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 without 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 tremendously by burdening their psyche with toxic energy and slowly turning them into passive beings who can’t 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 your psyche 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 those experiences that they deep down wish to live through soaps and reality shows, which eventually 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,” just so they can get food to eat and a roof to live under.
3. You always want to buy new stuff
Are you one of those people who always want to buy new products so as to feel good about themselves? Then you’re certainly wasting your life, trying to satisfy your emotional needs by spending your hard-earned money on material things, being fooled that the temporary psychological highs you experience while shopping will bring you happiness and fulfillment.
In the materialistic world that we are living, we’ve been conditioned to believe that buying stuff will make our lives better — 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 and continually trying to improve their self-esteem levels by acquiring new material objects.
To escape the prison of materialism you need to realize that, once you are able to satisfy your basic physical needs, no product is going to make you feel better about yourself or improve your relationships 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 promised pleasures of tomorrow.
Look around you and you’ll see that most people are doing the best they can to create a better future for themselves, forgetting the only true moment there ever was, is, and will be — the present moment. As a result, they can’t focus on the present and savor what existence is offering them each and every moment. Not surprisingly, they end up having regrets, realizing that for years upon years they didn’t squeeze the juice out of life.
There are also those who are continuously attached to the past, expending much of time and their energy worried about what happened back then, unable to relax in the here and now and enjoy themselves.
Learn from yesterday so that you live better today, and a brighter tomorrow is bound to follow. But be sure to not let your thoughts of the past or the future steal your awareness of the present moment.
5. You blindly follow what others tell you
A sure way to waste your life is to blindly follow what others are dictating 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 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 so they are accepted by society, which inevitably makes them experience tremendous suffering.
If you want to regain your freedom and live a meaningful life, you need to doubt what tradition has taught you, say “no” to any authority figure that is subjugating you, escape the herd and create your own path — in short, you need to gather the courage to reject playing the victim and choose to be the hero of your story.
Recommended reading: The Non-Conformity Guide
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