What Keeps Us From Fully Living?
Over the Christmas holiday, I began taking some time to read blogs and articles that would motivate me to work on myself in the new year. As I began to search through the ongoing web, I found that everyone has their own opinion on what we all need to be inspired. There were several blogs that inspired me to get up, move forward, and dream big, but there was one in particular that especially struck home with me.
If you’ve never heard of the movement, Becoming Minimalist, you should look them up. They are an organization that strives to teach others just what owning more “things” is doing to ourselves, our families, and our culture. In this particular blog titled, 9 Ever-Present Distractions That Keep Us From Fully Living, the author Joshua Becker points out 9 things that hold us back from pursuing the life that we want to live. And as we begin 2017, I wanted to give my thoughts on the 9 points Becker presents in his brilliant blog:
- The Promise of Tomorrow – Do you find yourself constantly making the excuse, “I will work on it tomorrow”? We tend to live in a world where we expect tomorrow to come with bigger and better realities. We wait on the supposed tomorrow so long, that it keeps us from doing anything today.
- The Pursuit of Perfection – I am incredibly guilty of this one. Perfectionism has been crippling for the majority of my life. Instead of giving myself attainable goals, I would set unreasonable goals that no one could reach, and anything less than perfect was unacceptable. It has taken me years to recognize and work with the perfectionist voice in my head. The idea of perfection keeps us frozen from taking any steps towards who we want to become.
- The Regret of Yesterday – Even though we say that an event is in the past, the effects from the event often stay with us. We get stuck in a cycle of wishing that we would have done things differently, instead of making lemonade out of the lemons right in from of us.
- The Accumulation of Possessions – I had a professor in my undergrad program that once told my class, “The more things you own, the more obligations you have.” At the time, my 19-year-old brain could not comprehend what he was trying to communicate, but this saying stuck with me. The older I get, I realize that the more stuff we have, the less time we have. We are spending time using our “stuff” instead of living in the moment with each other. It easily becomes a distraction from being present.
- The Desire for Wealth – Wealth is often the measurement of success in our society. When we see a friend who has a successful job, a new house, and a great car, we often think, “They are doing well for themselves.” The desire for wealth can easily distract us from pursuing the dream that we desire. We become so focused on collecting wealth for ourselves, that we miss opportunities to connect and give back to others.
- The Need for Notoriety – It’s quite interesting how people seem to expect to be famous at some point in their lives. The pull to be adored and respected by others is a strong pull for sure! But often times, we begin to find our self-worth and security in the voices of strangers. When we put our security in the opinions of others, we often lose sight of who we are and where we are going.
- The Pull of Comparison – Comparison is a nasty disease. When we look at what others have and wish that we had it too, we lose sight of what we have. We totally lose our thankfulness for what’s in front of us while we desire what’s not ours.
- The Appeal of Pleasure – We live in a world that teaches us that pleasure is the ultimate goal. I don’t believe that pleasure is a bad thing, don’t get me wrong. But I think the pursuit of pleasure often leaves us disappointed and empty. We forget that the best lessons and most growth we experience are during times of pain. Let’s not all turn into masochists, but let’s also not evaluate our lives and our success only by our pleasurable moments.
- The Presence of Indifference – Do you ever feel bombarded by the messages trying to get your attention in this world? Just the amount of commercials alone could make a person want to quit it all. But this kind of indifference is toxic to living fully. Not engaging and caring about the world around us leaves us empty and dissatisfied.
After looking at this list, take some time to evaluate what is holding you back from living the life you want to live. Which lie keeps you from taking the steps that you need to take to move forward? Insight into your own roadblocks can often be the first step into understanding how to dream again. I hope that 2017 is a year of taking steps towards the person you want to become and the life you want to live!
To read the full blog by Joshua Becker, click here.