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5 Reasons Why Not Having It All Is Actually a Good Thing

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Gratitude

We live in a world where people are always striving for more, even though they haven’t achieved anything yet. Society has taught us to focus too much on what we don’t have and to wish for things to be different. That’s why too many people end up living in regrets and are miserable.

But at the end of the day, you and anyone else, don’t have it all. And that’s completely alright. What’s more, it’s actually a good thing.

Here’s 5 reasons why not having it all can be a good thing:

1. You don’t need it all

There may be many desires, goals and dreams in your mind, but if each comes true, you won’t be happy. Most of the things you’re after in life aren’t what you truly want, you just don’t know it yet.

Most millionaires and celebrities are quite lonely. Those who reach the top of a career ruin their health and peace of mind, and quitting your job and moving to a tropical island won’t necessarily help you be a better version of yourself or motivate you to start a business.

Setting just a few goals is completely alright. Our brain can’t focus on too many things, anyways. So stick to the stuff you’re sure will change who you are and your future in a positive way, and stop wanting it all.

“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” – David Frost

2. You already live in abundance

You have more than you think, you’re just distracted by living in the past or future and asking for more, instead of focusing on what’s already in your life.

Practice gratitude to open your eyes for the people around you that love you. For the opportunities that lie in store. For how beautiful life is in the present moment. For your practical skills and all the knowledge and experience you’ve gained over the years.

That’s a lot to be thankful for. If you begin each day appreciating this, instead of wishing for what you don’t have, you won’t feel a void in your life but will be happy without the need to change anything on the outside. That’s another proof that you don’t need it all.

 

3. Big things take time

If you did have it all, you’d go crazy. 24 hours in a day aren’t enough to master many skills. Your limited focus isn’t going to help you have the perfect balance between family, work and social life. There’s only so much motivation you can find on the inside weekly and at some point you’ll experience burnout. You’ll then need a long period of time to recover, and once you get back on track, you’ll be left behind and feeling disappointed.

So don’t even take the first step on such a big journey to conquering every area of life. You won’t succeed. Instead of focusing on failures, enjoy your free time now. Keep your focus for the important things, and get 1% better daily at 1-3 big things.

 

4. Never being satisfied is a blessing

If you think about it, having it all will take something really important from us; the ability to dream and aim higher, the strive for perfection, the chance to imagine a better reality even if it’s far away.

And that’s something we all like to do. Even if we’re stuck in an ordinary life and aren’t really happy with our current one, we always have the freedom to be positive about the future, to expect wonderful things and big changes to start happening. That gives us comfort and can prevent us from losing hope and becoming depressed.

“Do your duty and a little more and the future will take care of itself.” – Andrew Carnegie

5. The element of surprise

Another reason why not having it all is awesome, is that your future is still a blank page. It’s in your hands, but also at any moment something unexpected and great can happen, or a fantastic opportunity may be presented to you, that can turn the rest of your life around.

That thought helps you build momentum and keep taking action today for a better tomorrow. If you did have it all, though, there won’t be room for anything new and better in your life. And you don’t want that.

Now that you’re reminded of these reasons, you shouldn’t waste any precious time feeling upset about what’s missing in your life, comparing yourself to others, blaming life for not being fair and giving you enough of everything, or else.

You have enough and it’s the best you can have at this stage. In the near future, there will be more. And when it’s achieved through focused and consistent work, you’ll feel proud and confident about yourself, will be able to find meaning and contentment, and will actually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Do you think having it all would satisfy you? Please leave your thoughts below!

Sarah Williams is a lifestyle blogger and online entrepreneur who shares her ideas about  how to date better on her blog: Wingman Magazine. Her ultimate goal is to empower men to become the best versions of themselves and help them benefit from social interactions. She is passionate about powerful, conscious living.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. R.Swaminathan

    May 10, 2017 at 5:03 am

    Excellent article that covers the most important things one should know for a better living!Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Edith

    Oct 16, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    Love this article. Will pin it if I can and share to my Fb page too. Thanks for addressing this and doing so lucidly.

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Life

What Les Misérables Taught Me About Our Values

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Why Do We Have An Unconscious Bias and How Can We Manage It?

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When I hear someone using my name once in a while throughout the conversation we are having, I cannot stop myself thinking “this person must have read Dale Carnegie’s books or must have been influenced by someone who read them…” Have you just recalled a similar moment and it felt nice?

As Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and the most important sound in any language”. Why did Dale Carnegie highlight the importance of an individual’s name to that person in his “How to Win Friends and Influence People” book published in 1936?

