I wrote this last September and I shared it on some of my social media accounts but figured since I’ve finally opened a personal blog, to publish it here too. It’s been in my heart for a quite while and writing about it lifted my spirit.
No one ever said that life is easy, in fact we all know that we live in a broken world. A hurting world.
Not sure if any of you relate but sometimes it just feels like a race and it’s too overwhelming. Our lives is like a race, a race that needs a lot of endurance.
I’ve read this article just a few weeks ago and there’s a phrase that’s been made popular over the past months, “Millennial Burnout”. I’m not sure if you’re a millennial and you realise that we are being described as the burnout generation and perhaps you relate to some of this, there’s someone in the article that said, “I’m doing well in my career but my personal life admin is a mess. I feel stressed. I feel guilty. I feel permanently tired. My brain never stops. I’m constantly on hyper alert about the things that I should be doing but I just can’t bring myself to do them. I already suffer from anxiety and depression and the stress has disrupted my sleep and has now lead me to have mild insomnia.”
We live in a society that has almost defeated peace. We’ve built ourselves a culture where peace is the last thing that we can achieve. And perhaps you’re reading this and you’re realising that this is where you’re at. You feel like this is it…“I feel confused, I don’t know what I should be doing and even the things that I know I should be doing seem so overwhelming and so big that I don’t even know where to start on them. I feel like I’m burnt out, I’m tired, I have anxiety, I have depression… whatever it is, things are overwhelming.”
I’ve thought this through for a long time and I have come up with an answer. So I want to share this answer, let me just propose it to all of you. You might get to the end of my message and say, “I don’t buy it.” I come from a family of lawyers and maybe I should’ve been a lawyer or maybe a lawyer in my past life… so I’m going to propose this pretty hard.
My suggestion is that we walk this walk with life…, and this is the key message of my post, ONE DAY AT A TIME.
One day at a time, one messy, unexpected, glorious, terrifying, sad, delightful, beautiful mundane day at a time.
Life is so overwhelming. The future can be so overwhelming but if you’re reading this, let me just encourage you to live one day at a time, do something for yourself today and not worry about tomorrow. Worry and uncertainty and the future can paralyse us if we allow it to overwhelm us. I want to remind you all with this simple but impactful principle. Live life one day at a time.
Like what I said in the beginning, as I was writing this message, I felt very much refreshed.
Cos we tend to take so much on our own shoulders, we take our work-life, our family-life, our relationships, everything on our own shoulders… and we feel like we need to fix everything all at once. We need to know everything all at once. We need to understand everything all at once. It is part of the generation that we’re in. The EVERYTHING NOW generation. But life is never about everything now.
You need to trust yourself. That’s how all this fits together. There’s no point living one day at a time if you don’t trust yourself cos that just makes it like you’re living a gamble life with no direction or no purpose. No, no, no. This is all rooted in trust. So if you can root yourself in trust then…you can commit yourself to today and say, you know what, I just need to get to the end of today but I believe that I can do something on this day. Tell yourselves or whoever you are with right now that, there’s power in a day.
So I want you to learn this, as you continue reading, that there’s power in a day. We’re going to stop getting confused, stop getting overwhelmed and paralysed by all of the other things today and say I can make a difference today.
You see as I started researching this, I discovered that there are so many different secular studies and even right now in the news that prove to us that we are creatures designed to live day by day. There was one a couple of months ago, it made BBC news, it’s on sleep. They did this huge research on sleep, on how we sleep and our sleep patterns and they came to this conclusion: You cannot stockpile sleep. There is no point like sleeping small hours during the week telling yourself, it’s fine because on the weekend I’m going to sleep 26hours over two nights. Our bodies are not designed to work like that. We are designed to have regular sleep patterns and if you can get a good amount of sleep every night, that’s when you can operate to your full capacity. If you don’t approach sleep day by day by day and you say its fine, I’ll just push through, I’ll push through, I’ll push through, cos its fine, I’ve got a week’s holiday in three weeks and I’ll just sleep for an entire week and then I’ll come back and I’ll push through and push through and push through. No, No. The results of the study showed that you are just as tired and dysfunctional as if you hadn’t stockpiled the sleep at all. We are day by day creatures.
Similar studies on relationships have shown that the more successful relationships are the ones where the couple do small things for each other, demonstrations of affection on a regular basis rather than large gestures on a 6monthly or annual basis. (LOL) If you want to build a strong relationship, you build it day by day, by day. Not overwhelming yourself everyday but just doing something small but regularly. 🙂
We are creatures that are designed to live day by day! Yet we now live in a society that tells us, we have to live way ahead in the future, we have to remember all of our past (thanks to f*cking social media) and we cannot just live in the day. But c’mon, let’s all wake up. Let’s be a model, let’s be an example to a society around us that is more stressed and depressed and anxious than we have ever seen in our history.
We need to realise that life happens for us one day at a time and that therefore we need to walk and engage with it one day at a time. So here are some daily thoughts that I think we should focus on…
SLOW DOWN. The key in all of these things is to slow down.
Do you ever get the impression that our society is moving too fast, that you are moving too fast.
So often we get to just push ourselves, our personal lives to one side because everything else just seems so quick, so fast paced that we lose ourselves in the middle of it. For all of these things, if we’re going to live a day at a time, it’s going to involve us slowing down a little bit.
Even more so than slowing it down, it’s going to involve us into breaking it down. BREAK IT DOWN. The best analogy I can think of this, which I can’t even think of anything else is, the GRE, GMAT or SAT bitesize revision. Is that still a thing? I don’t know. It’s been quite a while for me since high school. Lol. But the whole concept around bitesize revision was that they would take the whole curriculum and they would break it down to bitesize chunks.
You need to see your life with a wider perspective than you’re currently seeing it. You need to realise that yes you have a vision for your life but then you’ve got to realise that you need to break it down into small manageable chunks. Don’t let the things of this world overwhelm you. Don’t let society overwhelm you. And realise that you can break it down and understand and learn and do small steps toward your vision day by day, by day. I promise you if you slow down and break it down, it’s going to shut your worries down.
There’s peace in living one day at a time, one step at a time.
WORRY LESS. If you start doing the two I’ve mentioned, then your worries will lessen as well. You see, worry is one of the things that so cripples our generation. We are worried about anything and everything. Psychologists would loosely define the problem of worry as an inability to tolerate uncertainty. There will always be uncertainty in all of our lives. But when we worry we are unable to tolerate that uncertainty cos we don’t know what to do with it. And so I thought, and I thought…, okay, so what is the only way then to tolerate uncertainty cos uncertainty will remain as long as we live. You need one thing, at least one thing that is certain enough that you can pin your hopes on it. When you’ve got something that is certain you then are able to tolerate uncertainty. I’ve found mine, it’s something too controversial to share as we all have our different views in life but I encourage you to find that one certain thing in your life and put your trust in it.
If there’s anything, it’s that this whole message is about trust. We need to learn what trust is. Trust in yourself and trust that you can live this life one day at a time.
Have you ever watched a toddler like running around doing life? Have you realised that that toddler never seems to have any thought for tomorrow? Have you ever seen a toddler separating out some of his or her food on the side of the plate saying, “Im going to save some of this food in case I don’t get any for tomorrow”? No. No. Toddlers know to trust their parents. They have this complete trust in them. You have provided for me today, you will provide for me tomorrow. Sometimes I think we need to go back to be being little children again in our faith and trust. And realise that we can live one day at a time if we have that faith in ourselves and our lives.
We need to live in the present and realise that we can make an impact in the present. But we don’t have to do everything all at once, we just need to live one day at a time…
Over and out,