5 Tips To Stop Wasting Your Life
Tick tock. Every day, we are one day closer to death. When we really grasp this idea, life becomes more valuable.
Our life consists of each present moment. Our time and energy are our source of power, and can only be used in this present moment. It is an honor and sacred privilege for me to enter your mind at this very moment, because you are choosing to use your most valuable resource with me.
We spend our life by paying attention
What are you paying attention to and how important is it? How do you spend your time on a daily basis? Some things may include:
- Investing in yourself (exercise, meditation, etc.)
- Worrying about the future or dwelling on the past
- Taking care of material things
- Family relationships
- Service to others
- Social media
- I have no idea where I spend a lot of my time
The problem with many of us is that our brain is so good at keeping us on autopilot that we barely have to think about our daily activities, and when we do think, it’s usually about stress or fear of something in the future.
I’m not here to judge about how you’re using your time. It’s none of my business. What I am requesting is that you think about it. Once we use it, we can never get it back, and after the clock runs out, we’re done.
Here are some things that have helped me realize where I have been wasting time, and how I can use it more effectively.
How often do we spend the present moment worrying about the future? It’s almost like we think this present moment isn’t as good as the one that’s going to happen in the future. I call that destination addiction. “I’ll be happy when…”
The truth is, all we ever have is right now. It is our only place of power. Are we choosing to pay attention to the present moment? When we do, we become more efficient in our lives and find an amazing amount of peace.
The only way we can affect our future is by what we do here and now. With every present moment, are we moving closer or further away from our intended goal?
Who are you, really? What is your identity? Do you get your identity from your belongings, your job, your bank account, your relationships, your ego?
Learning to be self-aware allows you to create a space of power. It’s where you learn what’s really important to you. The way to create the space of awareness is by being present.
Being aware also includes looking at everything with fresh eyes, and not taking everything for granted. When was the last time you stopped to just feel the flow of your breath, the design of a flower, or the warmth of the sun on your skin?
Whenever a thought or emotion arises, we can choose what to do with it in the space of awareness. These should be our servants, and not our masters.
Because our brain is so good at making us efficient, we spend a lot of time on autopilot. Much of this is good. Some does not serve. Learning to be intentional improves the decisions that we make.
Part of being intentional is understanding our motives as well. If we’re binge-watching Netflix and eating ice cream out of the bucket as an escape of something important we know we should be doing, we may be intentionally escaping, but sacrificing the great for the good (or not so good, depending on what you’re watching and the flavor of ice cream).
Keeping our eye on our ‘big intention’ allows us to focus our time on the outcomes that will provide results versus tasks that keep us busy and make us feel important.
Come from a place of love
Most of us waste a lot of time in fear, worry and anxiety. We give up perfect present moments worrying about a stressful, negative future that most likely will never come to pass.
The antithesis of fear is love. Love has us lean in when fear makes us shudder away. Since fear is all based on the future, and is made up, why not come from a place of love and make great use of your imagination?
Coming from a place of love is also good for the body, as it releases oxytocin into our system. Fear, worry, and stress release cortisol, and in high doses is bad for our immune system.
When we attach to things, we give our time and energy to them by paying attention to them. When I say ‘attach to things’, I don’t just mean material things. Some of the biggest life-sucking things we can attach to include our opinions (and defending them), our expectations (and fighting life and being miserable when things don’t work out the way we expected), and our thoughts and emotions that don’t serve.
A simple rule; if it empowers you and you are the master and not the servant, go ahead and attach. If not, let it go.
Time and Energy
The currency of our lives is time and energy. The only place it can be spent is in the present time. The more present we are, the more loving we are, and the more accepting of life as it shows up, will make the investment of each present moment worthwhile.
Take inventory of how your spending your time, and what you’re paying attention to, and see if there is value in readjusting your course based on these principles.