Be Picky. You’ve Got One Life.

Brooke Meredith
Jun 17, 2019 · 7 min read
(image by Brooke Lark, from

We don’t like to ruminate much on this concept because it feels scary and cynical. It stresses us out. However, the hard truth is that your time here is temporary. This need not be a cynical nor negative mindset. Instead, it can be one which breathes life, a strong sense of direction, and vibrancy into your life and decisions.

The time we have been gifted with here on earth to partake in the activities we wish, to complete certain goals, spend in the company of selected others, and choose on what to focus, is finite and limited.

It has an end point.

Our time here will come to a close.

Because our opportunity for being alive is transitory, we don’t really have time to waste. Every single minute is a choice in how the limited time you have is being spent, and one which you cannot ever get back. Instead, it’s time passed and gone.

Therefore, we need to be picky with regard to the choices we make in our lives. On a minute basis (day to day, even hour to hour), as well as on a larger scale (where we choose to work, the relationships in which we decide to invest, etc).

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Be choosy with what you put into your body. It will largely determine the quality of your life, and the health of your body (and mind). Health science has concluded that some 90% of the quality and outcome of our health is determined by how well we take care of ourselves.

This includes what you eat, drink, ingest (in terms of medicine and drugs), how much of a priority you place on sleep, exercise and movement, as well as your emotional health and the quality of your inner thoughts.

Consider each of these items with care. It’s at times a bummer, however this will frequently involve discipline. That means acting with regard to long term priorities and values, as opposed to what you might desire in the present moment. And yes, sometimes these will clash.

This will, at times, mean passing on that slice of cake (while on other occasions, it may mean enjoying it and then eating healthier for the rest of the day). It may mean not having an alcoholic drink on that particular night, or going to bed instead of continuing to scroll through Instagram, or pushing yourself to hit the gym, even though you would rather go home and relax. It can also mean skipping the gym this time in order to get the sleep you are deficient on.

Discipline and being choosy with regard to one’s health means not always going with one’s first impulse and desire. It means, at times, restraining oneself and forgoing that initial want. While on other occasions, it will result in treating oneself.

Photo by Keegan Houser on Unsplash

Be selective in how you spend your time. This may mean that, when yearning to sit on the couch and do nothing, reminding oneself that this is wasted sand down the neck of the hourglass. That today, you are going to choose to work on that personal project which is important to you instead.

It might mean ceasing the mindless scrolling through Facebook during your lunch hour and instead, putting those free pockets of time to far greater and more productive use. This could be reading articles on a topic with which you are fascinated, or making progress on a writing project of yours, or learning a new skill that is relevant to your job.

This concept means considering, much like discipline with regard to what you put in your body, careful thought regarding how you spend your time.

Is what you are doing today, moving you closer to where you want to be tomorrow? Did you do something today which progressed you on personal goals? The things on which you chose to spend time today, do they align with the life you are trying to build for yourself? Did you spend your time today partaking in things which made your soul alight, as opposed to just following the crowd?

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Be thoughtful in the job you choose to work. For many people, this is the toughest category in which they can allow being especially choosy. Sometimes, we settle in a certain job for a period of time, because we need to pay the bills. Other times, we need to work one job initially, in order to eventually move upward toward the job we hope to have.

However, eight (plus) hours is spent every day at our place of work. That is a huge portion of your lifetime. Too significant to settle for doing something you hate. Therefore, figure out what you want to do, or at least in what line you wish to work. And then, start making moves (now, not tomorrow) in order to actualize making that happen.

You get one temporary period of time to spend here on earth. Be thoughtful and intentional with regard to what you are going to spend a vast majority of that time doing. Otherwise, you are likely to regret it on looking back over your life later on.

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

Be particular with the company you keep. Far too frequently, we do not do this. As well as, we often vastly underestimate how much of an affect this has on the quality of our life, emotional health, and well being.

Instead, we go along with the crowd because it’s easier. Too self conscious to decline hanging out with those whom we aren’t really that interested in. We cave to FOMO. Take what we feel we can get socially. Often not intentionally seeking the friends that truly interest us, for any number of reasons (feeling intimidated to approach them, citing “lack of time,” you name it).

Sticking with friends, family members, or romantic partners out of a mixture of pity, guilt, and fear though? In an effort to avoid “hurt anyone’s feelings” or ruffling feathers, even though the relationship may not be healthy, especially fulfilling, or may even be a glaring mismatch? These are all terrible reasons to continue spending time with someone. They are the opposite of being particular with the company you keep. And your intuition and heart can feel it.

Have the bravery to choose carefully, with whom you spend time. Then, watch the emotional fulfillment, satisfaction, and emotional health of your life transform.

Photo by Javardh on Unsplash

Be vigilant about the influences you allow into your mind and heart. This involves strong personal boundaries, both mental and physical.

There will be a plethora of messages, influences, and pressures pushed upon you every day, from all directions. It is up to you to decide which of these you will consider, ruminate on, or allow in, versus which ones you will reject, block, and keep out.

It’s important to be aware and mindful of what ideas you buy into (or not), because some can diminish your mental health, cause unnecessary emotional upset, or even mislead you. Even those that significant numbers of other people may and do buy into.

As we both know, just because the crowd is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best, or even a good thing. I am sure, on looking closely at many of the values and behaviors prevalent in our current culture, you can come up with several which are not particularly productive or positive in terms of supporting or leading people toward their best possible lives. Thus, even though “a lot of people do it” should not be compelling enough for you to automatically follow along as well.

Photo by Ryan Franco on Unsplash

Be mindful of the events in your life which you allow to upset you. We choose entirely, to how we react and feel with regard to other people and events in our life. That isn’t to say that events and people are not, at times, offensive, hurtful, or worth getting upset about. The point is that you choose to let something upset you or not.

Some thing are worth getting incensed, angry, or upset about. However, a lot of what we let flip us out? A total waste of energy, worry, stress, and irritation.

Photo by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash

Be discerning with where you decide to travel and adventure. Because you cannot see and do it all. Within the theme of this article, our time here is limited. Thus, you must pick carefully the places which you most long to explore and experience. Give the decision some research and thought.

With all of this said, it is also important in terms of living your most awesome life, to be open. To be curious, flexible, and excited with regard to considering and trying things which you might not have initially considered. Be interested in unique and alternate experiences. Embrace that which you do not know or understand. Continue to pursue learning and growth throughout the course of your lifetime. Adventure, and embrace the novel and unknown.

While simultaneously, being selective, choosy, and yes, picky, about what you do with the time that has been gifted to you.

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Brooke Meredith

Written by

Fervent writer. Ravenous reader. Impassioned with words. Relationship researcher. Social Scientist. Social Justice Advocate. Author.

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +724K followers.

Brooke Meredith

Written by

Fervent writer. Ravenous reader. Impassioned with words. Relationship researcher. Social Scientist. Social Justice Advocate. Author.

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +724K followers.

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