From the moment we are conceived, we are under the influence – of someone or something. Our environment, social circle, professional network, associations, habits, and distractions all influence us. And like every experience, these influences contribute to how we perform each day and ultimately the person we become.
I read that the average toddler is told ‘NO’ on average 400 times a day!
We start school and are told to get good grades and go to university or get a good job.
We reach our early 20’s and we are told, it’s time to get serious and grow up.
A few years go by and everyone is moving out, getting married, and having kids. Society subtly pressures us to do the same if we want to fit in or be seen as normal.
If we are lucky enough, we might be able to buy a house, a new car, and increase our income allowing us to also increase our debt. Now we are trapped so we work our butts off for the next few decades only to retire on a pension that doesn’t leave us with any discretionary funds and watch our health deteriorate largely due to the lifestyle we have led up until now as we wait to die.
It’s a pretty grim picture and I realise this is not how everyone’s life plays out but is it any wonder young people look at so many adults around them and question everything?
What we often forget is that what is important in your life is what YOU decide is important and this decision will indelibly create who you are.
We do things we want to do. We don’t call people back, we turn up to events, we cancel last minute and we leave people’s messages unread ALL because that’s what we choose to do.
And sometimes, we use the excuse I have no time and that time flies, but this partly because we aren’t using what time we have effectively. Sometimes we put huge value on it, and other times we waste it. Either way, time is our greatest gift.
Each day we make choices as to where we will invest our time and energy but most of us never question the return on investment and its impact on the bigger picture or our desired outcome. Perhaps this is because most of us have no idea what we want or what we are working toward.
Things take up space in our lives, in our houses, and in our minds. I still can’t believe how many have literally thousands of unread and read messages just sitting there.
If time is an issue for you, consider the following.
Protect your time.
Remove the clutter. Emails are a great place to start. The emails sitting in your inbox right now will take time to read and take up space to leave there unopened. How many do you have? Are you ever going to read them all? While they sit there doing nothing you increase the risk of missing something you actually do want to see. Is anything older than 12 months even relevant anymore? Sort and delete.
Prepare your space.
Very few people if any, work well in an environment of chaos. This can be physical or mental chaos. Maximise your time by organising your environment. If you spend 30 minutes looking for your keys every day it will feel like you have no time.
Take Time Out.
Do you allocate time to just breathe? Do you meditate, practice yoga, do body scans, or just spend 5 minutes looking at the trees with no distractions? Taking time out brings a sense of calm and clarity to your life. It will quieten the mind and bring balance to all areas.
Let things go.
What are you carrying that’s weighing you down?
Two monks go for a walk and they come across a stream. They see a beautiful girl trying to navigate her way across without getting wet. Knowing they have taken a vow never to touch a woman, the second monk is shocked as he watches the first monk pick up the girl and carry her across the water.
They continue their walk, and for a long time he says nothing. Finally, the second monk says, ‘Why did you carry that woman when we took a vow never to touch a women?’ The first monk replied ‘I set her down hours ago by the side of the river. Why are you still carrying her?’
The energy (conscious or unconscious) we use to carry ‘stuff’ could be better spent. Look at what doesn’t serve you anymore and what you need to get rid of. Let it go.
Only you know what is calling for your energy or attention, what you are ignoring, and what you are being influenced by. Booby trap yourself into success by minimising or eliminating distractions and temptations to veer onto another path. This is easier than you think.
Pause your newsfeed (or get rid of it altogether). I promise you will never miss anything important! Suspend social media or become ‘unavailable to catch up’ with toxic people.
Replace bad habits with better ones. You’ll have a better chance of achieving what you want by doing this rather than simply cutting things out leaving gaps that go begging to be filled.
When all is said and done and you increase your level of awareness, you realise that what you allow yourself to be influenced by is 100% your choice.
The mind is the last part of yourself to listen to.
It reminds you of everything you can lose.
The heart knows everything you can give.
The soul embodies everything you are.
Dalya xx 💙