Humans are supposedly the smartest beings on Earth but we are also inherently dumb.
Idiotic thoughts occupy our minds and rather than forcing them out of your head, you treat them as gospel and live by them. These thoughts are idiotic because they lack common sense and distort your sense of reality and waste your time.
The worst thing is you know these thoughts are a waste of your time yet they be controlled especially in the most pivotal moments of your life. The moments when you can move on from the hurt you experienced, or the moment when you finally figure out what to do with your life, these thoughts come back to haunt you.
How somebody hurt you in the past
It’s been 12 years and I still think about how abusive my last boyfriend was. He called me dumb and was verbally abusive in other ways. I’ve wasted so much time being angry at someone I haven’t seen in more than a decade. Actually, it’s not so much how angry I am at him but how angry I am at myself for not standing up to him.
We often spend so time hating that one person from our past that we never completely let ourselves move on from that hurt.
It’s a complete waste of your time to focus all your energy into this person especially if you haven’t seen them for more than a decade. You’re doing yourself a great injustice when you let past hurt dictate your current and future relationships. Love for someone else and yourself is what makes life worth living.
What you should or shouldn’t have said
I am horrible in social settings. I’m terribly awkward and not the most intelligible speaker when I’m in group settings. I definitely write better than I speak. I spend hours after an interaction or meeting analyzing what I should or shouldn’t have said.
Ugh! Thinking sucks.
Part of this comes from caring too much about what people think of me and that has to stop. Nobody goes home after a party thinking about what I said or didn’t say. They’re too busy thinking about how they made a fool of themselves with what they said or didn’t say.
What someone else said to you
I’m standing in line at a grocery store. One of my items wouldn’t ring in. My fault? No, but the guy behind me sure thought I was holding up the line. He said something like “Hurry up! You should move out of the way if you’re waiting for something.” I turned around and said something to him. I don’t remember what my retort was but I was angry. The clerk didn’t tell me to step aside so why should I?
That exchange put me in a bad mood the entire day.
And sometimes people are just like that. Whether it’s their horrible personality or if it’s an off day, sometimes people feel the need to take it out on the person closest to their earshot.
He was a complete stranger and I wasted an entire day thinking about him. He didn’t insult me as a person either. He was simply being a rude jerk.
We spend way too much time internalizing other people’s words. We take them personally when it isn’t personal. Sometimes, people are just jerks and they’re horrible to everyone.
Imagine how much of my life would be wasted if someone I actually knew decided to give me their criticism or ‘advice’ on how I should live my life?
Should one person’s opinion dictate how you choose to live your life? No. But sometimes you let it. If you think about why you’re not pursuing your hobbies, interests, or dream, is it because you don’t want to or is it because someone told you not to?
People are luckier/smarter/more talented than you’ll ever be
One huge life waster is downplaying your own talents and strengths and overestimating the natural talents of others. While there are some proven prodigies in the world, the majority of us have a regular brain.
While the role of luck and genetics can’t be ignored, we can’t underestimate the power of hard work either. We downplay our own talents and use luck as an excuse to avoid doing the work. If you can’t put in the work into something you want to do, then what are you doing?
Not every ounce of success comes from luck or natural talent. Most of your success comes from putting in the effort to realize it.
You’re too old to do this
Not a day goes by where I don’t think I’m too old to do something.
Replace this with “I’m too… anything” and you’re wasting your time here on Earth. Complacency is the most dangerous thing in life. If you become complacent, then you lose hope for a better life and without hope, what’s the point?
The life you live is the one you consciously created even if it’s no longer the life you want to live now. Something weird happens when you grow up — you stop believing you can change your life.
If you constantly think you’re too old, not experienced enough, not smart enough, not anything enough, you end up drowning in the life you built.
Nobody is meant to live a life they hate forever. Bad things can be changed and the terrible moments will pass. Maybe not right away but if you have the work ethic to make a change in yourself, the rest will follow.
I’ll do it when I retire/make $100K/learn how to do this first
My dad’s colleague retired about a year ago. She had worked at the company for a number of years and I can’t imagine it being a job she liked but I could be wrong. My dad works in a company that makes office furniture. Physical, and grueling work. Pure manual labour. She was diagnosed with cancer shortly after she retired and now she’s gone.
I’ve never met this coworker but if she was anything like my parents, she probably put things off. My parents are always putting things off like travelling and retiring. I imagine that this coworker has a lot of unfulfilled dreams that she was hoping to achieve after she retired. That’s usually the case with a majority of our world’s population.
While I don’t advocate quitting your job (you need money to survive after all), pursuing a side hustle, taking up a hobby, or travelling while you work a regular job is completely achievable.
Like Forrest Gump famously said, “My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” And it’s true. You can get something good inside like a dark creamy chocolate truffle or you can get a disgusting butter rum. Yoy know you’re going to die at some point but you don’t believe it until you’re no longer in this world.
There is never a right time and there will never be enough time. If you live for a 100 years, there won’t be enough time for you to do what you want to do in life if you need to do everything else first.
Worrying about what the future will be like
Since I became a mother, I’ve been thinking a lot about my son’s future. The person he’ll become, if he’ll get married and have kids. At the very least, I want him to be happy with the life he’s chosen. But all that time worrying about the future only takes away from the time I have with him now.
We waste so much of our life thinking about the future. All this time obsessing about what our future could look like destroys the likelihood that our future will be what we imagine. It’s one thing to visualize our future and work towards it but it’s counterproductive to worry about it.
Climate change and weird viruses are a thing now. Government mandate is constantly changing and we don’t know what’s going to happen from one day to the next. Yes, I’m worried about my son’s future but if I do nothing but worry, I’m going to miss out on a lot of his life because there’s nothing worse than being absent even if you’re present as a parent.
Don’t destroy your future by obsessively thinking about the future. You can’t control it, you can only control what you do now.
It’s crazy to think about how much time we waste thinking about things that don’t matter. We miss out on so much stuff because we’re in our own heads and that’s a shame because the only way we can stop wasting our life is to spend less time thinking and more time doing.