Too often in life, we just let things happen to us. We “go with the flow” and coast. Why are we not more deliberate? Why are we not more thoughtful about how we spend our time?
I think we often adopt habits or routines that protect us from failure and help us survive. We do the same things every day because we did those things yesterday and they didn’t kill us. So we do them again. Soon, we’re doing a bunch of stuff without really thinking about why we are still doing it. The problem is, there is no growth doing that. Worse yet, some habits dull our senses and shield us from the hard work of creating meaningful things.
Being deliberate requires significant mental energy. It forces us to take responsibility for our actions. It can require taking risks and potentially feeling uncomfortable. What if we deliberately choose to do something different and we fail? Then what? The thought of being responsible for failure paralyzes many of us.
But being deliberate can be rewarding. It allows us to take control of our life and focus on the things that matter most to us. It allows us to try new things, develop our talents, and feel good about how we spend our time. It reduces regret.
Some questions to consider:
Does what you do every day actually add value? Do you enjoy what you do? What emotional labor could you bring to your work that would make a real impact on people? How do you spend your free time? Are you working to develop talents, relationships, and the stuff that makes life rich? When was the last time you tried something new, or felt truly alive? What impact do you want to make on the world?
These are hard questions to answer. It can take a lifetime to answer some of them. But I believe it is worth it to deliberately explore them, make changes where necessary, and work on stuff that matters.
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