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Natural Awakenings Lehigh Valley

Be Ruthless To The Things That Don't Matter

Oct 29, 2020 04:55PM ● By Dr.Rodger

How many have laid waste to Your life when you weren’t aware of what you were losing, how much was wasted in pointless grief, foolish joy, greedy desire, and social amusements, how little of your own was left to you. You will realize you are dying before your time!”

Seneca, On Tranquility of Mind, 12.5

One of the hardest things to do in life is to say “No”, to invitations, to requests, to obligations, to the stuff that everyone else is doing. Even harder is saying no to certain time-consuming emotions: anger, excitement, distraction, obsession. None of these impulses feels like a big deal by itself, but they become a commitment like anything else. 

If you’re not careful, these are precisely the impositions that will overwhelm and consume your life. Do you ever wonder how you can get some of your time back, how you can feel less busy? Start by learning the power of “NO”, as in “No, thank you,” and “No I’m not going to get caught up in that,” and “No, I just can’t right now.” It may hurt some feelings. It may even turn people off you. It may take some hard work. But the more you say no to the things that don’t matter, the more you can say yes to the things that do.  

Law 29 of the 48 laws of power is to plan all the way to the end. Robert Greene writes, “By planning to the end you will not be overwhelmed by circumstances and you will know when to stop”. Gently guide fortune and help determine the future by thinking far ahead. The second habit in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is: begin with an end in mind. Having an end in mind is no guarantee that you’ll reach it, but not having an end in mind is a guarantee you will never reach it. When your efforts are not directed, at a cause or a purpose, how will you know what to do day in and day out? How will you know what to say no to and what to say yes to? How will you know when you’ve had enough, when you’ve reached your goal, when you’ve gotten off track, if you’ve never defined what those things are? The answer is that you cannot. And so, you are driven into failure or worse, into madness by the oblivion of no direction. This is why it is important to plan ahead decide upon a goal, and by doing this you override your failure mechanism and change the direction of your life, which in turn will let you live and enjoy Your life.