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We only get one life, and no one knows how long it will last and yet we waste so much of our precious time.
Wasting time is something I am absolutely guilty of.
Basically, for my entire 20s, I had no idea what I was doing. I was totally clueless: no goals, no ambitions.
I had a job as a flight attendant, which allowed me to travel, and I didn’t have any real hobbies at the time. I had no structure or routine in my life—no future vision.
Life has so many distractions, and we can easily end up being completely disconnected from ourselves. It is just too easy to exist, rather than actually live.
Here are five things we must stop doing immediately because they are a waste of our time.
And time is limited. Time is the most precious thing we have.
We must chase our dreams and stop talking about it. What are you waiting for?
1. Stop living life haphazardly.
If you don’t know where you’re going, you will never get far.
Create a vision in order to move to where you want to be. If having a relationship is your ultimate goal, then stop crying over the people with whom it didn’t work out.
If making more money is your goal, then stop wasting time complaining about your current job. Look for another one. Learn new skills, change careers—do whatever—but have a damn plan.
If your goal is to become healthier, start today. You know what you need to do: eat healthy, exercise, don’t drink, smoke, or take drugs. Identify your goals.
2. Stop seeing all the potential in other people and other situations.
Start focusing on what actually is. Facing reality will make growth easier and help us to let go and prevent unnecessary negative emotions.
Stop thinking about what could be and simple wishful thinking. This is the opposite of reality. Why waste any more time thinking about what isn’t instead of what is?
I understand why we don’t want that cancer diagnosis, that breakup, to be fired, or anything that makes us uncomfortable. But the truth is it will all get easier if we practice resilience and learn to accept situations for what they are.
Some people are assholes, I agree. But do you have time to waste on them? I sure don’t. And you should not either.
3. Stop the talking and just do it.
So many times people have told me “Oh, you’re a flight attendant, I have always wanted to become a flight attendant.” Well, have you sent out an application? Have you ever tried? Most of the time the answer is no.
Don’t tell me you have always wanted to do something if you have never even tried.
That is a waste of time. Your time.
What is the point of thinking about something that you never actually had the intention of doing?
If you live in this so-called first world like me, your opportunities are unlimited. And when I say unlimited, I mean unlimited.
My father grew up in an SOS children’s village.
There were no available parents, no love in the home, no opportunity for a college degree, no possible inheritance. Nothing.
My father married at a young age. He had two children and worked several jobs at the same time. He was essentially trying to make ends meet. He went through a bloody divorce, remarried, had two more children, went bankrupt, and lost everything. Guess what he did?
He started a new company at the age of 50, which now employs over 100 people. It is never too late to start something new. Never. The only thing you really are too old for at this point in your life is not having a plan.
Instead of concentrating on why something can’t work, concentrate on why it can and will work.
Yes, competition can be great, but be better. Come up with a plan and focus.
4. Stop wasting time repeating the same patterns over and over again.
If quitting is a pattern and you continuously fail to establish a routine, it is time to realize that change is unavoidable.
If for whatever reason, you cannot get yourself together to get things started or done, that might be a sign of an existing mental health issue. Get some help. There might be underlying issues that you have no control over with your conscious mind because the subconscious is navigating. Unless you address the underlying issues, nothing will ever get you to where you dream of being.
And that is exactly what I mean when I tell you that your opportunities in this world are unlimited. Even if your start isn’t the best, there is a lot of help and support systems in order to get to your best, but you have to accept or seek help.
Sometimes, daily life and media saturation can be overwhelming, especially since good news is rarely broadcasted these days. It might be helpful to take a break from media if you struggle to figure out what you really want. Negativity and stress have never helped anyone become successful.
5. Stop thinking about what other people think of you.
Whether it’s beauty standards, social expectations, our parents’ visions of what our lives should look like, I simply don’t give a f*ck. I don’t care if my boundaries are hurting other people anymore.
I have learned that I am not responsible for other people’s emotions.
If other people’s opinions of you matter more to you than your own opinion about you, there is a problem.
If you don’t fix that, you will forever have a serious problem that will keep you from being truly successful. And by success, I don’t mean a stable career, a marriage, or motherhood. I am referring to being content with your overall situation.
When I look toward my future with ambition, confidence, and boundless energy, I am pleasantly worried that I will not be able to fit it all in one lifetime.
We will never know when our lives will be over.
One thing we do know when our life comes to its end is that our opportunities will die as well.
According to one of my favorite books, Bronnie Ware’s, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, the number one regret is:
“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
So what the f*ck are we waiting for?