Getting older has been a freeing time for me. I am freer to be myself and I am freed from some things that used to control me.
Because some things are worthy of your attention and concern. Others are not. Spending too much mental energy on the wrong things can move you further away from happiness and contentment. Making these things a priority isn’t just a waste of time. It creates unnecessary challenges in life.
Do you spend your time caring about the things that can make a positive difference? Are you sure? Let’s find out!
Most people care too much about these things:
1. The opinions of others. Do you choose clothes you like or clothes that you think others like? When you chose your last car, did you consider how others would judge you if you drive around in that car? Worrying about the opinions of others can make you miserable and cause you to do and say things that don’t match your values.
When I reflect on when I was younger, I see there were many instances where I tried to hard to please others. I spent too much time trying to fit into the definition of who others thought I should be. No more. And that is liberating!
2. Possessions. There’s nothing wrong with possessions, but it can be a problem when they become an obsession. You’ll never be happy just because you got a nicer car or a bigger house. Have all the possessions you like but avoid making them a priority in your life.
In addition, at this stage in life, many of us are focusing on downsizing, not acquisition. For every item you think about buying, consider whether that item will still be wanted or useful in a couple of years. Probably not.
3. Wealth. Have all the money you like too but avoid making it the most important thing in your life. Pursuing wealth at any cost is a recipe for misery and disaster. Having more money than you need doesn’t really do a whole lot for you.
With young adult children, we have many discussions about money and time. It seems life is a constant balance between the two. If you want a lot of wealth, you will sacrifice free time. If you want a lot of free time, you will less likely have wealth. You have to find the balance that you can live with.
4. The past. It’s done. It’s over. Sure, maybe you messed up. You did and said things you wish you hadn’t. You wasted golden opportunities. It’s just horrible. Join the club. The past is riddled with pain and disappointment. Examine it and learn from it. Make amends where you can. Then push on. There’s a whole life waiting for you.
5. Failure. Caring too much about failure will keep you stuck in a job or relationship that you don’t like. It will prevent you from doing the things you really want to do. It’s a trick that your ego is playing on you. Use the logical part of your brain and overrule this mentality. If you fear failure, you avoid success and happiness.
6. Society’s values. It might be true that a 3-bedroom ranch, a pleasant spouse, two kids, and 9-to-5 is the right path for some, and maybe even most. It doesn’t mean that it’s the right path for you.
● If you want to impress those around you, you might be tempted to follow this basic recipe for life. You might even choose it because you don’t have the courage to choose something else.
● Choose your own path. Otherwise you’ll be stuck with what society wants for you. Be more than just a cog in the machine.
7. Shortcomings. Why worry about them? Fix the ones that can be fixed and forget about the ones you can’t. What other choice do you have? You’re already good enough to do just about anything you want to do. Just get busy doing it instead of looking for an excuse.
Is your attention focused on the right things? Are you too worried about impressing others or acquiring a mansion? Do you care about failure?
There’s only so much time available each day and over a lifetime. By releasing your concern for these things, you’re giving yourself freedom and the room to be happy.
As the days ahead loom fewer than the days behind, it’s a good idea to settle how you will savor them. Do it on your own terms, not someone else’s.
Janet Mary Cobb
Amen! I totally agree with everything you said – so clearly and concisely!
Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au
It’s amazing the amount of time and head space I’ve given to a lot of these and now it’s finally dawned on me what a waste of time it’s been in the most part. Trying to fit in with the expectations of other people or society in general, worrying about past mistakes, brooding over perceived hurts, being anxious about money or the future – all such a waste and I’m not doing it any more if I can possibly help it! It’s a great feeling to just get on with enjoying life.
#MLSTL and I’ve shared this on my SM xx
This is so spot on! I couldn’t agree more. I just wish we could all learn these lessons earlier in life.
I know at one time or another I worried about all of the above things. it is interesting how age gives us perspective. I have let go of most of these worries most of the time. It is amazing what happens when you stop worrying about what other people think and what you have done or could do and just allow yourself to be yourself!
I think I was guilty of just about everything on your list… when I was younger. It’s so freeing now to keep life in perspective and know the important things aren’t things! Good reminder of the life I don’t want to go back to! #mlstl
Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond
I love this Victoria because I’ve been feeling this way for some time. When I was younger, it was so important to me to fit in and be liked by others. The pressure was on to marry, have children and buy a home. In reality possessions aren’t that important and we are all individuals who should be able to follow the beat of their own drum. Thank you for putting into words what many of us are thinking in Midlife & Beyond and great advice for the younger generation. #MLSTL. I’m pinning and sharing. xx
Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond
P.S. Sorry I called you Victoria – I’m not sure where my head is today 🙂
It’s a lovely name!
You’ve put it all down so well – these are exactly the reminders we need. It’s so true that I’m downsizing and loving it also how freeing midlife is.
The constant quandary in our house is time vs money. We never seem to think we have enough of either. But I’m not sure that is a true statement. That is scarcity mentality which prevents me from living life to its fullest. I still struggle, but I’m learning to be grateful for what I have and develop an abundant mentality 🙂
I completely agree with your assessment of things to care less about. I shed most of that baggage when we entered retirement and watched our daughter begin to build a career for herself. I admit spending too much time worrying about the opinions of others (sometimes still do) and trying to live up to expectations (motherhood is brutal), but I will never regret the years of hard work, and accumulation. That time was less about “stuff” and “lifestyle” and more about creating opportunities for all of us. Whatever brought me here, it feels great to “care less” and live life on my own terms.
It’s time to fill up life with NEW things to care about and invest with or energy and passion!