Do you ever find yourself waiting for Friday? For the freedom that Friday brings. The fact that once Friday comes you have the next 48 hours to do whatever you please?! That Friday feeling is pretty exhilarating.
But isn't there always something better right around the corner that we are waiting for? I remember being in school and counting down the days before Holiday break or Summer Vacation. I would tell myself, you only have to make it through the next six weeks and then you get a break. Or working at a job that I hated and telling myself, just make it until Friday and you can breathe. Or even now, I catch myself saying how much I can't wait until I can retire in 30+ years so I can spend all day with my dogs. (Not saying that I don't LOVE my job, but I mean...it's my dogs!).
In the end, there is always something better to look forward to. But while we are waiting for the next season or a new week too begin, we are missing the moment that we exist in.
Tim Urban presented a TED talk about procrastination. If you are a procrastinator (like me!), I would highly encourage you to watch it! You can view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arj7oStGLkU
Tim does a phenomenal job in identifying our need to feed instant gratification, which he identifies as a monkey. At the end of the day, the monkey will never truly be satisfied. For real, have you ever gone to the zoo and watched the monkeys? They are constantly moving around or into something. We do the same thing. We are constantly looking for the next best thing to turn the corner and feed that monkey.
In his presentation, he also brings up a point in which every person has only so many weeks in their lifespan. Let's say you live to be 90 years old. That means you only have 4,680 weeks. If you only are living for Fridays, then you only have 4,680 times that you get to enjoy, the rest of the time is just waiting. Waiting for the next big thing and feeding that monkey.
That is incredibly depressing. But not hopeless.
As we continue to do this over and over again that monkey gets greedy and it becomes difficult to satisfy the monkey. We become stuck in the TGIF mentality.
Don't get me wrong, Friday is still amazing. But can we also find ways to enjoy the moments we have throughout the Mondays? or rainy days? or sick days? What if as we wait for our Friday we learn to embrace the messy fingerprints on the fridge after making cookies; savor the smells of the freshly fallen rain; or indulge in the laughter of a loved one.
Breaking this mentality is easier said than done. So how do we change it?
Begin by giving yourself a break. Stop thinking you have to be accomplishing something to make you happy. Or that you have to be successful. You are human. Give yourself a break during the week. This small five-minute break can be your vacation. It can be your happy.
Stop comparing yourself to others. The idea that you have to have accomplished certain milestones in your life or the envy that comes from wishing you had something different. Your life is not theirs and vice versa. Comparing your life to someone else's limits the fact that your life is unique. Your life is beautiful and the beauty comes from your perspective to it.
Finally, focus on the simple things. I'm always amazed this time of the year as the leaves begin to change colors and the world around begins to slow down. It's a simple reminder for us to slow down and look around. As the leaves fall to the ground watch the grace as they tumble; feel the crunching of the leaves between your fingers; hear the squirrels rustle around. It's in these little and simple things that can remind us how beautiful our every day is.