Do you spend more time doing things you have to do and less time doing what you want to do? It’s time to reprioritize your life, to take some time to waste some time. What do I mean?
Schedule four hours to sit under a tree or in some quiet, peaceful place, and do nothing. If you just said, “I don’t have four hours to sit under a tree” you really need to do this exercise!
Don’t take your phone, tablet, computer or book. Quiet the noise, focus on nothing, do nothing, just listen. And if you just said, “I can’t sit still that long,” keep reading because I address that in a minute! When you listen to your life, it will tell you the changes to make to be happier.
There are two approaches you could use to reprioritize your life:
- systematically analyze every facet of your life (sounds like work)
- shutdown, quiet the noise and let the answers come to you (peaceful choice)
When you quiet that competing noise, the answers you’re searching for will be heard loud and clear. If you’re not convinced your life talks to you, where do you think the messages ‘don’t eat that’ and ‘why am I standing here looking at the food in my refrigerator’ come from?
Finding four hours may seem tough, but it’s worth it. You’ll end up determining if the stuff you’ve crammed your life full of is the stuff that will make you happy or not! How cool is that!
Don’t be afraid to slow down, knowing you’ll hear the messages. If the messages are disappointing or painful, use them as a motivator to change. Pain is there for a reason; it’s there to help you, and it’s telling you something is wrong. So change something!
The first step to change what’s wrong is to face the pain, understand it, and then decide what, when and how to change. In the movie I Am Not Your Negro, James Baldwin said, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
One last thing, change the narrative that being super busy is cool. People brag about how busy they are and wear it like a badge of honor, implying that staying busy equates to being important and significant. Sometimes busy only equates to busy. Don’t confuse activity for progress, especially if staying busy all the time is not making you happy.
“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” – Socrates
Life is going faster and faster all on its own. Don’t be a victim of it; control the pace and activities of your life by consciously choosing them based on messages you hear while quiet.
Take some time to waste some time.
- You don’t have to do it every week, or even every month
- Do it the next time your life seems out of control and chaotic
- If four hours seems too long, try two hours, or an hour, or 15 minutes
If your brain resists slowing down the first time you try, keep at it and try a second and third time. Eventually, it will slow down enough, and the messages will clearly reveal how to increase joy and happiness and create the life you always knew was possible.
You’re in charge – it’s your life – take it back!