Each and every one of us wants to feel special and unique. I guess he recommends using the person’s name in the conversation because that is one of the easiest ways to grab that person’s attention so that we can enhance the chances of getting our point across. However, I am more interested in this from the other side; hearing our names directly addresses our individuality, our need or desire to feel special and unique.  

Let’s park this one for now and we will come back. 

Categorization is essential to our survival

There is countless scientific research telling us about how our brains recognize similarities and put things into categories, which has been crucial to our survival in evolution and still helps us with a lot of things from learning new things to coping with the continuous influx of massive amounts of information through our senses. 

The continuous influx of information is mostly handled by our subconscious mind rather than conscious. It is estimated that our brains receive about 11 million bits of information every second through our senses, of which only 40-50 bits can be processed by our conscious mind. We process more information than we are aware of. The magic here is the subconscious mind.

An example is when you are at a very loud party where you hear a lot of words flying around without you recognizing each one of them, then suddenly, you immediately catch it when you hear your name. Your subconscious had been processing all of those words, without your awareness, but informed your conscious mind when your name was out there because it was relevant to you.

In order to most effectively process this much information and inform the conscious mind with only the relevant ones, our subconscious employs categorization as one of its strategies.

When our ancestors encountered some deadly predators in the African savanna, their subconscious prompted their conscious mind to immediately fight or flight by categorizing the information gathered through their senses into “predator / life threat / take action”. Most probably we are not descendants of the ones that were frozen rather than fighting or flighting! 

Although it is a completely different situation, the same strategy applied in remembering lists. Let’s look at the below two lists.

  1. lion, eagle, shark, leopard, hawk, whale, panther, falcon and dolphin 
  2. lion, leopard, panther, eagle, hawk, falcon, shark, whale and dolphin

The second list is easy to remember because it is reordered into relevant groups even though the content of the both lists are identical.

Subconsciousness is the magic and categorization is one of its key strategies. It is essential to our survival, learning new skills and processing information as well as bringing back the information we had processed and stored. 

This amazing skill has its drawbacks

As a result of our brains’ categorization strategy, we also categorize people, especially if we don’t know them as well as our closest ones.

Imagine I am sitting at the table next to yours while you are having your favorite coffee and working on your computer or reading your novel at your neighborhood coffee shop. I stand up, very calmly grab your bag, and start walking away. Your reaction might be quite different depending on my outfit. It could be much more vocal and harsh if I have a dirty T-Shirt and a pair of torn jeans on. However, if I have some navy colored, 3-piece suit and well-pressed white button up shirt on, you might even say something like “Excuse me, you might have picked up my bag by mistake”. (There is an experiment done by social psychologists which reported similar results)

Similarly, I would not be surprised to hear that my co-worker’s spouse is very skilled and knowledgeable in English grammar and literature because he is an English teacher. However, I would not expect it from my co-worker herself because she is an outstanding chemical engineer.  

This is defined as unconscious bias or stereotyping, as a result of our subconscious brain’s categorization strategy. The outfit I have at the coffee shop impacts your response to my action, because it puts me into a different category in your mind depending on my outfit. My co-worker’s and her spouse’s backgrounds make me put them into different categories, which might mislead me sometimes.

Just like we categorize things, it is very natural that we categorize people.  

The key question here for me is; how do we truly treat people as individuals so that they feel unique, just like as they would want, while we know that our brains categorize people

We can overcome unconscious bias 

Leonard Mlodinow, in his enlightening book “Subliminal”, suggests that “if we are aware of our bias and motivated to overcome it, we can.” That doesn’t mean that we need to fight our brain’s categorization strategy. We just need to employ our conscious mind more when we are working or dealing with individuals. 

Our unconscious bias might tell us scientists are bunch of technical nerds who cannot understand abstract concepts that marketers are talking about or it might say that marketers are some daydreamers who need to be grounded by scientists to the real world all the time. I am an engineer and I love thinking in abstract terms and I worked with quite a lot of marketers who thought primarily in factual and concrete terms. 

Spending some effort to learn more about individuals will help overcome unconscious bias. Gathering more information and qualities about them will make it easier for us to treat them as individuals rather than a member of the category we put them in our minds. 

The moral of the story here is to recognize the fact that our brains do categorize, and it is essential; but also, to recognize that every individual wants to feel unique. When we appreciate these two and keep reminding them to ourselves, we are one step closer to figuring out our own way to overcome unconscious bias and treat people more like individuals. 

What was the most interesting part of this article for you? Share your thoughts below!

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