“The most important thing I discovered a few days after turning 65 is that I can’t waste any more time doing things I don’t want to do.” (Jep Gambardella, The Great Beauty)
At the dawn of my 32 years and continuing with the challenge we started last week, I am looking backwards at my life. Some would say that I am too young and haven’t seen anything yet. And still, here I am.
I don’t mind growing up (or getting old). I don’t mind the experience (Is there someone who does?). I don’t mind the knowledge. But I am trying to stop for a moment and take a look from the outside, appreciate the good and consider improving the parts that don’t work.
So my guess is that by my next birthday, I should let go of some of the next points:
- Anything (or anyone) that doesn’t make me a better or happier person
Generally our purposes in life are the pursuit of greatness and performing at the best of our abilities. Anything that doesn’t serve our search for self-improvement needs to be put aside – though not at the expense of our happiness.
- Other peoples’ burdens and opinions
We’re all our “brother’s keepers” in one way or another, but letting the burdens of others consume and rule over our own lives isn’t healthy nor makes us happy. Help others within reason, but also know when to let them help themselves.
Most of us tend to think that other people judge us much more harshly than they actually do. Should this be the case, move forward.
- The pursuit of an unrealistic body image
It’s almost a cliché by now to point out how badly our body images have been warped by society and media. It seems we are told on an unconscious level that we’ll never measure up. The only person our body needs to please is our self. And this is quite an issue for some of us.
Regret is poison; left untreated, it can destroy. There are things in our lives that could have gone differently, but getting obsessive over them is not a good idea. So keep in mind what you want to change, and do it.
- Lazy attitudes, procrastination and excuses
Slowing down and enjoying a lazy day now and then is a must, but when these days become the rule rather than the exception, it will become a pattern. We all have responsibilities. But this is no excuse to put things off. If you have trouble taking responsibility for your actions, it’s time to own up.
- Dwelling on mistakes
Maybe we took a wrong turn somewhere. Maybe we chose not to pursue a dream or a goal. Instead of dwelling on our mistakes, we should simply resolve.
We all give in to stress from time to time, and the truth is that it can be a great motivator. The problem is this: there’s nothing worse than hanging on to the same sources of stress for months or years at a time.
- Trying to change people or trying to become a different type of person
Maybe people can change or maybe they can’t. If they can, they are the only ones who can make that change happen. We can be a source of inspiration for people we care about, but we should not try to become the instrument of change; the result would be resentment.
To be clear: we all have room in our lives for improvement and I’m on top of the list. We can become better people, but seeking to conform to somebody’s prescribed notion of who we ought to be isn’t the best pursuit.
- Fear of speaking our mind
I thought I was the type who speaks. But I am not. I have been facing some communication issues lately and realized that I am losing a great amount of time on hiding my feelings instead of keeping it simple and letting them out. We should express ourselves and tell what’s bothering us. We’ll feel so much better after.
- Jealousy toward the people in our lives
Don’t hate your ex for finding love elsewhere, and don’t begrudge your neighbors their new car. Instead, make the most of what you have.
So send them love, wish them peace, see them happy.
Everyone, always, forever.
PS: I would really love to thank the Uptitude Team for this wonderful challenge!
Photo credit: Francesco De Lorenzo