So many of us live day to day in a constant state of overwhelm. We excuse it by saying, “Once I finish “blank”, I’ll be able to settle down a bit. Unfortunately, sometimes what we proudly and consciously spend our time on, becomes a complete waste when we look back in hindsight. I’ve always loved the quote, “Youth is wasted on the young.” I know when I look back to those days, I wish I’d had the maturity and the foresight to spend time on what matters to me today and let go of what was quite meaningless in the long run. I had so much to prove to so many who most likely weren’t even paying attention, never mind keeping score.
One could argue that what you spent your time on in your youth defined who you are today; “you reap what you sow”. And I do believe that for the most part that is true. But when you reach mid-life, you wonder how much of it got you to where you truly wanted to be, versus where you thought you ought to be. And then the reality of how much time you have left begins to sink in. You begin to realize it is crucial, now more than ever, to leave society’s constructs behind and do what matters, to you.
A crucial part of defining what matters, is defining what doesn’t. This is where a close scrutiny of time spent day to day begins to reveal your priorities, and this is where the disconnect becomes quickly and surprisingly apparent. How much are we doing out of habit, how much from obligation, how much from competition, pressure or otherwise unhealthy sources? Each brick you lay now, builds the path that leads you to your final resting place. If you remain on this course, will it lead you to where you want to end up? If someone were to ask you what truly matters, would you find yourself devoting any time whatsoever to those tenets on a day to day basis?
Reflection matters, especially in a day and age where we are constantly bombarded by messages and demands not of our choosing. Silence is one of the only places where you can gain true clarity. The other safe harbor is where you engage in the things that truly make your soul happy. It is upon arrival at both of those mental destinations that you start to realize true happiness as defined not by others, but by you. We will all have to cut out the things that don’t matter, little by little, if we are to be true to ourselves in the long run.