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The ‘Wasted Time’ Project

The Meaning of Life: Does EVERYTHING Have to Mean Something?

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I hate wasting time. I’ve always been a person that looks for ‘meaning’ in everything they do. This mind-set isn’t necessarily a bad thing; I mean spending time doing things that are worthwhile is surely a good thing? How often have you given up on something because it was ‘wasting time’? Have you ever decided to start something new or finished a project, not because it was necessarily ‘meaningful’, but just for plain enjoyment?


Wasted Time

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying: ‘Time you enjoyed wasting, is not wasted time’, I know I’ve heard it often but never actually thought about the sentiment. For me, I’ve often felt guilt when spending time doing something that I didn’t believe to be productive or useful or I was afraid of the outcome. For example, I started two novels, but never got past writing more than four chapters because I convinced myself I was wasting time as no one would publish it, never mind read it! For years I’ve watched youtube thinking, I’d love to have a go at that. Not necessarily to be a ‘Youtube’ star with thousands of followers, but the process looks fun and it’s something I’ve never done before. However I managed to talk myself out of that because I convinced myself, either no one would watch it, so it was pointless; or people wouldn’t like it therefore they would judge me. I could tell you loads of other ideas including a children’s book, countless auditions for various acting/music opportunities, a tattoo, dance classes, singing lessons, learning to paint, the list goes on of things I either started doing or thought of doing before convincing myself that it wasn’t worth doing.


Get Out of My Head

It’s only recently I realised that my attitude to life can be so restrictive and negative sometimes that if my attitude was a person I would have punched it in the face for being a bully. It’s weird because if another physical person said to me all the things I mentally say to myself, I would stand up for myself and shoot that person down. However because it’s my own attitude against myself, I accept this ‘self-bullying’ and don’t question it. I actually made a list of the things I quit because they ‘wasted time’ and it was ridiculous! Well over twenty things I’d either started or thought of starting but just didn’t have the balls basically to do it and at the grand old age of 21 I had an epiphany. This last eighteen months, I’ve cut things out of my life that were unnecessarily making me unhappy, which was a good thing to do, but I’ve also cut out things that made me happy and were fun because they weren’t meaningful or productive or I was scared to do it and this attitude needs to stop if I want my life to have any meaning. If I don’t I’m going to be 50 and having a mid-life crisis and I don’t think I’ll really have the funds to splash out on a Ferrari to make myself feel better.

I remembered one fear I got over last year through making one scary decision. Before last year , the thought of getting on a plane terrified me, so I resided myself to probably never exploring anything than good old ‘Blighty’. However I found myself in the situation where I HAD to get on a plane in order to play a band concert in Austria. I could have refused to go (believe me I was tempted), but then I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to play at such an amazing event, so I went and in making that decision, the only thing about flying that I’m now afraid of is the bar prices at the airport. How many other things have I missed out on through avoiding ‘scary’ things?!

So, with that in mind I have made the decision to do at least some of the things I stopped myself from doing. Not necessarily for it to be successful or to be ‘meaningful’ just because I want to do it. Now I realise that even if it’s not regarded as successful I have achieved ‘meaning’ and ‘success’ because I did it! I need to learn to find achievement in finishing a goal that I set myself and regard success as the completion of this goal no matter what external credit or recognition the task gets.

The ‘Wasted Time’ Project

I’m going to set myself 4 main goals or tasks that I want to complete. It may take a few months, it might take more than a year, but the goal is to recognise the success of actually bloody doing the task!

1) Finish the novel. It doesn’t matter if I regard it as good, just as long as I finish it.

2) Get the tattoo. It’s designed and I’m dying to get it done, it’s just a case of walking into a tattoo parlour and avoiding killing a tattoo artist through the pain.

3) Start the YouTube channel. It may be thoroughly pants and it might only get four views (all from my mum) but at least I’ve done it.

4) Write the children’s book. I’ve planned it out and drawn the initial illustrations, it just needs putting together.

Hopefully achieving these four tasks will encourage me to set more goals for myself.  I may learn to take on more challenges in between these main goals. Whatever happens, the aim is to get out of the restrictive attitude of what I perceive to be ‘wasted time’.

Is there something you’ve always wanted to do or finish? What ‘wasted time’ goal would you like to acheive?

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