How many hours have you spent comparing yourself to someone else, or wondering what people might think of you, or on being afraid of getting it wrong or on questioning how well you’re even doing at this crazy little thing called life?
For me, I’d say based on an average of one hour a day, every day, since the day I turned 12 (when my fear of not fitting in kicked into action), I’ve spent around 5,10 hours on it. Yep, that’s about 213 full days and nights of my life that have been spent on thinking about things I have absolutely no control over.
Wow. What is with that?
Oh the things I could do with 213 spare days and nights!
I could write a book. I could become a yoga goddess. Or a mermaid. (There’s training for that, right?) I could take a cruise around the world, twice! I could train to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and then I could climb Mount Kilimanjaro! I could learn to juggle or to play the guitar. I could finally learn the dance to Single Ladies!
Hell, I could be Beyoncé by now.
You see, on my recent spurt of travel from home in a busy city in the middle of England to an apartment by a quiet beach on the Australian coast, I began thinking a lot about time – mainly because I found myself with lots of it. [pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]I’m discovering every day that we can BE anything, DO anything, LEARN anything, FEEL anything, if we just put the time in.[/pullquote]And, since I’ve had the chance to reflect on how I was previously spending my time – staring at a computer screen, bitching about my job, worrying about what people might think of me, comparing myself to my friends and colleagues, racing from one social engagement to the next without stopping to take a breath and constantly wondering whether I was getting any of it right at all – I’ve decided to rethink the entire routine.
As I’ve got the chance to start over, I thought I’d begin as I mean to go on by laying down some ground rules. So, for every decision I make on how to spend my time, I’m asking myself:
- Is it good for my wellbeing?
- Is it teaching me anything?
- Is it being done with love or for love?
- Is it making me happy?
And if any of my answers are “No” to those questions, well quite simply, I need to not be doing it.
And now I feel like I can breathe.
I’m doing a job I love – writing creative copy for AMAZING clients. I’m looking after my health and mind by taking the time to discover what clean, fresh food can do for my mood, and by finding exercise I enjoy; swimming, tennis and walks on the beach. I’m speaking to strangers at any opportunity because I’m learning that every single person can teach us something new about ourselves or our surroundings. I’m reading not only for fun, but to learn new skills, to discover new stories and opinions, and to open my eyes to ways of life far removed from my own.
I’m focusing on ME, and remembering that what anyone else thinks is absolutely none of my business.
I’m putting the time in to find out what makes me truly happy and then I’m just, well, doing it.
And you know what? We can ALL live by the ground rules, no matter where we find ourselves, if we just stop for long enough to think about them.
I’m discovering every day that we can BE anything, DO anything, LEARN anything, FEEL anything, if we just put the time in. And hey, that time’s just gonna pass on by anyway.
That precious time might even pass by in the form of 213 days and nights wasted on doubting yourself or on being afraid, on worrying what people might think or on wondering whether you’re even getting it right at all.
And I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather be using it to become a mermaid. Or Beyoncé.
So let’s make up for lost time, quick!
Instead of comparing yourself to anyone else, focus on being the best version of YOU.
Instead of following the same routine, open your eyes to new lessons and discoveries.
Instead of wondering what the world thinks, give the world something to think about.
Instead of questioning whether you’re getting it right, know always that you are.
And most importantly, don’t forget to breathe.
Sophie French is a blogger and freelance copywriter by day and, well, a blogger and freelance copywriter by night (bills to pay, y’kno!) Currently settling into her transition from PR Manager for the UK’s leading homewares brand to Freelance Copywriter in Australia’s Sunshine Coast, she’s taken note from the bold moves of inspirational women around the world and is newly committed to creating a life she loves.
Favourite things: stationery shops, mugs of milky tea and the sort of belly laughs that only a night with the girls can provide. Beliefs: everyone needs a crazy, fiery, stubborn redhead in their lives, or nothing fun would happen. Fierce quote: “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick some ass” Maya Angelou.
You can find Sophie blogging about the trials and troubles of being a twenty something female here http://www.littleredfrench.com. Or, if you just fancy a chat about the meaning of life or what you had for breakfast, you can drop her an email here: firstname.lastname@example.org