Sunday nights for many, including myself had become some what ritualistic. Sat up at night either worrying about uni deadlines or what I had to get through at work that week. Now my nights are completely different. Have I got my content done for the week for my own social media? Have I planned out everything I need to complete all the tasks for my clients for the week. Have I set my alarms to remind me of when to post things (otherwise, I’ll just forget). And then the major underlying question I asked myself a lot, is what I have done good enough? Or more truthfully, am I good enough?
When I worked at my last job, there had been many times where I’d bail on plans with friends and cancel going to the gym which was part of my routine so that I could stay in and catch up on work, to regain a little control which I didn’t actually gain anything from (or get paid for it), but it just made me feel better so I could start a fresh day the morning after.
We’re living in a world that’s incredibly demanding, with our attention constantly being pulled at by other people, work, to-do lists and sometimes it feels that life is a little too much to keep up with. Sometimes it feels like running on a treadmill that’s just getting faster and faster and you just can’t keep up and then you end up tripping and falling and looking like an absolute weapon. So, you keep running and running so you don’t fall over until you can’t breathe anymore and it all just gets a little bit much. One way of looking at it is, it all comes down to comparison. We wouldn’t criticise ourselves so harshly if we didn’t look at how other people are living their life. The definition of success is different for everyone and there really is no time limit.
Time is a precious thing, we all know that. And if you’re anything like me, I’m just impatient. While I don’t believe we should waste time, I do believe we shouldn’t become obsessed with it (I’m so guilty of doing this, I’ll explain more in a minute). Time is more important than money. The obsession of time has become a disease for the new breed of high achievers. All this motivational content we can now consume online can make us feel like we have to achieve so much more than we really do. In the past, before I changed my mindset, our life feels like a race because we look at what everyone else is doing, then, we get into a cycle of comparing what they’ve achieved to what we’ve achieved and our results. I used to look at my friends and think they’re married, they own a house, they have kids, they’ve got their dream job, etc etc. I remember laying awake one night doing exactly this and then I thought, who says that this is what success even looks like? Why do we put a timeline on when or why we need to do all these things? All of our success is different and that’s a life lesson I’ll take forward as it’s so important to remember.
I remember having a conversation with a friend once and she always had to be certain about certain aspects of her life. Marriage, kids, owning a home, holidays etc. I thought back to this the other day and realised that it’s impossible to guarantee anything in life. You have to be prepared for everything, the good, the bad, and the ugly. So off the back of this, if you have no certainty, how does that affect how we think about time? Well, the race we think of as life is really just a myth. When you think you’re falling behind because of whatever reason, you will catch up and profess miles infront of where you thought you would be. There will always be moments of massive momentum and incredible failure, but that’s life. It’s all gravy.
We’re always chasing the next best thing because we think that’s what we want. When we finally get it, sometimes we want the complete opposite. It becomes very easy to be obsessed over something you don’t have. Resonates with you, right? One thing I’ve learnt is that your wants will change and so will the timeline. Embrace not knowing what’s going to happen and find the fun in that. I had a thought the other day that if days right now can be so good, how exciting is it that the best days of your life haven’t even happened yet. Life is going to throw things at you and that’s what makes it worth living.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is that you are racing ahead trying to win a race that doesn’t really exist. So, it’s probably time we slowed down a little. By slowing down, we can enjoy where we are right now, and be in the present. We can then be happy with all the things we have accomplished rather than dwelling on what we think we should already have achieved or have in our life. By realising that everything isn’t certain, we’ve become open to whatever life throws at us and we’re equipped to deal with the different situations life is going to throw at us. Success isn’t a race and maybe ask yourself the important question, what does success mean to you?