In today’s society, we’re bombarded by noise. If we’re not multitasking, we’re wasting time. I noticed this in my own life recently when I switched my major from biology to public relations. I can’t say my new major is less demanding than my old one, it just demands differently. I used to have to spend hours memorizing animal reproductive systems, now I spend my time writing blog posts.
It used to be that I would come home from classes and immediately start working on an assignment due the next day or start studying for a test. Once I made the switch, I had a lot more free time, but I had developed a problem. I was now hardwired to work—constantly. Rather than enjoying my new free time, I stressed myself out over nothing. What should I be working on? What am I forgetting?
I thought I had to study to live. The reality was I wasn’t living at all. What would I have become if I continued on the path I was on? Simply put, I would become like everyone else—working hard because I was told I had to if I wanted to get anywhere in life. I still work hard, but now I enjoy the work I am doing because I know why I am doing it.
I also don’t play football anymore. I spent the majority of my life devoting my time outside of school to sports. I wouldn’t have had it any other way, but in this new season of life, I am learning that it’s okay to say no to some things so I can say yes to the best things. Believe me, It was hard giving up a sport I had loved and played for so long, but it was the right decision.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs
In summary, it’s okay to say no. When the end goal becomes out of focus, relearn why you started in the first place. Eliminate the unnecessary so you can make room for the necessary. Turn down the noise so you can hear what really matters.