What do i do this Saturday? Or why some alone think time is what you need
Surefire ways to mess up your life #2. We spend so much time running a marathon at the pace of a sprint, out of breath, ready to collapse. Why not pause a while, think what we like, what we want to do, and go after it step by certain step. Can we do something really important for ourselves this Saturday? For example, Think!?
And realize a few things we have not looked into for some time, or maybe not even known.
This is the second part of a series we are doing on work-life balance. You can read the first part here.
Today, we look at a critical component of living a full life: the ability to look inward and ask ourselves some serious questions – or to put it in one word: introspect.
Make no mistakes. Introspection is tough. Super-duper tough. Make it super-duper tough multiplied
a million billion trillion infinity times. There is an overload of thoughts and literature on doing rather than thinking but as a wise person once said:
Doing without thinking means you will miss your mark. Thinking without doing means you will stay where you are.
And since all of us will end up somewhere in this journey of life, it makes sense to go on a road that is leading to a place we want to go rather than to a destination we don’t like.
For this, we need to look inward and accept ourselves in all our flaws and strengths.
This may seem like an overwritten too-preachy advice but here are a few examples for you to understand what we mean:
Example 1: Does not sharing toys make you selfish?
Were you told when you were young to share your chocolates or toys and you did not want to and have felt guilty ever since? Guess what? That is okay. You were not greedy or selfish. You simply loved that chocolate or toy too much to share. Maybe you had a few chocolates and toys and each was therefore precious.
Your action was born out of love for yourself and your belonging and that is perfectly okay. Just because someone else shares does not mean you have to. Every tree is different.
Example 2: Not good in sports or studies
Someone or the other would have told every child who was weak in studies or sports that they will never be good enough.
Not true. You will always be good at something.
Can’t play cricket? Have you tried football or hockey or badminton or judo?
Not good with maths or biology? What about history or accounting or music or environment studies?
What about work? You may be brilliant at starting or finishing projects but bad in studies or sports.
Choose to be bad at something so you can be great at something else.
Example 3: Feel guilty about procrastinating
Are you told to not procrastinate and yet you do it anyway and feel guilty? Again, it is because the task is something you would rather not do or it is easy or daunting enough that your brain tells you it is not worth the effort – yet.
It is all right to procrastinate. Don’t believe a word of the do-good motivational experts who don’t know the science why their self-righteous assertions are just dumb. Procrastination is the brain’s way of not making you do things that you do not like. When the task becomes critical, you will do it anyways. This is why most of us cram near the exams or hurry to reach office.
This list of examples can extend to a few more. But you may have got the idea: none of us are flawed. We are just good in some things and bad in others. We may fib a lot but be very punctilious about our work. We may be a spendthrift but have the ability to take care of others.
Understanding and accepting what we are good at and where we are bad gives us the freedom to be who we are – unspoilt by expectations. And it gives us the power to change.
But introspection is difficult. So, we avoid it.
Here is what you can do:
Step 1: Daydream
Daydream and try to ask yourself why you had that daydream.
It will seem odd at first but if you do it in a quiet place where you normally don’t think, it will be easier. And you may surprising answers.
This will give you an idea of what you like and what you don’t.
Step 2: Introspect and write it down
After a week or so of this, give 5 minutes to your introspective thoughts and 5 minutes to write them down. Maybe start with a pen and paper to give it more structure.
Give this a week – 7 days only. And you will be surprised at what a week of daydreaming and a week of introspection can give you.
Understanding who you are and what you are not – gives you the freedom to choose what you want to do and what you don’t want to.
A final thought: You will never hear a story of a person who has done something good and heard or seen him say she/he does not spend some alone time.
Time to unleash yourself.