What You’re Not Doing

What are some of the things you want to get done but you’re not actually doing? Do you want to get fit? To have a flat stomach with six-pack abs, strong arms and legs, and enough energy and stamina to run a marathon?

Do you want to be healthier? To drink smoothies every day and have a protein-packed breakfast? Do you want to have glowing skin and strong hair and nails? Do you want your fridge to be packed with green juices, vegetables, and other healthy snacks? Do you want to make all your meals from scratch so you know you’re not eating processed junk?

Do you want to have a spotlessly clean home, with self-cleaning ovens and glass, and robots to do the rest? Do you want the house to run like clockwork, and for everyone to pull their weight and take responsibility for their own housework? Do you want the laundry to walk into the machine and wash itself?

Not doing.

Any minute now…

I’m sure the answer to most of those, if not all, is a resounding YES. We want to be better, to lead more perfect lives, to be as thin as that model in the magazine, to have homes like Martha Stewart and bank balances like Bill Gates. To be as fit as Olympic athletes and as clean as Kim and Aggie.

And the fact is that we can’t. Bummer, right? But before you pick up your pitchfork and start mapping directions to my home in Dublin, hear me out.

We can’t be perfect. We just can’t. We can be great at so many things, but not everything. The point is that you should stop letting it bother you. Stop feeling guilty. Stop thinking about what you’re not doing and start focusing on what’s right in front of you.

You may not be traveling the world, but maybe you’ve been to some amazing places all the same. You may not be wealthy, but maybe you’re still putting food on the table and providing for your family. You may not be a specimen of perfect health and vitality, but maybe you run around the park with your kids every week. You may not be world famous, but maybe you have someone in your life who thinks the world of you. (If you’re very lucky, you have more than one.)

It’s easy to get swept up in the “not doing” net. You look at Facebook and you see someone lying on a sunny beach somewhere. You check Instagram and there’s another person rocking a really cute outfit. You’re on Twitter and someone’s talking about how well their business is doing.

And you’re sitting there all…

Photo Credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/23708590@N03/4107789631/">marrowblack</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147">cc</a>

Now let’s just imagine that you’re that person off traveling the world, wearing really cute outfits, and taking a break from your billion-dollar business. Would you think you had achieved everything worthwhile in your life? Or would there still be something else you’re not doing?

Would there be some humanitarian work you could be doing? Could you be fighting animal abuse and child cruelty? Could you be negotiating world peace, or mastering transcendental meditation? Could you be learning a new skill, eating a more balanced diet, building a new bridge? Could you be feeding the hungry and clothing the poor? Could you be chaining yourself to railings to protest injustices? Could you be taking a vow of silence and poverty? Could you learn to walk a tightrope between two tall buildings?

You get the idea. You can’t do everything, so stop spending the time you do have worrying about it. You can’t do and be all things to all people. So just be yourself and do what you do. You can be MORE, but you cannot be EVERYTHING.

There will always be things you’re not doing. Feeling guilty should be one of those things.

Photo #2 Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/23708590@N03/4107789631/ marrowblack via http://compfight.com

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  1. I want to be world traveling, but raising my kids comes first. We did do a summer road trip across America to give them a sense of adventure.

  2. Pingback: August 2015 Wrap-Up - HowToGYST

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