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Stop Waiting, Take The Chance And Start Living

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Stop Waiting, Take The Chance And Start Living

Looking back on my younger days, I find it incredibly ironic how much of my life I spent listening to Pink Floyd, whose hit song “Time” is specifically about not sitting around and letting life pass you by.

But, like oh so many high school and college students, I wasted a lot of my time in the short- and long-term. I would sleep late on Saturdays, lose hours “hanging out” with friends and scrolling through Facebook and Tumblr endlessly.

In the long-term, I also was never sure what I wanted to do with my life, so I drifted through the easiest college courses, never really pushing myself to do better. It wasn’t until I hit around 25 that I realized I’d missed a large chunk of my life for absolutely no reason. The “good times” I’d had weren’t that great, and, in truth, I was always just passing time until something better came along.

What I realized is that nothing simply “comes along.” Life is what you make of it. If you’re unhappy with something in your life, there is nothing stopping you from making moves to change it.

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My problem in college was that I’d figured I’d already sunk time and money into studying toward one degree, so switching majors in the middle of my college career would be a hassle. Well, it would have been a minor hassle then, but it’s a major hassle now that I’m in the real world without a clue of where to go from here.

If I were able to go back in time and visit my younger self, first I would smack the beer can out of his hand and tell him to read more. Then, I would tell him to, as Andy Dufresne in Shawshank Redemption says,”get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’.”

Stop Waiting, Go Out and Live Life

1. Good things don’t come to those who wait

The idea that good things come to those who wait works for children who rely on their parents for everything they desire in life. Once you have control of your own life, you need to go out and earn everything you desire and hope for in the world.

You’ll certainly need to be patient, such as when waiting for a call back after an interview, but you shouldn’t waste the time in-between just waiting for your phone to ring. In this world, you’ll reap while you sow, so you better make hay while the sun shines (ugh, two metaphors in one sentence. I apologize).

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2. Risks are necessary

Let me rephrase that: Calculated risks are necessary. I’m not saying you should do the whole “YOLO” thing kids talk about these days and put yourself in danger. But you definitely should take the leaps of faith that are necessary to push you forward in life.

If you never step out of your comfort zone, you’ll end up sitting on your couch watching sitcom reruns your entire life. Try to do something that scares you and makes you feel vulnerable every day.

There’s no point in getting out of bed today if you’re going to do the exact same thing you did yesterday. The world has a lot to offer; try to get as much out of it as you can.

3. Check your “what if’s” at the door

Again, do so calculatingly. If you’re thinking of taking a risk that will endanger you or someone else, you should definitely let “what if’s” dissuade you from acting maliciously or imprudently.

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But if the risk you’re taking involves public speaking, or asking a girl out, don’t let “what if’s” cripple you to the point of not going for it. The truth is, the negative thoughts you have about taking a risk are most likely greatly overblown.

If you drop your cue cards or stumble over your words while giving a speech, the worst thing that’ll happen is your audience might chuckle sympathetically. In the grand scheme of things, such small embarrassing moments are only remembered by you.

4. Your regrets and your past don’t define you

Everyone likes to say they have no regrets because they’ve learned from their mistakes. I highly doubt that’s true; everyone regrets something in their past, and would do anything to take back their mistakes.

But the past is the past, and if you truly have learned from your mistakes, you’ll never make them again, and you’re a stronger person for having learned from them. Life is a constant learning experience; if you find you’ve stopped learning, you should start taking life more seriously.

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5. Keep moving forward

Like I just said, if you’re not learning, you’re not living. I know life keeps you busy, and some days you just want to turn on the TV and stare into space for hours on end. But remember, you’ll never get that day back again. What good is “working for the weekend” if you spend your weekend half asleep?

Try to take advantage of every waking moment you have on this planet. It’s hard to do, but just think of how far ahead you’ll be of all the people binge watching a show on Netflix for the fourth time in the past year.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm3.staticflickr.com

More by this author

Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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