“Live as intensely as possible! Burn your candle of life from both sides! Burn it so hard… even if it runs out in a second, it’ll still be fine! At least you will know what it consists of, since only the intensity penetrates deeply.
Make your life as intense as possible. Put everything into play. Why bother? Why worry about the future? There is this moment! Involve the totality of your existence in it! “Osho
I recently read an interesting blog post by Steve Pavlina, one of the most famous bloggers in the world on the subject of personal growth and development.
The article provides a simple and immediate perspective to help us understand what our priorities in life are.
Let’s see how.
The premise is that throughout our day we inevitably use our time in a variety of different activities.
Some of these take us only a short time, like 15 or 30 minutes.
However, over the course of a year or more, these small chunks of time can represent quite a considerable amount of time.
For example, considering a typical 8-hour working day, dedicating yourself to an activity for 15 minutes every day for the duration of 5 years means that during those 5 years we will have dedicated 57 full working days to that activity.
It’s not cheap, isn’t it?
Another example: if you spend 30 minutes a day replying to emails, this will mean that over the course of a year you will have spent the equivalent of 23 working days responding to emails.
And it’s not hard to spend 30 minutes a day answering emails, right?
And then it’s time to ask yourself: do you really want to spend the equivalent of several years of your life answering emails? Or to check Facebook? Or watching TV?
Looking at the way you manage your time from a long-term perspective can give you a big hand in making your decisions every day.
Losing 15 minutes here and there may seem like a trivial thing, but if this becomes a habit that you apply to various activities that are useless or have little added value, not fun or stimulating at all, this means that every day you contribute to waste your time and, with it, your life.
Invest Your Time
What do you want to dedicate your life to? What do you like? What excites you? What makes you feel alive?
If you consider in the long term how much time you spend on certain activities each day, you should start wondering if it is really worth investing considerable chunks of your life in such activities.
For each activity you do on a regular basis, imagine adding up the time you will spend on it over the next 50 years.
Do you really want to sacrifice a decade of your life to passively watch TV?
Do you think it is a wise investment of your time?
Do you really want to spend years of your life checking Facebook?
Instead, think about spending 30 minutes a week talking to a friend or relative.
Over the course of ten years, you will have invested a considerable amount of time in such conversations.
Which of your relationships are worthy of that investment? Which are not?
Cut what is useless
What is it in your life that brings you absolutely no benefit? What is it that doesn’t make you feel good?
What is it that doesn’t make you feel alive? What is useless for you?
We have seen how even small activities over the course of a lifetime take up so much of our precious time, so start eliminating what is of no value to your life.
What TV shows can you avoid watching? What blogs or websites do you keep looking at but actually offer you very little?
What relationships should you let go of?
What Really Matters to You?
Once you have made it clear to yourself which activities are clearly a waste of time in your life, it is time to ask yourself, “Which activities are really worth my precious time?”
If I had to think of activities that, adding up the time spent, I would carry out for whole years, these would be: traveling, reading, writing, enriching my relationships with interesting people, learning new languages, dedicating myself to the most needy, studying martial arts and working on projects able to fully involve me.
This is what I like, this is what excites me and makes me feel good. This is what really matters to me.
Try to make a similar list yourself, define what really matters to you.
You are the only person responsible for creating your life.
Only you can create the life of your dreams.
If you don’t like the direction you are turning your time in, only you can decide to change course.
Start saying no to activities that you clearly think are a waste of time in your life.
Replace them with activities that really matter to you.
Turn off the TV and open the books you’ve always wanted to read.
Close Facebook and spend a month on the road.
Get up an hour earlier in the morning and invest that time in a pleasant hobby.
If you don’t like it, quit your office job and pursue your dream job.
Do not let it be written on your tombstone:
“Here lies John, who passed away one fine day
while replying to an email.
No friends, children, or loved ones
he could keep John from working late.
With every new email, he worked like crazy,
clicking “Reply” instead of “Cancel”.
A prompt reply always gave,
but somehow he forgot to live. “
Fill your life with activities that you really care about. Don’t be an unwitting automaton.
Create a great life.