It is truly maddening for me to see people not living up to their potential. I want to shake them, and help them break free from whatever it is that’s holding them back and causing them to waste the beautiful life they have. It’s not like I believe that everyone should be doing the things I’m doing– definitely not. Not everyone’s passion lies in entrepreneurialism, fitness or the written word. But when I see unhappy people, people who complain that their life isn’t where they want it, I want to scream “You are wasting your life!” Because you my friend, are the only person with the power to change your circumstances.
And while yes, it’s all sweetness and butterflies to say things like “no regrets” and that you aren’t wasting time because you’re where you need to be– it’s also kind of bullshit. There are circumstances we can’t control and then there are ones we can. If you aren’t changing the ones you can– you’re wasting time.
6 Ways You are Wasting Your Life
Nothing good ever comes out of a negative mindset and nothing good ever comes out of complaining. Negativity breeds negativity until it consumes the practitioner. When you live in a negative space everything is harder. Then you complain because everything is so much harder for you. Even if some people flock to you (because let’s admit sometimes bitching together is just plain fun) they will eventually get tired of your crap when they’re ready to move on.
Being negative takes a solid amount of energy but you know what takes even more energy? Getting out of the negative space once you’re in it. It is SO hard to see the sunshine when you’ve been living in a rain cloud.
Take your life back: Stop using words like, “I can’t,” “I’ll never” and generally negative absolute statements like, “I’ve given up on dating” and “There aren’t any good jobs out there.” Start finding things to be grateful for, even if they are tiny. Even if they are for basic, everyday functions like breathing. Stop focusing on the shitty side of things and seek out the silver lining.
Not living in the moment
“If you have one foot in yesterday, and one foot in tomorrow- you’re pissing all over today.” ~Michael J. Fox
I see a lot of people who seem to be going through life waiting for something better than what they’ve got going on now. They tell themselves when they find a meaningful career or get that job that pays more, life will be great. They tell themselves when their body looks the way they want it, life will be better. When they finish school, get that new car, meet that significant other– that’s when life will be good. Everyone wants to fast forward to the good stuff. But when will they realize that this is the good stuff?
Take your life back: Every moment of every day is an opportunity to be happy. You get to decide how you react and respond to situations, and if you’re unhappy? You’re the one who got yourself there, but I can guarantee the key to turning it around doesn’t lie at the other end of the “when I get/have/achieve” rainbow. It has to start before that. You have to accept and find gratitude for where you are right now. That’s the only way you’ll appreciate it when you actually reach your goals.
With basically every human on the planet documenting their every move (or just the “pretty” ones) it is tough not to compare ourselves. It’s hard enough seeing people in your everyday life doing things perhaps you wish you were– starting a business, getting married, having babies, getting super fit, buying a new car, landing their dream job and traveling to exotic locations. But also having it spattered on you from massive amounts of strangers can feel especially discouraging. The truth is, the more you focus on what others are doing, the more you are wasting your life.
Take your life back: You have to stop. You have to believe that as long as you are doing your best, and moving forward then you are on the right path. You will achieve your goals with hard work and tenacity. It is such a waste of time to think of what other people have and you don’t. It’s such a waste of energy to focus on that, rather than yourself. Stop the comparison, because when you are truly happy with where you are at– none of it will matter anyway.
Spending money on the wrong things
My car is a 2007 Toyota Corolla S that I purchased in November of 2006. That’s right. I am an ambitious, motivated, sometimes glamorous, independent female entrepreneur that drives a 10-year-old Toyota. You know why? Because I don’t care. I don’t need to dump a bunch of money into a status symbol that I will barely drive.
They say that money doesn’t buy happiness, but having been all over the spectrum myself; I can tell you that it can certainly buy you less stress when you reach the point where your bills are steadily being paid. After that, what you choose to spend your money on can certainly buy you levels of fulfillment, or it can just widen the void you’re trying to fill.
Things. Stuff. Possessions. The happiness they bring tend to be short lived. You are wasting your life if all you’re focused on is buying shit.
Take your life back: You know what you’ll never regret spending your money on? Experiences. Whether you are traveling somewhere or just going on a local hike, the memories will never die. Making friends in other countries, trying new things, spending quality time with the people you love– these are all worth far more than the price you pay for them.
Being with someone unsupportive
There’s nothing like mustering up the belief in yourself, only to have the person who is supposed to be your life teammate try and snuff it out. It’s bad enough when your friends and family don’t believe in you, or think you’re crazy, but your significant other is another story. Why are they there? Because it’s comfortable? Because it’s easier than the alternative? Because you’re afraid to be alone or deal with finances by yourself?
Take your life back: Look, it’s always complicated. It’s always messy. But, if this person can’t be supportive of you on a very basic level, then what true positivity are they bringing to your life? Break free. This is one of those things that will suck so hard at first but in the end, you’ll be so glad you did. Being with someone who makes you unhappy is the epitome of wasting your life.
Not having a passion
Seriously what are you doing? Is there really nothing you love? Are you really spending your life dreading Mondays and living for Fridays? Having a purpose is the very point of life, and it’s up to you to find it. Don’t settle for just good enough, find what you love and dive in. I’m not telling you to quit your job and pursue a career in stamp collecting. But if you LOVE stamp collecting, you should be doing more of it.
Take your life back: Find what you love. What feeds your soul. Find your purpose. Do more of it.
Are you wasting your life?
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