November 30, 2016

Why We Should Always Strive To Be Better Even If We’re Content With Our Lives

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 Caleb Frith
Caleb Frith

‘What have we made of our lives today that we deserve to be rewarded with life tomorrow?’

For those who believe in God, it’s comforting to know that there is some sort of higher power governing our fates. Among us, ‘Everything happens for a reason’ and ‘It’s all in God’s will’ are phrases used one too many times – abused, even. As for those who do not have a god – divine energies, the planets and stars, or luck itself. Thus, we fall into the crutches of mediocrity and undeserved contentment.

When we’re content, we fall behind. We don’t bother to strive for improvement because we think this is the best we can have (or be).

Don’t get me wrong – of course it’s important to be thankful and happy with what you have and who you are. But be careful not to fall behind, not to want to be better. When we’re too content, we tend to waste time. I know that doesn’t quite make sense yet, so read on.

From leaders of nations, to that neighbor who seems too arrogant to offer even a slight wave; from heirs to business empires to the guy who drives the garbage truck around your area; from Queen B herself to your overzealous co-worker; they’re all the same – we’re all the same.

We live under the same sky. We’re slaves to time. We all set out in search of success and recognition. And most significantly, we all go to bed each night not knowing if we’ll wake up tomorrow. So if we don’t, what will set us apart from all those who’ve walked the same earth? Have we put our time here to good use?

Let’s put things into the context of this day and age we are in.

By the time you are done taking nine pictures of your brunch from four different angles just to pick one for Instagram, your food would’ve gotten cold. At a concert – I’m guilty as charged – we hold up out phones and watch what is happening right in front of us through our screens as we take pictures and videos.

Instead of living in the now (and enjoying it), we choose to sacrifice what we could’ve enjoyed for something as superficial as ‘likes’ on a picture. And who are we trying to fool – when have we ever gone back to the videos we took at a concert three years ago? I don’t even know where mine are saved. And I also don’t know where that band is now.

Another example of time wasted is this: I’m sure all of us noticed that Steve Jobs was always in that black turtleneck, or that Mark Zuckerberg is always in a grey tee. It merely seems as though these two ultra successful people just happen to not have an interest in fashion.

If you actually look at it, however, there is much more to it than just oblivion to the latest trends. Think about it – how much time a day do you spend picking out an outfit. Estimating an average of 5 minutes per outfit (which is a pretty low estimate, if you ask me) and a change of two outfits per day, that would be 10 minutes each day. 10 minutes may seem like nothing but that’s an hour and 10 minutes a week or close to 5 hours a month devoted to deciding what to put on.

Time is so precious (yes, I know this phrase is so overused that it has lost its meaning). But really, I don’t think many of us see just how precious time is, so we constantly waste it. By wasting, I don’t mean sitting around, pondering about stuff because that’s not wasting time – you’re exploring what thoughts your mind is capable of and, who knows, something brilliant might come out of that (or this could just be an excuse I tell myself to justify bumming around thinking about the different ways to cook potato).

Wasting time is when you do things that do not contribute to any self-development or improvement.

I strongly believe that we should do things to help our minds grow, to see things in a different light, to inspire. Talk to people – both old and young – and ask them questions. Move beyond your circle of friends to be aware of new views and opinions. Strike up a conversation with the cashier (as awkward as small talk is, that five minutes may teach you a thing or two) – and there you would have used that mere five minutes to discover something, be it big or small.

Let’s be eager to be productive with our time. Let’s constantly find ways to improve ourselves. Let’s be open to new thoughts. Let’s be curious. Let’s be better. Let’s put our time here to good use. TC mark

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