Very often we get too worried when we are trying to decide between things, simply because we think we may be losing time. Why do that when you can do something different? Let’s put that into another perspective: What is “losing time”?
Years spent in a relationship that didn’t work out?
Years in a company in which you are not satisfied?
Years in a course/major/university that, after all, is not what you want for life?
Years of ballet and not becoming a ballerina?
Years of football and not becoming a professional player?
If you fit in one – or more – of any of the categories above, you really think you lost your time?
Time is the most valuable asset in the world. Where and how we spend this asset is extremely important, but I believe that any time spent is always an investment.
I’m an engineering graduate, but I never worked with it. Even before my graduation I always worked with leadership development or entrepreneurship. Everything I do today has little to do with what I learned back in school. Sometimes I even dare to say that I learned everything I didn’t want to do for life at my university. Otherwise, the university was my entry door to many experiences that I’m so grateful to have in my life. Those experiences made me the person I am today.
Did I lose my time? Never! I had to go through all this experience to get to know myself better and find myself as a person and professional. The only way to get to know yourself – what you want to do, what you don’t want to do, your values – is throwing yourself in as many experiences as you can. Understanding the concept that you will never lose time may be a little hard, but it will help you a lot to decrease your anxiety and frustration.
You will never lose your time because, always, always, always you will learn something from your experiences. It’s only when you learn “who you are” – good or bad – and the failures and fears are part of the process of learning that you will truly understand; you will never lose your time.
“But, what experiences should I jump into?”
There is a thing called the “or paradox”: should I take decision X or Y? But… what if you could do X AND Y? We are often so focus on the OR that we forget that we can do both for a small period to test which one works better for you. There is nothing wrong with testing new things and giving up after a while because it didn’t work for you.
People think that giving up is a terrible thing because people will see you as a failure. So, I’m going to tell you something: people don’t really care about that. The only person judging you is yourself. So, focus on that present experience, and think how it connects with the things you want for your future. Think how much this experience is contributing in terms of health, mind, and fulfillment. If you can get positive answers from all those aspects keep it going. If not, give up and jump into something new.
Also, write down all the things you want to do now and in the future. You can call that a goal or a dream, it doesn’t matter. When you know what you want to achieve now from 3/5 years gets easier to choose which experiences you should have right now. And when we make that decision, never look back wondering if it was the right decision or not.
The future is only an exchange you do with your present. You will never lose time because time is never lost. It’s always converted into experiences. It’s up to you to stop, breath and think about what you can learn from each experience and make the decision to jump into another one.
As I use to say, be crazy and throw yourself at as many experiences as you can, because it’s only in the craziness that you can find the happiness you didn’t find in the real world.