Peace And Joy Comes From Bridging The Gap Between What You Desire Internally And What You Are Working Towards Externally
Human life on this planet is relatively short in comparison to the universe as a whole. The dash that separates our date-of-birth from the date we die is when everything takes place. Some passionately live the life they want to live and others blame their existence on their others and constantly look for reasons as to why they cannot have the life they wanted.
What both types of individuals have in common is that internally they envision a life that they genuinely want to live. Usually the former is living that life and the latter will go to their grave wishing they would have.
I was chilling at a coffee shop just a few blocks my house this morning enjoying a really nice black cup of coffee. It was raining outside and I was watching people standing in line at a popular brunch spot here in Downtown Portland. I love people watching and imagine all sorts of things that people are thinking when doing whatever it is they are doing. In front of me I had a brand new Composition Notebook, remember those from college? Fucking hated those things. But… I was strolling through a Scrap Store which is a store that just sells a bunch of re-purposed shit that people generally use to create art with. And so I found one of these notebooks practically new… oh and picked up a pencil. Man, I love writing in this.
My first exercise was to make a list of “What Am I Doing With My Time”. Here is what I wrote down:
- working as a doctor in an urgent care
- watching Netflix
- hanging out at coffee shops
- shopping for stuff for my condo
- preparing meals/cooking/eating/doing dishes
- texting friends
- socializing with friends
- traveling to see friends/family
- walking and biking around Portland
- working on a side-business
That’s a lot of stuff isn’t it? Very interesting. Makes you think about how your time is spent. To get right down to the point, I realized that I’m spending somewhere around 10 hours per day doing things that I don’t want to do … and spending around $1,200/mo (on average) doing it.
From this list I decided that the things that I want to spend time and money on are:
- Working at my job (so I can earn an income)
- Exercising/biking/walking (because activity rejuvenates me)
- Reading/Writing (for my blog)
- Working on side-business ideas (eventual income outside of medicine)
In order to accomplish this I need to spend a lot less time watching Netflix and cooking at home. I need to spend less time lounging around a coffee shop unless I’m doing one of the activities above. I need to do less perusing of online dating profiles and going on 1st dates. And I need to spend less time thinking about my condo and what needs fixing and what needs upgrading/decorating.
In order to match my physical actions to what I desire internally I need to pick up more urgent care shifts or do some other income generating work. I need to spend my extra time in the day reading and writing more. Also, I need to either cook much simpler meals at home or just eat out. And of course I need to continue with my exercise/activity routine.
Why is it important to match the external to the internal? Because happiness is defined by exactly that. If you want something internally and spend your time working towards that goal you become content and achieve happiness. You don’t have to call it happiness, it could be peace or joy. It won’t even matter much whether you achieve that goal or not, the doing alone is the joy.
Have you sat down to make such a list?
Are you spending the majority of your time and money on the things you want to be doing?