Not enough time to … Live?!

Tam Johnston

Have you ever found yourself hearing about other people’s hobbies, adventures and achievements and wishing that you could have and do the same? I recognise this feeling in myself from my past, and recall longing for the same amount of experiences and achievements that those other people were managing to fit into their lives. I was drawn to their sense of purpose in their day to day living and the excitement with which they described events and experiences in their lives and, was in awe of the energy in which they sought out their next adventure.

What do you believe?

Indochina+2_2101As a result, I found myself questioning, “What was it that they did or had that I did not?” The default and convenient answer had always been ‘time’. It was a plausible enough reason to keep me from having to examine my lifestyle closer and the possibility of having to give up my precious ‘down-time’ moments. Yet the fact that they seemed to manage it continued to nag me and my ‘down-time’ in front of the television started to feel less and less rewarding. Equally, my frustration at my disorganised time management skills amplified. The realisation struck that unless they had access to some hidden ‘time portal’ that I was unaware of, we shared the same amount of hours in any one day and we were all ‘human’!

So, what was the difference between them and I? Was it really as simple as the fact that they had more time or an inconceivably inhumane amount of energy? Driven on by this sense of wanting more excitement in my life, I started casually counting the amount of spare hours I had that I could use for hobbies and new experiences. As a gut feeling nagged at me more and more insistently, I begrudgingly realised that to gain what I recognised others had, I had to take a good hard look in the mirror and take note of my guts’ need to be heard.

Undiscovered talents

I could no longer ignore the well justified ‘down-time’ hours I spent watching mindless television, perusing social media and staring vacantly into space on the tube, lost in the ramblings of my mind. Don’t get me wrong, in my world these are all perfectly good pastimes, and I’m also very well practised and good at them all if I do say so myself! Staring vacantly into space is a particular talent of mine and I’m proud of my sheer focus and determination as I carry it out so brilliantly… although fortunately it is a rare indulgence now-a-days! “BUT…” nagged my gut back then, “was it REALLY the most productive use of my time and energy. What was I getting out of it?”

Not being one who responds overly well to nagging, I found myself rebelling against myself like a stubborn teenager. “It brings me relaxation,” I argued (with myself!)… “and head space for thinking”. My gut however, was much wiser than my rebellious self and patiently persisted until I relented and the longings to pursue my ambitions of new hobbies became increasingly painful. Cue a’ long hard look in the mirror’.

The wise ‘self’ in all of us

The change came by asking myself one simple question. “What advice would I give myself now from a position of looking back at myself from the latter years of my life?”

In that moment I realised my biggest regret would be not ‘experiencing’ more if I carried on with the same habitual patterns that I was living by today. As looked back on my near completed life empty of the experiences I wished for my gut wrenched at me again.

Finding amusement and interest in being my older self and the perspective it brought, I asked more questions of myself.

Would I regret not watching more television before my life was near its end? No!

Would I regret not spending more time on social media or indulging the ramblings in my head? Er… no!

Are there ways available to me to create time and opportunities for the experiences I sought after? Yes!

Can I do it without losing out on what I gain from my ‘down-time’? Yes!

What can I do right now to take the first step…?

I write this at least 2 years later so suffice to say that ‘first step’ was the first of a very long, exciting pathway to new experiences, productivity, living the life I want and more constructive brain ramblings to accompany it!

Everyone’s advice for themselves will be different of course, and I have had plenty of profound realisations by frequently revisiting my future self.  I like her; she’s much wiser than me and my gut [instinct] already seems to be on her wave-length!  Between the two of them, I have my own personal advisory team!

More to explore….

So for some of us it is merely a believe we hold that we don’t have enough time for…. whatever we seek. This can also be linked in with our values, priorities, motivation, conflicting outcomes, direction in life and beliefs about ourselves.

Yet simply by challenging that belief within yourself, you may well find it changes…. and with it your life.

Go, seek your wise self!

So, right now, based upon the belief that you don’t have enough time, I’d invite you to consider this….

  • Go to when you are in the final years of life and become your older self. What advice would you give yourself to live the best life you possibly can, right now?
  • What would you regret if you carried on with the same habitual way of living?
  • And…. What has to happen for you to take that first step…
  • ….. and can you, right now?!

 Get to know your future self, they know what’s best for you! You DO have all the time you need to live. If you aren’t currently feeling fulfilled with how you are spending your time, trust your wiser self and make the change!

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