"The older you grow, the quieter you may become. Life humbles you gradually as you age. You begin to realize how much nonsense you’ve wasted time on."
And what is the biggest nonsense creator of them all? Your mind … and the fantasies it projects into every facet of your life. You’ve likely fantasized your way into headaches and heartaches hundreds of times in the past. Believe me, you aren’t alone.
We stress ourselves out … because of fantasies. We procrastinate to the point of failure … because of fantasies. We get angry with others, with ourselves, and with the world at large … because of fantasies.
Sadly, we miss out on many of life’s most beautiful and peaceful moments … because of our fantasies.
All that might seem hard to believe, so let’s look at a few common examples:
• When we wake up and immediately start fantasizing and worrying about all the things we have to do, we are adding stress to an otherwise pleasant morning.
• When we fear potential failure, and we procrastinate in response to our fear, our fearful fantasies force us to miss great opportunities.
• Someone upsets us because he or she isn't behaving according to our fantasy of how he or she “should” behave. Our frustration stems not from their behavior but from how their behavior differs from our fantasy.
• We think about making a healthy change in our life (like getting in shape). At first, we are inspired by the fantasy of how easy it will be, but that’s not reality. Soon we realize we have to work hard to exercise and eat right but that doesn’t match up with our inspiring fantasy, so we give up. (How many Nordic Trackers are stashed in attics and under beds?)
• We have a conversation with someone and we’re distracted with fantasies of how this person views us, or by our propensity to fantasize about how to respond before they even finish talking. End result: we miss an opportunity to connect more deeply with them.
Fortunately, most of the time we get out of our own heads long enough to focus on the present and make the best of things.
So remind yourself, when necessary, to see the moment for what it really is, not what you think it should be. Accept it, so you can make the best of it.
See other people for who they are, and accept them, without needless judgments. Don’t allow their behavior to dominate your thoughts and emotions. Just be present and accepting. Then decide if you want to spend extra time with them. If not, part ways peacefully.