Obsessing Over the Wrong Things
Obsessing Over the Wrong Things

Obsessing Over the Wrong Things

“It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested.” - Seneca

This quote comes to my mind often. I think about it a lot as somebody who is a minimalist, a stoicism enthusiast, and somebody who on a consistent basis, is a miser with their time.

It makes me think about how often people are caught up in the wrong things. They’re obsessed with the wrong things, not only from my perspective but the perspectives of the Stoics, especially Seneca. Seneca is that one family member or friend you know that is always blunt and says it how it is. The simple truth is… he’s right with that quote even all of these years later.

I think to myself often, “Am I really doing what I should be doing right now?” Luckily the answer I come to is “yes” most of the time. I don’t know you h however and I don’t know what your days are like but I will say this. Almost Everybody in the 21st century has been peddled the idea that making more money, owning more expensive things, and being famous would make them happy and fulfilled.

Due to this, I think people are often obsessed with the wrong things regarding what would help them feel more accomplished in life. For example, say there was somebody who had their jacket ripped off and stolen. Let’s pretend it caused them $50 to replace that jacket. This person would likely be pretty upset, however, the reason they would be upset is what concerns me. I 100% believe people at first would be upset at losing the material thing, and then realizing they would have to pay money to replace it.

However, if somebody wastes an hour or two of their time, I feel like that person would hypothetically get less upset at that rather than losing the jacket. Physical items can be stolen, bought, sold, and replaced but what can never be recovered is time. I think it's weird that I think about life from a time of valued focus over everything. I only think it’s weird because I feel that I’m in the minority.

Following stoicism and Marcus Aurelius I often come back to remembering that I may “leave life at any moment”. This has put me in a unique frame of mind when it comes to valuing my time. If I were to die in an hour, I want to have lived a fulfilled life.

That’s another reason why it's funny to me that as a minimalist who literally wears the same two shirts so many people are obsessed with these physical things and don't care about their time with the same magnitude.

I am a miser with my time. I would liken myself to Scrooge from “A Christmas Carol” with the amount of time I waste getting irritated at people, wasting my time. if somebody damages an item I have, I don't get nearly as irritated as when people waste my time. I remember scratching up my laptop cover with my track spikes back in college and I was more upset with myself for caring for a few minutes than I was actually upset that the top of my laptop got scratched up.

If any of my computer setups got destroyed, however, that would bother me. The reason for that however is because I would have to spend a fair amount of time setting everything up again. See the distinction? I’m not annoyed with the monetary loss or the damage I’m upset at the time I lose in that situation.

And the only reason I get irritated is the amount of time I would have to take to reset things up. Like if somebody busted by Mike or something or something that was like very low friction, I could just go replace the mic. Like if somebody, but if somebody like somehow messed up all my file storage and whatnot, and where my organism, if my notion got messed up, I would lose it.

Ask yourself whether you are doing this from a standpoint time or consumption valued mindset. Are you doing things based on what feels good in the moment? Once you start differentiating that in your own head and realizing the time you waste it is truly eye-opening and the beginning of something great. We all waste time, but it’s important to live intentionally so you can live the kind of life you want and can be proud of.

Have an awesome week!

  • Demetri

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