The other day I was looking in my computer’s archives for an old document I needed. In the midst of my search, I came across a bunch of photos from my twenties when I was single. It was fun to be reminded of what life was like back then, the friendships and the good times. The amazing thing is the emotions that I felt back then come flooding back in, every emotion except the fear and worry. Then the thought occurred to me: I wasted a lot of time worrying about daily problems, my place in the world, and the future. I wish I hadn’t because I think it caused me to miss more of the joy I could have been living. Then I thought about the present. I’m stilled filled with the same fear and anxiety about the same things. Living in fear is a great way to end up with a wasted life.
When we are on our deathbeds the last thing we want to do is look back on our lives and realize we wasted it. So, here are 10 ways not to waste your life that we hope will be helpful to you.
Belief is the most powerful, positive life-changer. Believe that you are a valued person with something to contribute, and chances are you will. Believe that you can choose your attitude and your response to what happens to you, and around you.
2. Know where you’re headed.
If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere, but it probably won’t be where you wanted to go. Goals, both short-term– (“I’m going to spend the evening with my child so he goes to sleep feeling loved”) and long-term (“By Christmas, I’m going to pay off my credit cards”) are necessary for purposeful change.
3. Define Success.
Know that our standard for a successful life is found in serving others, being a good mom, loving our family—theses standards are more conducive to satisfaction than not having cellulite, having a spotless house or making a lot of money.
4. Value people over things.
This is an extension of #3 – No woman is a failure who is loved by a child. That principle extends to our spouse, neighbors, friends and co-workers. To love eloquently is the cure for the common life.
5. Overcome neediness.
When we need others—or achievements—to feel worthy or happy in any way, we’re undermining this great truth: The simple fact of our creation, and that we are valued by the Creator is sufficient.
6. Live in the moment.
Life is now. Life is going on around you right now. Yes, plan for your future, but don’t put life on hold until you’ve lost 10 pounds, bought a new car or gotten your house ‘just right.’
7. Delay gratification.
We often confuse fluff and bling with substance. When we are dependent on externals for satisfaction, we will sacrifice what is real (relationships, stability, respect, hard work etc.) for what is superficial.
8. Continue learning.
Life-long learners adopt the ongoing posture of reinvention and redemption. Learners ask questions rather than act as if they know all the answers. It’s difficult to waste your life when you are humble and open to new ideas.
9. Be thankful.
Knowing what we value puts it all into perspective. Be thankful for even the most routine blessings—your health, your children, your life.
10. Know you’re not alone.
God is always there for you. If you draw closer to him, He will draw closer to you.
Tell us! Which of the 10 on the list do you struggle with the most?