“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” -Jim Rohn
I attended a meeting this weekend in which there were some amazing speakers. One of the speakers shared her life story which started with growing up in an upper class family, going to college, getting married, having children, etc. She was a classy, beautiful woman, who seemed to have every blessing in her life and she really stressed the point that she did “have it all”, so to speak, but because she stopped being grateful for what she had and because she took her blessings for granted, she started to grasp for “fillers” to try and make herself happy. She shared how at that point of her life she began drinking alcohol excessively, and then she started using drugs, and her life spiraled out of control until she finally hit rock bottom. After hitting rock bottom, she sought out help and she was able to turn her life around, and she is doing much better now. In her talk she stressed the fact that if someone like her, who was raised in a good home and who had a good family and wonderful children, could become an addict, that anyone could, and that none of us are exempt from being tempted down that path. She talked about the importance of not allowing ourselves to be tempted into allowing “fillers” into our lives. For some it may be as extreme as drugs and alcohol abuse, but for others it may be something as innocent as shopping or television or talking on the phone or video games or surfing the web. It’s really any of the things that we would fill our time to the extent that they are overtaking our ability to do the things that really matter in life. Often times it can start out innocent enough, but as we use these “fillers” as a crutch to fill our time and to avoid dealing with our emotions, what started out as just a distraction, can quickly lead to addictions which can destroy our lives.
As I listened to her talk I had to admit that I could see the “fillers” I allow into my own life. Mine may not be as extreme as hers were, but they are certainly something I need to avoid nonetheless. Life is full of distractions that are always so seemingly harmless, but the more those distractions slowly creep into your life, they slowly overtake your time from doing the things in life that really matter – like spending time with your family, or doing service for someone else, or reading a motivational book that will help you become a better person, or working on improving your talents, or accomplishing things in your professional life that will help you grow and excel in that regard. Every moment we spend on something that adds no redeeming value to our life, or the life of others, is a moment we cannot get back, it is a moment lost…and when you add enough of those lost moments together, they equal lost opportunity, lost growth, lost success, and lost love.
I know that hearing this talk over the weekend did wonders for my resolve to make sure that I don’t let any wasteful “fillers” into my life anymore. I want every moment of my life to count. I want to stay more aware of those little distractions that are so easy to get sucked into and make sure that I avoid them. And I am going to be careful to stay more grateful each day for the blessings that I have so I don’t get caught up in taking things for granted. I think the speaker was right in saying that it is the times we take things for granted and lack gratitude that these “fillers” so easily creep in with the temptation that they will somehow give us a sense of happiness and fulfillment, when the reality is that they never do. I am even going to write on my bathroom mirror a list of the most important things in my life that I want to stay focused on each day so I stay reminded of them every morning before I head out for my day.
Steven Covey states:
“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically – to say ‘no’ to other things”…and I would add to his quote “Even if it means SAYING ‘NO’ to YOURSELF!”
This weekend was great. I love good speakers that remind me of important life lessons like this. I feel refreshed and recommitted to living a BETTER LIFE! Hopefully sharing her story will motivate all of you as well.
Happy Monday everyone!