Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.
– John Lennon
Why do we run through life at the fastest pace possible? Why do we always look forward to the future? To that someday when we will have more time to do what we truly want.
We just need to keep working that dreaded job until we’ve saved up enough money. We just need to renovate the whole house to be happy. We just need to do this and that and when we’ve accomplished this and that, we can finally start living in the true sense of the word.
The problem is that someday never comes around. We keep struggling for just a little bit more. To save a few more dollars. To put up the wooden paneling in the dining room. To start that healthy habit when we have the time. We keep postponing someday until life is truly over.
Even if we do reach someday, it’s usually not all its cracked up to be. We are left with a feeling of “Is this it?” Deeply disappointed we wonder where we went wrong. It turns out that someday wasn’t all that glorious.
Instead, we need to accept that life is what’s happening now. That minute that just passed will never come back again. Did you spend it wisely? Life will not wait for you to start living, it passes by whether you’re ready or not.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can take charge of your own life and steer it in the direction you want to be going. It takes some soul searching and time to practice, but you can get there in the end. To live every day.
What are you waiting for?
Here are 3 things you need to stop doing.
Stop winging it!
Have a to-do list every day is something that I’ve discussed before. But I need to stress this again. The purpose of the to-do list is not to write down everything you need to. This will only lead to a too long list and you’ll feel overwhelmed already at the start of the day. No, the aim of the to-do list is to make you think about how you want to spend your day.
If you spend a few minutes in the morning thinking about what you want to accomplish during the day, you’re much more likely to be satisfied when you go to bed at night. Well, you might say, I have a boring job that I don’t want to go to. Fair enough, but that boring job is what gives you the means to do other things that you really want to be doing. Also, you can work towards replacing that boring job with a not so boring job.
Having a plan for the day gives you a sense of being in control of your life. It’s also important to be flexible and agile to adjust those plans depending on what happens during the day. There’s always going to be situations out of your control that you need to address.
Stop comparing yourself to others!
So your neighbor put up a new fence? Your friends are building a new house? Your brother bought a new car? Your sister is going on an all-inclusive trip to Greece? Comparing your life to the life of others will bring nothing but frustration. The perfect world you see on Instagram is an illusion. You are comparing your messy inside with their carefully narrated outside. That can only lead to no good. So just stop doing it!
Get clear on your own priorities instead. What’s important to you? Where do you want to spend your hard earned money? Have that goal clear in your mind when your friend shows you her new phone. Don’t let other peoples purchases lead you astray.
Stop waiting for someday!
Someday when I have the time I’m going to start painting. Someday I’m going to write that book. Someday I’m going to learn how to play the piano. That someday can be elusive. We wait for it but somehow it never comes along. Why wait?
There’s never going to be a better day to start learning the piano but today. Just start! Carve out a few minutes today for learning the piano. And then tomorrow, and the next day. Drip by drip. Little by little. The minutes add up and at the end of the year, you will have spent a few weeks learning the piano. Something that you could never have imagined finding the time for.
Of course, if you have many different things that you want to be doing, finding a few minutes for each one every day will add up to several hours. If you don’t have that time you need to prioritize. What’s most important? Second most important? And so on, until you have identified the key projects that you want to pursue. Forget about the rest. You cannot do it all because then you run the risk of nothing being accomplished at all. Stay focused!
What do you want to be doing? What motivates you? What are you waiting for?
Take the leap. Dare to jump. Get in control.
Learn to live every day.