5 Signs You Are Wasting Your Life

Haris Mohammad

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It’s not rocket science. Whether or not you are wasting your life should be easy to determine in most cases. And it is. 

Only we don’t always pause to ask ourselves the all-important question — 

Am I living my life the way I really want to? Will my future self be thankful and happy for my present lifestyle?

But there is another problem too. Some habits are so common in people that we have become largely desensitized to the risks they pose to our lives. To make things worse, they are all easy to get into and can be difficult to escape.

So through this article, I want to highlight a few habits and mindsets you should be very alert to. No matter how common and widespread they are, they lead to nothing but regrets in most cases. You don’t want to have them in your life. 

If any of the following descriptions makes you think — “oh, that’s me” — take it as a warning. You might be wasting your life. Now is the time to change that.

Social Media and Its Infinite Scroll

It’s not rare to see people spend hours every day scrolling through the endless (and often mindless) feed on different social media platforms. Their notifications make them reach for their phone with excitement. How they feel is determined by what appears in their newsfeeds.

The never-ending parade of photoshopped images makes them unhappy and dissatisfied with themselves and their circumstances.

They see heroes and villains among the creators on these platforms and feel emotionally invested in what the influencers do.

It’s terrible. Not only does it waste their time, but it also fills their heads with misinformation and manipulative lies. It distorts their model of reality. No wonder different kinds of mental health issues are on the rise.

It doesn't mean, you must eliminate social media from your life. Just limit the time and importance you dedicate to it.

Addictions

Some people just can’t get enough of adult entertainment and pleasing themselves. They spend hours every day on this addiction of theirs. And they are thinking about it even when it’s not playing on their screen.

But it could be something else too. 

The point is addictions are terrible. When left unaddressed, they usually get worse over time. They come in your way of doing things you need or even want to do. They make it difficult for you to be in healthy relationships. As they grow in intensity, they can hurt your body and mind.

Addictions can truly mess up your life and self-image. So, seek help if you must, do whatever you need to, but take back the control over your life.

Motivation and Self-Help

For many, this is just another kind of addiction. Under the illusion of learning and trying to get better, they end up doing themselves more harm than good.

Here’s something you should not forget. Continuously reading random books and articles on self-help and watching such videos on the internet will not make you better or more successful. Instead, it will make you have unrealistic expectations from yourself, waste your time, and fill you with guilt. 

Besides, you don’t need to be the best human being. You don't need to get rid of every flaw you have. You don’t need to develop every virtue that can be imagined. You wouldn’t succeed even if you wanted to.

Focus on the few things that will have the greatest impact on your quest for a good life. And focus on actions. Learning and thinking are great, but unless they are backed by actions, they are useless. 

Switching Tracks

Now, this is something I have myself had a hard time with.

Success requires persistence. Often you have to stick with something for a year or two before you taste any significant success. But many of us carry in our heads the myth of quick success (thanks to social media and marketing gimmicks) and, as such, get bored and disheartened quickly.

So, every few weeks or months, you hop on to a new career path or project, leaving the last one unfinished. Needless to say, it’s a sure-shot way of sabotaging your career and life.

Pointless Discussions and Arguments

For some people, their favorite pastimes are to indulge in meaningless conversations.

They may enjoy discussing the lives of their relatives, friends, and neighbors. Or celebrities. All kinds of juicy gossip. 

Or maybe they like to be involved in emotionally charged discussions and arguments concerning politics. They believe it is their duty to defend and promote their ideologies and to criticize and shoot down others’.

Or they could be into conspiracy theories. They spend hours every day feeding on heavy doses of such theories and then pounce on every opportunity to promote them. They fail to realize that for every theory you love, there are many conflicting theories based on their own sets of “irrefutable evidence” and pandering to their own groups of followers.

They are wasting not only their lives but also those of many others.

Concluding Remarks

Time is the stuff life is made of. If you’re wasting your time, you’re wasting your life.

At the same time, your mental and physical health determine what you can do with the time available to you. So spending time to give your mind and body the rest they need is not a waste. Same with activities that bring you happiness and peace and leave you more energized to do what you ought to do.

In the end, it’s about living a life that gives you hope when you look forward and happiness and satisfaction when you look back.

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Coach, Engineer, Writer.

Seattle, WA
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