Do you know why you’re stressed out? A lot of us would say it’s because we have too much on our plates. But how did all that stuff that you have to do get there in the first place? Did someone put it all there when we weren’t looking? Is it all stuff that we’re destined to overcome to achieve our destinies? Or are we simply the ones at fault for making our lives harder than they need to be?
Once upon a time, we had all the time in the day to explore and enjoy the world — it was called childhood. Now, we find that there isn’t enough time for everything — we’ve looked at different methods of prioritizing things to make sure we get things done; we’ve looked at how we can go about cutting things out of our lives to try and restore a sense of balance. But those are just says to handle the symptoms of the real problems that’re afoot — our tendency to bite off more than we can chew. We use up a ton of our time to get more money, more gadgets and more things that do more, all at the cost of having less free time.
Some people say that they thrive and succeed from being busy. The adrenaline from accomplishments that take every waking hour to achieve. The feeling of ousting opponents knowing that you’ve used every iota of effort to gain greatness.
But is this the only way?
We idolize the rich and the famous — many of them have got that way because of business, the very art of being busy. But it’s this very mindset that ages us prematurely. That gives us health complications. That makes it seem like we have a never-ending list of tasks from which we’ll never come out on top!
It’s a lot to ask, but the only way to truly succeed and come out ahead in this world is to seek balance. Constantly trying to conquer the next goal will only yield more goals. Trying to please everybody will only ensure that you never have any free time. Trying to fill all those empty spots in your schedule with interesting things to do will only use up your time, money and energy.
No — the solution you’re seeking is far more fundamental:
1: Learn to Say “No”
Personally, I’m no good at this. We can’t possibly do everything, yet we’re obsessed with trying. You need to be able to tell when you can’t or don’t want to do something, and be strong enough to tell that to whoever’s asking it of you. It won’t always be easy, but I’m sure that if the person cares enough for your well-being, they’d rather have you around long enough to be able to do other things in the future than to burn yourself out trying to do everything now. (And if they don’t care at all for your well-being, perhaps you should consider having different people around you!) Life is a marathon, not a short sprint — keep this in mind the next time unreasonable deadlines and impossible tasks loom over your head.
2: You’ve Got the Wrong Stuff
Not only do we have too much stuff that clouds our outlooks on what we need to do in life and our direction; we have so much stuff that we incorrectly value in the first place that we trick ourselves into feeling busy when we shouldn’t.
We need to get rid of our reliance on material goods and get back to simply enjoying ourselves and the world around us so that we can stop always trying to get new things to restore the feelings of peace and happiness we constantly seek. Things don’t mould our emotions — it’s our attitudes toward them that make all the difference!
3: Do it Right the FIRST Time
Most importantly, we need to go into any new situation remembering these first two tips. The thing that keeps us busier than anything else is our failure to learn lessons, returning to old behaviours and never allowing ourselves to evolve and advance in life.
By changing the way we choose to approach our lives, we’ll often do a better job of finding whatever it is that we’re looking for.
So happy hunting, my friends — I hope that you take the time to think about all those things that always keep you running around and find a way to get them out of your hair and out of your life.
–Casey E. Palmer