We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Yet I’ve always marveled at how some people have the uncanny ability to juggle everything while others appear frantically busy while getting very little done.
Currently my life consists of balancing two jobs, seeing friends, hobbies such as jogging/reading, and devoting time to my BF/family. Even though I have far less obligations than those who have dependents or money woes, there are still many things I aspire to do that I never seem to get around to doing. (Blogging comes to mind, sincere apologies to my two subscribers.)
Why I’m good at failing.
Earlier this summer, I set a goal to declutter my personal possessions and I ended up failing miserably. The reason for failing was that at the time, I felt like there were other things I’d rather do. These included going out to sun-tan on the beach, grabbing happy hour drinks with friends, shopping, eating out, spending too much time on snapchat, etc.
When I look back at my summer and ponder at the significance of my choices, it’s not that decluttering was less important to me than the above activities, but rather that I lacked the discipline to say no to the immediately gratifying experiences. While decluttering was meant to improve my lifestyle and free up some time, the actual process was tedious and took work. Rather than diligently working through the process, I chose, over and over again, the immediately gratifying experiences available to me instead.
If we all applied this principle of immediate gratification in real life, no one would ever go to school, spend hours at the gym, become pregnant for 9 months, or master a skill. We’d all just imbibe in immediate pleasures and vices. So it’s good that we have some sort of natural hedonic-avoidant mechanisms. I just need a stronger one.
Self-actualizing and chill?
According to Mazlow’s hierarchy of needs, the highest possible level of satisfaction for human beings come with “achieving one’s full potential”, or self – actualization.
Self-actualization only comes from seeking personal growth and new experiences. Self-actualization is why people climb Mount Everest, move to India to become sheep farmers, and donate their wealth to helping out their communities. Less than 2% of the population will achieve self-actualization in their lifetime.
I get stuck in my love/esteem needs, even when they have been sufficiently met. More is not better, and more certainly takes up what time could be used for self-actualization needs.
In order to eventually get to that point of awesomeness. I have to be able to fend off the immediate gratifying experiences and focus on the goals I’ve set for myself. In order to fend off the immediate gratifying experiences, I have to learn to say no to other people, and to discipline myself when I start running after the shiny objects.
This is why, for the month of November, I will be working on personal goal-setting for the remainder of the year. The goal-setting will include:
1. What is most important to me in my life?
2. Do I already do those things? If not, how can I start doing them?
3. How much time do I really have to accomplish my goals while meeting my basic needs?
4. If I don’t have enough time for everything, can I become more efficient somehow?