BY SOFO ARCHON
Most people think that they live, but in fact they are merely surviving.
To truly live means to immerse yourself in the journey of life and make the most out of it, not wasting a single moment. It means to explore and discover, to laugh, play and have fun, to connect with others, to share your being and experience love, to make mistakes, learn from them and grow into the best version of yourself.
What the majority of people do is wasting their entire lives doings things that don’t benefit them at all. In fact, those things usually harm them in ways they are not even aware of. They turn them into passive beings and burden their psyche with toxic energy, preventing them from experiencing life to its fullest — hence they end up filled with regrets because of the emotional needs they never managed to satisfy.
Below are five signs that you may be wasting your life, along with helpful tips on how to live better:
1. TV has become your best friend
A clear sign that you are wasting your life is that you spend hours every day in front of a TV screen, passively and unquestionably allowing in yourself huge piles of audiovisual trash that television is filling you with.
TV is a propaganda machine, feeding people’s minds with lies, by presenting false news and manipulative advertising with the only purpose to influence them into believing deceitful information and buying products. Television is also the greatest stupid entertaining device, offering people cheap substitutes for experiences that they deep down wish to live through soaps and reality shows, which in the end only leave them unfulfilled and thirsty for more drama.
If you desire to stop living passively and start spending your time wisely, a first good step you can take is to throw your TV set straight into your rubbish bin!
Recommended reading: The Harmful Effects of Watching Television
2. You do work that you don’t love doing
Another sign that much of your life is being wasted is that you do work that you don’t like doing, but which you do just because you feel forced to.
In the unfair and unjust economic system that we currently have, most people feel compelled to work as wage slaves in order to make ends meet, wasting almost every day half of their waking life working for big corporations that are hugely exploiting them, sucking their energy dry, not allowing them any space to creatively express themselves and contribute anything of importance to the world.
If you are sick of this kind of living, do your best to seek for ways to do work that you truly love doing, and earn your income from pursuing your passions. This way you will be more creative, productive, feel less stress and experience more freedom, as well as get immense satisfaction from sharing your gifts to the world. Of course, this cannot be easily achieved, but it’s totally worth the effort.
Having said that, ideally one should not be motivated to work because of any monetary reward, but out of his or her very love for work alone, which currently is almost impossible for 99% of the people across the planet. In our debt-based monetary system, the harsh reality is that most people need to “get a job”, whether they like it or not, with the socioeconomic forces pressuring them to do anything in order to “earn their living”, no matter whether it’s beneficial to them and the world or not, just so they can get food and a roof.
3. You always want to buy new stuff
Are you one of those people who desire to continuously buy new products in order to feel good about themselves? Then you’re certainly wasting your life trying to satisfy your emotional needs, by spending tremendous amounts of money in order to experience temporary psychological highs that in the end will only leave you empty and disappointed.
In the materialistic world that we are living, we’ve been conditioned to believe that buying stuff will immensely improve the quality of our lives — it will make us more beautiful, loving, confident, and so on and so forth. People who have bought into those lies have fallen into the trap of mindless consumerism, wasting much of their lives comparing themselves to others, not accepting themselves for who they are and always trying to feel better about themselves by acquiring new material things.
To escape the prison of materialism, you need to realize that once you manage to cover your basic physical needs, no product is going to make you feel better about yourself or will improve your relationship with others. You need to look somewhere else for that: pursuing your passions, building meaningful connections with other people, and developing a deeper understanding of yourself and the world you inhabit.
Recommended reading: 10 Emotional Needs Shopping Can Never Satisfy
4. Your thoughts are constantly in the past or the future
From a very young age we’ve been conditioned to sacrifice today for the pleasures of tomorrow. Thus, most people do whatever they can in order to live a better future, forgetting the only true moment there ever was, is, and will be — the present moment. As a result, they don’t savor what existence is offering them each and every moment, and at some point in their journey of life they start having regrets, realizing that for years upon years they have not been living fully and intensely.
There are also those who are continuously attached to the past, who are so focused on it that it drains their energy, not allowing them to be mindful of the here and now, thus unconsciously wasting their lives.
Be sure to learn from yesterday, so that you live better today, and a brighter tomorrow will follow. But never let your thoughts of the past or the future influence you so much that you are not aware of the present moment.
5. You follow what others tell you
A sure way to waste your life is to blindly follow what others are dictating to you. Don’t think, and let others do the thinking for you. Don’t listen to your inner voice, and let others decide what is good and right for you. Don’t form your own ideas, and believe without question in what authority presents you as the truth.
Unfortunately, this is the way most people are living. They follow rules and obey orders, fearing to speak their voice and live the way they deep down desire to live. They suppress themselves in all sorts of ways just in order to be accepted by society, but this only results in them being depressed and dependent.
If you want to regain your freedom and live a meaningful life, doubt what tradition has taught you, say “no” to any authority figure that is subjugating you, escape the herd and create your own path. Embrace your individuality, take responsibility for your actions, and don’t let others direct your life — in short, gather the courage to reject playing the victim and be the hero of your story.
Recommended reading: The Non-Conformity Guide
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