow down signs are right there in front of you yet you fool yourself into thinking that this is the right person when everything points for you to take the nearest exit. He or she may look good on the outside but if they don’t know how to manage finances, if they choose to be unreasonable during arguments, if they don’t understand that life is not all about them, if they are manipulative and controlling or otherwise always trying to get you to do things with them that you would not otherwise do, they are going to bring you down. If you just use a little bit of your brain, you can pretty much figure out if someone is going to be good for you and if all signs point to the door, then by all means let them go.
6. Thinking you’re above criticism.
Two things are certain in this world: If you do wrong, you will certainly be criticized. If you do good, you will be criticized double. Stop getting mad when people say things about you that aren’t necessarily good or when people judge your work or your achievements. You are not above criticism. People are free to express their opinions about anything including you and what you do. If you’re do wrong, be humble enough to change your ways. If you do good, be strong enough to keep on doing it better. If anything, you keep giving them something to talk about.
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt