What is your priority?
What is the thing your habits, thoughts, mannerisms and basically everything you do slowly moving you towards? You, like most normal Kenyans 20-something year olds probably have absolutely NO idea what i’m going on about huh?
I was moved by this article on A Life Less Bullshit (check the article out here) on prioritizing your life and it got me thinking: “What the hell are my habits moving me towards?” Of course there was the kawaida “Oh my God! Jesus take the wheel!” moment, a bit of panic and kicking and screaming, the declaration that I will get my life together NOW and a few days later, back to the same old. Isn’t that the 4-stage process we all go through when something potentially life-altering happens?
Step 1: Go ape shit: – Make a declaration that you will change your life. And DRASTIC change at that. Your life must know who’s boss. I am sure anyone who’s tried to go on a diet or get serious with working out, or begin saving or get serious studying (I swear every semester would begin like this!) can relate.
Step 2: Actually trying to implement these sweeping changes – Newly-Saved Christians will usually delete all their secular music (I would know because I’ve done this, twelve times :-( ) and vow NEVER to listen to anything that speaks of anything except God (which is perfectly alright by the way). If you’re trying to diet this will entail you not eating your daily dose of fries, soda, bread, fried chicken, beef burger and pizza that you must consume at least 4 times a day to stay healthy; if it’s saving it’ll mean you cutting down your consumption and aiming to save 99.95% of your income starting tomorrow and form the folks studying it will usually mean writing a study plan that will have you studying 25 hours a day and having no social life whatsoever.
Step 3: In trying to implement your completely ridiculous, fantastical, whimsical, comical and impractical plan, you will quickly realize that you simply cannot. You, like the rest of humanity, is resigned to the fate of being just a man. You are not (believe it or not) from Krypton, green and hulky all over, you do not own a super-hammer thing or have the sheer will power of Kenyan politicians to annoying Kenyans. You cannot change your lifestyle over night. So you slip- and eat the burger and fries for lunch, buy that completely pointless accessory on your way home, listen to the radio station that plays all the evil music you ever heard and watch all 5 seasons of Breaking Bad at a go.
Step 4: Back to normal – So you find yourself back to where you started. Only this time, you are worse off. You are now sure you “cannot do it,” “are not strong enough,” or whatever other negative self-talk your mind tricks you into making.
In recent weeks I have been sort of forced by life to take a whole long term outlook to things and stuff. It’s a long story, you don’t have time to read that sob story :-) Back to the point: priorities.
Thinking about my habits and stuff I realized that my priority was being stressed out. Reading every stupid blog that comes out about why ladies are the reason men cheat, caring what car I want to drive in a couple of years, planning for the NEW YEARS plan in July (turn down 4 what?), “balling out of control,” stopping fights in Westlands, bribing bouncers for people while fighting off prostitutes from my friends (hehehe), avoiding alcoblow by taking every dark alley known to man, strolling into the house at 7:30am on Sunday morning and scrolling through my social media streams every hour was definitely NOT going to make me the rich and happy person I want to be. A few days of reflection later I came to the conclusion and made the conscious decision that my priority is (now) my peace of mind.
What does that mean for me? It means I am living a life that has minimal stress; I am simply not paying any attention to things beyond my control. I am paying keener attention to my personal health and overall well-being. I am putting a lot of emphasis on my personal development and simplifying my life (check out this article for some wisdom on this whole weird zen-y, monk-y thing) as possible, de-cluttering the BS.
How am I doing this?
- Eating better -less red meat, plenty of water, less coffee, well-balanced meals
- Exercising regularly
- Throwing out the stuff I don’t need and investing in fewer, better-quality items
- Reading daily
- Minimising the time spent on TV and video games (yes, even as the new Last of Us and FIFA 15 are about)
- Reducing the time I spend on social media (you can check out why I quit Instagram here )
- Slowing down the pace at which I live
- Being mindful (although I’m not yet where I want to be with this) and minimising the noise
- Saving and investing – as in, actually making this a real thing I do permanently, not just for a few months until I max out my cards :-D
- Enjoying the more now
- Challenging the assumptions, biases and stereotypes and adopting a “just do it” mindset
- Being very plain – telling it like it is, saying “No” a whole lot more and being literal – which makes it weird sometimes when someone says a joke and I’m like *crickets*
Life is way better now. I am skipping step 3 and 4 and hey, I don’t know about you but it helps that my account balances don’t make me feel like listening to an Adele song.
What’s your priority? Where are your habits taking you?