Today you get to choose between living the life of your dreams, or continuing on with the life you are living. The choice is simple. You either start living your life differently or you don’t. You can choose to;
Stop rushing and start living
Most people fail in life because they major in minor things.
“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage to pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically- to say “no” to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside.”
Anyone who is pursuing Success on the Far Side of Fifty knows that we live in an extremely busy world and more people than ever feel stressed about it. Todays post called Stop rushing and start living gives you 5 questions to ask if you really want to improve the quality of your life.
It seems that, for most people, there are more things than ever that need to be done and most of those things have an urgency about them. There are Facebook posts and Tweets to read, movies to watch, friends to visit, laundry to do, taxes to file, and books to read. There are lawns that need mowing, weeds that need pulling, (or where I live there is now snow that needs shovelling and snow blowers to repair). Wow, no wonder life gets to be a hassle for so many people.
It is no wonder that people are run ragged with so little time to rest and even less time to do the things that really matter.
The reality is that even in today’s busy world there are still very few things that really HAVE to be done. 99% of what we think is important is actually an illusion. We put a hole lot of effort living up to other people’s expectations of us, but the majority of people get this part of life wrong. They spend much time on things that simply don’t matter much.
Although you have probably been focussing on the wrong things, you don’t have to conntinue to get it wrong. Through the use of strategic questions I have personally transformed my life. I have the time, and energy to work on the goals that matter to me, and I spend minimal effort on the things that don’t. I have changed and you can too.
Check out these shocking statistics;
- 50% of all marriages end in divorce,
- 69% of all North Americans are considered to be overweight or obese,
- 63% of North Americans don’t have enough money to cover a $500 emergency,
- Less than 45% of Americans will be able to afford essentials like housing, healthcare and food in their golden years,
- 45% of North Americans do not get enough sleep,
- 80% of North Americans do not get enough exercise,
- Social isolation is a growing concern, particularly among seniors,
- Lifestyle diseases such as depression, cancer, and coronary disease are continuing to rise.
Research also shows;
- The average North American watches over 5 hours of television per day,
- The average person spends 1 hour and 40 minutes per day on social media,
- The average North American eats out 5 times per week,
Do you have the right priorities?
Short version is that statistics prove that the majority of people are doing a poor job of optimizing their lives.
Making change is simple (but not easy)
If you truly want to change the quality of your life try answering the following questions;
What one thing could I work on today that would have the greatest impact on my quality of life, right now, and in the long run?
In order to lead a truly successful life you need to have balance across 5 domains. You need to have health, solid and loving relationships, purpose and passion, enjoyment and a certain measure of financial stability.
The mere act of thinking about this question will help you clarify the action that you need to take in order to enhance your quality of life.
Is what I am doing right now going to have a positive impact on my quality of life, now and in the future?
This is a question that I ask myself many times per day, and I suggest that you do.
This question identifies the gap between the actions that we should be taking and the actions we are taking. At some deep internal level we all know what is best for us, and failure to take action is at the heart of much discontent and unhappiness.
What is holding me back from doing the things that would have the greatest positive impact on my life.
Once again I believe that for most of us, the real barriers to living truly miraculous lives are within us.
At a very deep and primitive level there are two internal forces that keep us from moving toward our goals; fear and laziness.
Fear and laziness are not the weaknesses of character that most of us perceive them to be. These two emotions are deeply engrained survival strategies that have been passed down from generations of people since the beginning of time.
Fear is actually an awesome emotion that has kept us from doing dangerous things since the dawn of man. Doing silly and dangerous things was, for the most part, a poor survival strategy and the ancestors who did those silly and dangerous things simply did not have the opportunity to pass their genes along.
Surprisingly enough laziness is also a well engrained survival strategy. For most of the last 200,000 years our ancestors did not have the luxury of wasting resources so they got used to setting around and doing a whole lot of nothing.
The antidote for each of these two problems is the same;
We need to build the habit of recognising our own laziness and fear and then taking action anyway.
Mark Twain said it best when he said, “Do what you fear and the death of fear is certain.”
Will what I am doing now matter in six months?
In the movie Gladiator, Maximus (played by Russell Crowe) was quoted as saying;
“What we do in life, echoes in eternity.”
Many of us spend the best moments of our lives dealing with tiny matters. Things that don’t add up to a pinch of horse poop.
No one is served by our playing small, by being less that we should be, by doing less than we should do.
Don’t get me wrong, I think we all should do our share of the hard, dirty and inglorious work that comes with being alive, but we should intentionally set aside time to at least attempt the big, bold and scary things that really ad meaning and color to our lives.
Is there a way that I could eliminate, streamline, shorten or delegate this task?
I use this question often, particularly when faced with chores that I feel add limited value.
Overall I am always trying to optimise my use of time and energy.
As an example, on Sundays I organize all the clothing I will use for the week. I feel that this simple action saves me about 100 hours per year, time that I spend doing things that matter to me.
Overall this approach has saved me both time and money. In fact I use the same general approach to most things that I regularly do in my life. I develop systems for doing the things I have to do, then I work at enhancing those systems to be more effective and efficient.
Over the years I have found that the more systems I put in place in my life, the better results I get.
Our lives are precious, and time is short. We owe it to ourselves and the world around us to use our limited time as wisely as possible.
You can waste your time on television, social media and inconsequential tasks, or you could spend your time doing things that add value and impact to your life and the lives of those around you.For more ideas on how to use your time more effectively check out THIS post called Five quick and easy ways to save hours every day.
As always thank you for reading Success on the Far Side of Fifty. Please feel free to shoot me an email, leave a comment or sign up to get the blog delivered directly to your inbox.