Thoughts on a Life Well Lived



We love to play the victim. 

Failure to achieve, take action, or even begin is uncomfortable. We would all rather attribute this failure to outside influences rather than accept that the problem was born of our choices. How convenient for the ego to play a victim of circumstance rather than address our shortcomings.

I first became fully aware of this in college after joining the triathlon team. A typical week would entail three swim trainings sessions, three runs, and three bike rides. For those doing this math this amounts to at least two days of double training sessions each week, and considerable time management to maintain alongside full time engineering curriculum. I attest that this was a completely manageable schedule, while it left some free time to be desired. 

I constantly met people who professed deep interest in joining the team but claimed they lacked the time. "Oh wow, that sounds so awesome! I would love to do that. I wish I had the time for it."

I felt this a completely reasonable assertion. The universe must have conspired against them to shorten their days. Surely they existed in a parallel universe where the Earth spins faster. I should be grateful for not being stricken with such a terrible affliction and enjoy my long weekend bike rides.

I would never choose to say this to anyone, but I felt plenty of temptation. Obviously my schedule did not abound with free time. I missed many social gatherings and my grades suffered a bit. Triathlon was something that was important to me so I worked to prioritize it into my schedule.

I was often frustrated by those claiming that it was simply a matter of time. This idea belittled the sacrifice that I made to incorporate my training into my life.

You have the time, you've just chosen to spend it elsewhere, a perfectly acceptable choice. Say instead, "Wow, that sounds so awesome. I would do that if I wasn't prioritizing other things."

Sure this might be implied by claiming that you "don't have the time" or "can't find the time." While implied, it outlines a completely different outlook on life and the forces that govern it. Changing your rhetoric has a profound effect on your psyche.

The first line of thinking belittles the accomplishments of others and stunts the power we have over our time, money, and life. The latter demonstrates that everything is a matter of priority and choice. This acknowledges the power we have over our own lives and emboldens us to make changes.

We will all fall victim to the occasional unforeseen circumstance, but do not let this attitude creep its way into matters that you control.

Many of life's struggles are an uphill battle. Claiming to be so powerless ties your legs together before even beginning the journey.

Do not give away any ounce of power you have over your own destiny.