The Habits That Bury You
I’ve been witness to all of these, and I’ve been guilty of most. What we consistently do defines the person we are. Plain and simple, the ugly truth for some of us is that the habits we’ve created over time are creating a tidal wave of burden, complacency, and distraction from all the goals and aspirations we covet. Below are some of the habits that I believe cause the majority of our problems.
Staring at Your Phone
How much time can we continue to be consumed by our mobile devices? Will history look back on us and shake its head at our obsession, or will this be the beginning of the disease. I know this may sound bleak and a little extreme to some but observe everyone. The future is scary…
“Cell phones are so convenient that they’re an inconvenience.”― Haruki Murakami
The captivation of our cell phones has created a black-hole of never-ending feeds and continuous entertainment that distracts us from what we truly value. You could argue that if we truly valued or desired other endeavors, we would put the phone down, but it’s just not the case. The psychological effects of our phones have created a conundrum to our pursuit of happiness. A month ago, I removed social media from my cell phone as an experiment to see if I’ve missed it. The result of my experience is I won’t be installing those apps again. It doesn’t mean that I’m totally absent from these platforms, but I’m not spending free time scanning posts anymore. It’s freeing my friends…freeing.
Lack of Sleep
The often neglected part of our driven, multitasking, constantly in motion lives is rest. We have to take the time to restore and rejuvenate ourselves. Without the simple act of good sleep, we become a doldrums slave never quite awake, but definitely not sleeping. So much more can be accomplished when the mind has a chance to rest and recuperate from a hard day’s work.
“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
Bedtimes can be just as beneficial for adults as they are for children. Other tactics to creating a better sleeping experience, turning off screens an hour before bed, having a bedtime ritual, think essential oils, reading, and self-care. Consistently giving your body cues and a timetable for sleep can vastly improve your overall sleep quality. If you’d like more ways to help you find deep sleep, you can check out this article.
Feeling Sorry for Yourself
John Gardner explained this victim’s mentality well when he said, “Self-pity is easily the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality.” It might be the hardest thing you’ll ever do, but get over the narrative that life is unfair or you’ve been wronged.
“I don’t want it to end, and so, as every therapist knows, the ego does not want an end to its “problems” because they are part of its identity. If no one will listen to my sad story, I can tell it to myself in my head, over and over, and feel sorry for myself, and so have an identity as someone who is being treated unfairly by life or other people, fate or God. It defines my self-image, makes me into someone, and that is all that matters to the ego.” ― Eckhart Tolle
This quote by Eckart Tolle is so powerful! The burdens we create are another person’s motivation. We can see the obstacle, or we can see the way. Be the person who sees the way.
This is a little different perspective than the typical comparison with others we often try to avoid, such as “keeping up with the Joneses.” I’m talking about watching others chase and achieve their dreams. I’m talking about athletes, artists, politicians, philosophers, writers; you name it. Stop watching others and start doing it for yourself. We have a finite amount of time in this life, don’t sit idly by watching others live it to the fullest.
“They tell you: Follow your dreams. Listen to your spirit. Change the world. Make your mark. Find your inner voice and make it sing. Embrace failure. Dream. Dream and dream big. As a matter of fact, dream and don’t stop dreaming until your dream comes true.
I think that’s crap.
I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, powerful, engaged people? Are busy doing.” ― Shonda Rhimes