You’re being robbed. You’re being robbed of your time. You’re being robbed of your potential. You’re being robbed of money in your wallets. The perpetrator? Now get ready for this; most people don’t see this coming; the perpetrator is you! Yes, you are self sabotaging what you want in life. We all do it. But to overcome, we first need to recognize them.
Some say that people want lots of money, a nice home, a nice car, nice furniture, a pool, and a ton of toys, be it a jet ski or motorcycle. What I say is what people want is meaning in their lives. A partner to share with, someone to listen, dream, and achieve with, someone to go on adventures with, experience with, live, laugh, and love.
There are many out there that are just leaves in the wind. They have jobs, are able to sustain themselves, and simply live where life takes them. I know this sounds a bit corny, but that is most people. They are people who are trying to do the right thing, but end up being led by circumstances. Unfortunately, they perceive all of their circumstances as external, like the wind blowing a leaf. I also believe that even the most fulfilled and happy people at times drift into this pattern but become awaken and have the ability to shake themselves out of if.
I think built in the human condition is the ability to achieve. The ability to reach beyond even your own expectations and create, generate, and fulfill some type of goal, whether that be earning money on the side, starting our own business, getting in super physical shape, making a woodworking shop, or even learning to paint. So while blowing in the wind may bring you to some of these, you really do need to take conscious planning to make them happen. So this part is easy because there isn’t any of us who haven’t used the term, “I’d like to…”, “I wish I could…”, “Wouldn’t it be neat if…”. So the imagination part is easy. Then comes the sabotage.
So I’m going to share a few of the reasons why you are sabotaging yourself. The first being “perfection”. This is one of the worse. Perfection really could be called excuseitis. It’s at the heart of procrastination. In my case, it was always “Getting ready to get ready”. I needed everything perfect. If everything wasn’t perfect, I thought, then I could expect the worse. I might not get an expected outcome when contacting someone. I might fail. I might not have practiced something well enough. I might not have the answer if some questions me. I might get laughed at. Ahhg…. This is the Charlie Brown syndrome.
The reality of Charlie Brown is that while a few maladies did occur, generally Charlie had a good life, got to experience many adventures with his friends and companions. I’m also sure Charlie grew up to be a fine successful man. So the truth about perfection is you will never be perfect. In fact, you don’t have to be. If you are too polished in something, others take notice, and think to themselves, “I could never do that.” Achievement occurs not with perfection, but by doing; with action. Then based on those actions, adjust accordingly. Expect to have to make corrections. Learn to look forward to them. By doing that, you’ll know you are getting closer to achieving your ultimate goals you set out to do. Perfection is an illusion.
Next on the chopping block, “news and politics”. Oh man, this one’s kind of tough. Back 100 years ago, with what we call the news cycle, they tending to be pretty long. We didn’t have TV, satellites, and most people lived in rural areas where at the most, news was reported many days if not weeks after they occurred. Alas, today we have 2-3 news cycles daily. We have access to hundreds of sources of reported news and opinions. The latest trend has been manufactured news based on anonymous sources that in my mind, really end up being opinions disguised as news. But talk about firing everyone up; especially those on the polar extremes. One can spend hours and hours daily being the first to know something, that then can be used to counter an argument brought on by someone else. And on and on it goes.
But here’s the reality. Media corporations want to engage their readers and watchers. They are good at engagement. Sensationalism with a hint of scandal is typical of the day. And boy do they draw us all in. Can you imagine the number of collective hours spent a day by just those of us in the United States, spend chasing the story that will change everything? It might serve us better if we got a weekly summary of the news. Firstly, it would save us a ton of time. Secondly, the drama of our lives would certainly be less stressful. And thirdly, most of the white noise that occurs between real news events doesn’t serve you in any way. I’m not sure the best way to wean oneself from news addiction, but we first have to recognize that it is robbing us of time we could be doing other more life fulfilling things.
So by recognizing these thieves of our time and effort, we then can discuss priorities. You are a direct reflection of your priorities. If your TV is on 4-6 hours a day, it’s one of your priorities. If you surf the internet for hours upon hours a day, it’s one of your priorities. If your playing games on your Xbox for hours a day, it’s one of your priorities. I’m not saying you can’t enjoy some of these activities. You certainly have to unwind somehow, but you need to make sure that you inject a priority above these activities that betters your life, that moves you closer to some of your goals, that move you to a more meaningful life, that moves you more toward your family, and toward human interactions.
There are 168 hours in a week. You sleep around 50 of them. You have job responsibilities of up to 40 hours a week. There is no reason you can’t work on goals and things that better your life for 8-12 hours of the remaining 78 hours. You’ll still have 66 or so hours to do other things. It’s all just a matter of aligning your priorities with your goals and expectations. Have an awesome day.