“How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself and in no instance bypass the discriminations of reason? You have been given the principles that you ought to endorse, and you have endorsed them. What kind of teacher, then, are you still waiting for in order to refer your self-improvement to him? — Epictetus
Do you ever feel like you are wasting your time? I think we’ve all had that annoying experience. What are you waiting for then?
I know, sometimes it’s hard to even know where to start, right? But no worries, I’ve found a great formula to figure that out and get you started.
First things first. Anxiety about the future, not really knowing about what is to come, about having wasted your life in a meaningless job for years, anxiety about being anxious, will simply not do, trust me.
What will do is action, taking responsibility for your life, right here, right now. This can easily be achieved if you realize that you will never have another moment like this one, this fleeting moment is never going to come back, so there is no other moment to do anything bu this one. This fact can either make you more anxious, or it can liberate you, as the realization implies that there is no need for anxiety. Anxiety vanishes away with action.
But how can I make it go away if I don’t even know what I want?
Fair question. You need to know what do you want so you can start working right?
In life, there are Cooks and there are Chefs, bought can make great food but there is a difference between them. The Chef operates by creating while the cook operates by copying. What does this mean? Imagine that you are in a kitchen and you are a Cook. In this situation, you would grab the recipe book and get to work on something previously done. Instead, if you were a Chef, you would use the ingredients in the kitchen to make magic. The tomatoes, the potatoes, the garlic, salt, pepper, etc. Through trial and error, you can make something great, something that the cooks will want to copy someday.
Now, being a Chef is not easy of course. It’s way easier to be a cook, you just have to copy the Chef. Now back to you. Where are you a Cook and where are you a Chef in your life? How much of what you’ve done and are doing with your time now based on pre-designed recipes or recipes made by you? This is an extremely important question as there is nobody in the world like yourself. You, my friend, are one and the only kind of a Chef and the world needs those new recipes.
You can be a Cook with the way you dress, for example, it doesn’t matter that much, but with your contribution to the world? That’s different, you should definitely be the Master Chef there.
This is a life process of course. But the time to start figuring that out is right now. As in go and grab a pen and start thinking about it.
What’s really yours?
If you want to dig deeper into this topic I recommend you visit this post from our friends from ‘Wait But Why’, you’ll understand this Cooks and Chefs concepts even better. I’ll wait here for the next part which is time, and how to use it now that you know what you want.
Now that you have your plan and you are ready to work, let’s talk about how you’ll actually do it.
There is plenty of money in the world, a lot. What is terrifyingly scarce is time. Time cannot be bought back, time cannot be stored, it is, with all certainty, the scarcest resource in the world.
“People are frugal in guarding their personal property; but as soon as it comes to squandering time they are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy.”
Quite a struggle to deal with time. There never seems to be enough of it. Between your career, your family, your friends, your downtime, it all seems to vanish without you even noticing.
But there is good news. The good news is that time can be managed. It can be managed to your benefit. If you have never written down where your time goes, man, you’ll be amazed. I warn you it will be a huge shock to know how much of it you are actually wasting.
Now that you are a Chef in your life and that you know all the things you want to accomplish to squeeze that sweet, sweet nectar of a life well-lived, you need to know how to find the time to do it.
Think of time as a resource, at every moment, you are using your most valuable resource, more valuable even than gold or diamonds (this is literally true), you are investing it. Do you consider yourself an intelligent investor?
Fair if you didn’t know where to invest it, wasting it was a given, but now that you have the tools to put your time to work, there are no excuses.
“What’s measured improves”
― Peter Drucker
If you have a lot of time in your hands, great! It’s time to get to work. But, if you have too little. You are going to have to measure it. With this, I mean that you are literally going to have to grab a small notebook and a pen and measure your daily activities and measure how much time it goes to where. Write how you are feeling as you this as well. You will not have the same levels of energies at 5 AM after a good night rest that after work at 8 PM.
What’s not measured cannot improve. But if you measure it, and you get to work, you’ll conquer life.
Trust me, you don’t want to find yourself at the end of your life like this:
“Often a very old man has no other proof of his long life than his age.”
― Lucius Annaeus Seneca
By doing this, by writing down your self-made Chef recipes and measuring your day, and understanding yourself, you’ll be able to start cooking. You’ll know the why, the when and how. You’ll certainly make some very bad dishes, of course, but they are going to be your dishes and you’ll get better with time so the Cooks can start copying you.
Now, let’s get busy cooking shall we?
a great complement to this read: The Pathway to psychological freedom
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