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Slow Down: Life Is Not A Race

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My name is Tim, and I’m addicted to time.

I’m so freaking impatient I take the stairs instead of the escalator because I can’t stand for 10.5 seconds in silence. I’m not sure what I did with this 10.5 seconds I gained back, but most likely I wasted it on one of those messenger apps.

While I don’t believe that we should waste time, I do believe we shouldn’t become obsessed with it. Time is more important than money. It’s the clock that never stops and it will end one day.

With that said, we can’t keep being obsessed with time. This obsession has become a disease for the new breed of high achievers. All this motivational content we can now consume makes us feel like we have to achieve so much more than we really do.

Our reality sabotages us

Our life feels like a race because we look at what everyone else is doing and then compare it with our own results. When I look at my friends I see:

– They’re married
– They own a house (or two)
– They have kids
– They have perhaps found their dream job
– They’re very fit
– They have more followers than me

Who says that this is what success looks like? Who puts a timeline on when or even why you need to do all of these things?

One of my friends told me the other day that he doesn’t want kids. I thought it was odd until I saw how happy he was with knowing what he wants. All of our success is different.

Certainty

I once dated this girl who always had to be certain. She told me that she needed to be certain about: marriage, kids, owning a house, investments, holidays, etc. I thought about this for a while and realized that it’s impossible to guarantee anything in life.

Just last week, this idea came up again. I was reading this book called “Tiny Beautiful Things.” The book is a collection of letters to a writer called “Sugar.”

Sugar posts each letter on her online column and then posts the response to the question in the letter. The questions range from how to: deal with: divorce, children, cheating, pregnancy, miscarriage, rape and almost any challenge you could think of in life.

After reading all the letters, I saw a familiar pattern: there are no guarantees. You have to be prepared that tragedy or pain could strike at any time. The problem each of the authors of these letters suffered from was that they thought once you have a plan in place, nothing gets in the way.

Once you’re married, supposedly you’re secure. Yet, what I’ve learned is that security is a myth.

“You have to live with the confidence that anything could happen at any time and that you have the power to overcome any adversity”

If you don’t live with that power, then when life knocks you flat on your ass, you’re going to experience extreme pain. That could then be followed by drugs, alcohol, out of control sex (the bad kind), mental illness, sickness and unemployment.

Your timeline is a myth, sorry

So if we have no real certainty then how does that affect how we think about time? It means that the race we think of as life, with all of these time indicators, is a total myth! If we take it a step further, it means that your timeline for this whole achievement race is a waste.

When you think you are falling behind because of a setback, at another point in time, you will catch up and progress one hundred miles in front of where you thought you would be. There will be moments of massive momentum, and then moments of incredible failure. It’s all gravy.

What you think you want, you don’t

You’re running this race against time because of the things you think you want. Someone said something to me the other day that was profound. They said:

“Tim, single people want to be married, and married people want to be single.”

We’re always chasing the next sunset because we think that’s what we want. When we finally get it, we want the opposite. It’s easy to obsess over something you don’t have. It’s not hard to feel like you’ve been lazy with your time.

The truth is your wants will change and so will the timeline. Embrace this uncertainty and know that surprises are fun. Life is going to throw things at you and that’s what makes it worth living.

“Reading the same story over and over, when you know the ending, is boring. Life is the same”

Slow down

The point of this post is that you are racing ahead trying to win a race that doesn’t exist. So now that we know this race is a myth, we can slow down.

By slowing down, we can enjoy where we are right now. We can be happy with all the things we’ve accomplished rather than dwelling on what we think we should have already completed. By slowing down, we get to be truly happy again.

We can sit by the beach and watch a sunset. We can hang out with friends and be fully present without a phone in sight. We can eat an incredible meal and enjoy every bite. Why can we slow down and do these things? Because we’ve quit the race we thought we were running.

By seeing the truth, we’ve created possibility in our lives. We’ve become open to whatever life throws at us and we’re equipped to deal with the different seasons of life. I’m sitting here drinking Chinese tea right now and it tastes delicious. I’m enjoying it because today I’ve decided to slow down.

I’ve decided to quit the race, and enjoy myself instead. I’ve decided to see things differently and I encourage you to do the same.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.com

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Knowing Your Message vs Delivering Your Message

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Have you ever sent a text message only to have it misinterpreted by the person reading it? Happens all the time. Have you ever given a presentation that you were totally prepared for only to have it fall flat? Happens all the time. Have you ever had someone ask you something like, “Why are you mad?” when you were not at all mad? Happens all the time. (more…)

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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Life

Practicing Self-Devotion: 3 Ways Towards a More Mindful and Compassionate You

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I can still hear the voices of my older relatives and my elementary school teachers telling me “be disciplined”, “keep at it”, to give time and energy towards what we want. As a young, impressionable child, I believed all those things because well, they made sense. They worked. And honestly, I felt like it’s the only way to flourish. (more…)

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