Using Your Time Wisely
I recently heard the always brilliant Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the bestselling Eat, Pray, Love say, “I decided a long time ago that I don’t have to have every human experience that there is in this one lifetime.” She was specifically talking about her decision not to have kids, but it immediately occurred to me that this applies to every decision we make, big or small.
It’s up to us to decide how we want to use our time on this planet. I think it’s safe to assume that if you’re reading this blog post, you want to use your time in a way that’s as joyful and fulfilling as possible. Well, the only way any of us can do that is by placing a priority on what feels good rather than what makes logical sense or how we think other people will react. That’s not to say there won’t be stuff in our lives we do for practical purposes (hello, vacuuming!), just that, as much as possible, it’s important to follow whatever makes our hearts sing.
For example, a few years ago, my aunt and uncle were in Israel for an extended period of time. They invited me to come, saying that all I’d have to pay for was my plane ticket. It was by all accounts a generous offer and a great opportunity, and I immediately found myself wandering through TripAdvisor's photo galleries.
At that same time, though, I felt like the state of Colorado had grown arms and was pulling me towards it. I was still early on in learning to follow my heart instead of my head, but I knew enough that a pull this strong—stronger and clearer than almost every other pull I’ve ever experienced—just couldn’t be ignored.
Would I have had a great time in Israel? I’m sure I would have. But it just wasn’t calling me—hell, it wasn’t even whispering or doing a subtle come-over-here hand gesture. So with limited time, limited funds, and knowing I had to follow my heart, I made my way to Manitou Springs, Colorado. It was my first 100% solo vacation; a pivotal, life-changing experience I’ll never forget and a choice I will never regret.
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Ultimately, there are only so many days we get on this planet, and that means we don’t get to have every experience there is. Sure, that sounds a little depressing, but to me, it’s also an incentive. Our job as human beings is to figure out which experiences will feed our soul the most, and then do whatever we can to go after them. My job—and my joy—as a life coach is to help you do that.
So I’m curious—to quote the poet Mary Oliver, tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? And on the flip side, what is your precious heart telling you to not do?
"I think never is enough, yeah, never is enough. I never want to do that stuff." -Barenaked Ladies
Thanks for reading part one of the three-part series, Making the Most of Your Precious Life. Stayed tuned next week for Part 2: How to Choose What's Right For You.
Katie Baron: life coach, freelance writer, animal and nature lover, musician, relentless optimist