“We’re just wasting time, let the hours roll by doing nothing for the fun!” – Dave Matthews Band
Someday I’ll spend an entire post going through all of the things that all human beings share with each other, whether they are movie stars, sport stars, or what have you. This one, actually, even plants, animals or hell even aliens share with us!
It’s time. We all have time. 24 hours in a day (unless these aliens are in outer space as I think days go slower up yonder? I don’t think it’s worth fact checking).
Anyways, we as humans all share the same 24 hours of our day. 365 days a year unless it’s a leap year. And, other than that, the only difference would be how long we each happen to live for which if you can tell me the answer to that than I’m not sure anyone would really want to talk to you (there was some 2000’s TV show where a guy could see how long people would live and no one liked him).
So, let’s say we live to be 90 years old. A quick calculation from your freakishly intelligent friend will put that at 32,850 days (give or take), or to be even more legit, 788,400 hours. Just looking at those numbers right there and we start to think damn that’s a long ass time.
Anyone who has ever watched a Netflix series or worked an 18 hour shift knows just how fast we can blow through 24 of those 788,400 hours.
And that’s all fine and dandy. Today isn’t about explaining that we shouldn’t spend a day binging a Netflix series instead of working hard. If we enjoy that, than go ahead. Life is a ride and it’s not fun if we don’t enjoy it! Today is also not about saying that we shouldn’t work 18 hours to achieve success and make the money we need to have the life we want. If we need to work those hours and don’t hate it, than go ahead. That’s our choice and I’ll be damned if I say anything different.
But, today is about wasting time. Wasting multiple days. Wasting months. Wasting years. Doing what you ask?
- Staying in bad relationships
- Procrastinating on our goals
- Not exploring the world
- Not becoming the best version of ourselves
- Not loving one another
- Not doing what we want to do with ourselves
Now, there is a fine line between relaxing on a day and actually wasting a day. Let’s attack this with a question.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Ahh, the beloved interview question. We all have a good answer for this one since we’ve probably been asked it or asked ourselves more than once. Let’s think about it.
I see myself still working as an accountant somewhere in the United States, writing for a blog or maybe even a novel, playing open mic nights or shows during the week, loving a beautiful girlfriend, and more than anything enjoying life.
Here’s the real kicker and one that most interviewers won’t ask us.
What are we doing daily to get there?
Damn, I don’t know?! Yesterday I ate a whole box of cookies and threw crab apples at the neighbor’s truck because they keep giving me a toothbrush on Halloween. Today I’m probably going to spend 45 minutes trying to figure out what new show I want to watch and then picking that same one I’ve already seen 3 times.
It’s ridiculous, but:
Most of us spend our entire lives sitting around waiting for something to happen that may never happen.
We do this and we say “Everything will work out in the end” or “I believe that everything happens for a reason”.
Whether this is true or not doesn’t change the fact that nothing in our lives is going to change unless we change or unless we decide to make it change.
Society has built into our heads that we have a sort of grace period when trying to figure out what we want to do with our lives. We’re given those teenager years from 14-19 when we can be reckless and stupid. We’re given those early adult years from 20-29 where we can still go out, make bad decisions and chalk it up to us still finding ourselves. Even at 30,40,50, we can find an article or read a blog post on how “such and such an age is the new 20”.
The fact is, it’s not!
It’s not okay to stay in a relationship that’s convenient when we know it is never going to develop into what we want.
It’s not okay to decide we want to exercise more or read more and then simply put it off for our comfort tasks.
It’s not okay to stay at a job that we hate because we think it looks good on our resume and will open doors for the future.
It’s not okay to continue making those bad choices over and over again because they’re what we know how to do and it’s easy.
We’ve all heard of mid-life crises and, even scarier, we’ve already heard that they can happen sooner at age 30 or 25. It happens when we wake up and see that we’re not moving in the direction we want to go. It happens when our life is on a collision course with defeat and we’ve lost control of the wheel.
Think about it this way.
We’re driving in a car down the road and up ahead the bridge has been broken down. For miles, we’ve seen sign after sign telling us to turn around because the bridge is broken, but we’ve been wasting time and haven’t paid attention. Then suddenly, we see the bridge and try to turn around but it’s too late.
Such is a life where we waste day after day instead of focus on what we really want and where we want to go.
Here are a few ways we can avoid wasting our time away:
- Start by finding who we are
The trick is to really explore ourselves. Our desires, our needs, ours wants, and focus on making choices that can work towards those every day. Picture the version of yourself that you want to be and determine what it is about yourself that needs to change to become that person. Maybe we want to be a better public speaker or maybe we want to have more confidence around those of the opposite sex?
Once we determine what it is we want to change, figuring out how to change it is a couple books or internet searches away.
- Do things that scare us
Eleanor Roosevelt once said “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Often, it turns out that the things that scare us also happen to be the most exciting when we actually do them.
Think about skydiving. You are literally paying a good chunk of changes to plummet out of the sky, all for a good “rush”. And why is it such a rush? Because it’s scary!
Breaking out of our comfort zone is the most freeing activity we can do and, subsequently, is the only way we will ever change who we are and where our life is going to go.
- Avoid old things and try new things
I have to admit I’m guilty of this one. I tend to watch my same TV shows over and over again instead of exploring new ones. Then one day, Tony Robbins brought up that exact act and said “Get a f*ckin life”! I laughed and was like damn he’s right!
What more does something we’ve already experienced have to provide to our life? Do something different! It can change our thought process on everything!
- Remind ourselves that we control our destiny
To make a negative point here, the trajectory of our life is totally under our control so if rock bottom ever smacks us in the face, we have to chalk it up to the decisions we’ve made throughout our life.
See the sign posts up ahead and envision where our life is taking us before we get there. Otherwise, we may be disappointed with the result.
I’ve attached one of my favorite TED talks below which discusses this same subject. Please enjoy!