Ever heard someone say life is short?
Yea, me too.
It seems to be the quintessential thing to say when either something bad happens to someone or when people talk about how they spend their time. But as I’ve gotten older, and now had a child, I’ve realized that ‘ya, life is too damn short — and who wants to spend it working all the time?’
And not only working, who wants to spend it constantly going out with people who just want to party and get wasted? You’re only going to end up having to hold your friend’s hair while they puke and waste endless amounts of money in the process.
Don’t get me wrong. These social situations can be quite fun from time to time, but as you get older and start a family, those certain “gatherings” start to become less and less appealing. Maybe it’s just my introverted nature, but I’ve found that I’ve begun to consistently say ‘no’ a lot.
No to parties. No to emails. No to calls. No to absolutely everything in between that takes up the attention needed to delegate any of these things.
We’ve been taught that we have to always say ‘yes’ to requests, and that saying ‘no’ means that you’re a selfish person who doesn’t care what others want. Well, fuck that. Do you.
So, this brings me back to my first point. Time IS precious, and every minute you spend working on something you don’t care about or doing something you loathe is time you could be spending with your family, reading a book, learning a new skill, exercising…and the list goes on.
Time is such a funny thing really. We take advantage of it because we think we have so much of it, yet we spend so much of it doing things we hate. And then by the time we are done with those things we don’t have the attention space or energy to actually do the things we like. You may have 24 hours in a day, but very few of those hours are dedicated to pure focus. And how can we get things done without focus?
So, in order to have the energy to focus on the things we want, we have to be willing to say no more often to others, so we can say yes more often to ourselves. And this can be hard for a lot of people who have lived their lives thinking that in order to achieve more or be more they have to bend at other peoples’ requests — whether it be at work or in your personal life.
But time is short. And time doesn’t wait for you to get your head straight. SO because you know this, you need to spend every ounce of attention you have on things that actually matter. And that’s different from person to person, but make sure you’re thinking of yourself first.
Learn to say no so that you can focus on something that really matters: You.