Why You should actively choose what is worth spending your time with
“Each individual has to be conscious, alert, and watchful, and experiment with life and find out what is good for him. Whatever gives you peace, whatever makes you blissful, whatever gives you serenity, whatever brings you closer to existence and its immense harmony is good. And whatever creates conflict, misery, pain in you is wrong. Nobody else can decide it for you. because every individual has his own world, his own sesitivity. We are unique. So formulas are not going to work. The whole world is a proof of this.
Never ask anybody what is right and what is wrong. Life i an experiment to find out.”
-From the book Everyday Osho: 365 Daily Meditations For The Here And Now
I like this quote as it suggests that we should explore and experiment what makes our lives happy, fulfilled and blissful. And the answer is different for any of us as we are all unique. As in the article picture, we walk the path of life, balancing on a narrow wire towards our goals. How much and what we carry on this path and which shoes to wear and how fast we walk is up to us if we take the responsibility to decide for ourselves.
We often grow up with the idea that there is a certain way of living our lives that is ideal for everybody, that there is a certain way to do it right. And we should find happiness in the way life is to be lived instead of figuring out the ideal life for ourselves.
Many young Yoga teachers are teaching more and more classes each week the more demand there is, just trying to make a living, but not asking what truly is important for them. After a while they feel like they cannot give as much in each class any more, they find it hard to find the time to do their own Yoga practice, and don’t even think about going on vacation as vacation means no income.
This will soon lead to thoughts about quitting teaching or burning out.
That’s why I think that designing your lifestyle is one of the most important things to figure out for yourself – How do you want to live your life?
If you don’t design your lifestyle and take measures to live accordingly, others will design your life for you!
Growing up, I just tried to do what was considered normal, tried to fit in and do my best enjoying it. I went to school and university, got good grades to then find a well-paying job that I could hopefully keep doing until I retire.
Each year would pretty much be the same: work most of the year, try to enjoy my free weekends, go on vacation once, maybe twice for one to three weeks.
This kind of lifestyle makes many of us already start counting the days until the weekend from Mondays on. I for myself loved studying economics and engineering and I even enjoyed my job as a management consultant. But the fact that I could not decide about most of my own time was draining my energy. I was running a race that others had designed for me.
On my first trip to India I was amazed to hear from fellow Yogis, how they spend most of their year in the most beautiful places on earth, working from their laptop, teaching and practicing Yoga everywhere.
I wondered if that would be possible. Now after leaving my job and living as a Yoga teacher for some years I have to say: most definitely possible.
But you have to put in the work and organize it!
Of course, everybody has different preferences how an ideal lifestyle looks like. One person loves living in the city teaching at big Yoga studios, giving privates and corporate Yoga classes. Another one prefers teaching retreats on a tropical island, a third loves traveling around and teaching weekend workshops. Those things depend on our personality, our stage of life, if we have a family or partner and many other things. Here is how you can start:
Design your ideal lifestyle
Start thinking about the next year
How much time do you want to spend for your own Yoga studies, at your favorite destination, maybe in India. Any bigger projects like a Yoga retreat or workshop weekends, that you want to teach? Any Vacation?
First write down all the projects and also goals that you want to accomplish over the next year. Then take a calendar that shows the whole year on one sheet of paper and schedule those bigger projects, vacations, retreats, workshops.
Think about each week and each day
Then take an example week schedule and an example day and put in all those things that should happen each week and each day:
How many free days a week do you need (as Yoga teachers tend to often work on weekends, you still need days off teaching)? How much time with your family, partner and friends? How much time for organization, paperwork etc.? How much time for teaching Yoga classes? How much time for your personal Yoga practice?
Fill all these things that are important to you into the example week. If it doesn’t fit, you know you have to get rid of some things and prioritize more. Definitely some things you are doing right now will not fit anymore, so be prepared to let some things go!
Any lifestyle is possible, yet most of us don’t even know what is most important to them. And without knowing, it’s easy to complain that our life doesn’t look the way we want it.
We first have to know what we want!
Obviously the more material desires and responsibilities (such as family and kids) your lifestyle includes, the more you will have to to think about income streams to fill your days and weeks.
And just to be clear: When I say: design your ideal lifestyle, I am not suggesting you should just do things that are easy, lie on the beach all day, not caring about anything, being lazy and quitting work.
Designing the life we want should enable and support us to express our fullest potential, not give us an excuse to be a slacker!
I believe in choosing and walking our own personal path, taking on responsibility for our own life, staying committed to being the best, most authentic version of yourself, growing our awareness each moment and working consistently and disciplined to provide value to the world. Exploring which lifestyle helps us do that best will uplift and inspire us much more than accepting the status quo and a life that is considered “normal”.
Anything is possible if we keep and open attitude and use some creativity when creating our ideal lifestyle. And as with everything, the processes is not straight forward, rather a trial and error exploration that continues as our life and preferences will keep changing throughout our lives.