We’ve all been there. We work hard, we keep busy, and yet somehow despite all the motion, we wind up feel stuck at some point. In this modern age, it’s an ever growing problem, but in the not so distant past, introspection was often built into the day. Whether it was doing farm work, riding into town, or sitting in front of the fire in the evening, there was always space to think things through and make sound decisions.
Most of us don’t have the luxury of this kind of work, but if you’re lucky enough to have a job that allows you to use your hands and let your mind freely explore, that’s great! Chances are though that even if you have this kind of job, your environment is likely still filled with music or other distractions that keep you from taking advantage of the mental space.
The point is, it’s difficult to find space these days for thinking clearly and seeing the big picture, which is the key to getting un-stuck. That’s why you have to make space.
Why Make Space?
So, why make space? Isn’t it good to be busy? The answer is that it can be, but how will you even know if you don’t have the room to actually see your current situation clearly. Let’s go through several of the benefits.
- It makes you more aware. When your life is full and things feel off, making space gives you room to get a clearer sense of what is going on. You start to recognize that there are things that don’t belong in your life. More importantly, you start to identify the things that aren’t a part of your life that you want to be. Beyond this, it also gives you the ability to see others more clearly and enables you to judge less harshly and be less reactive when interacting with people.
- It helps you prioritize. Once you’ve had a chance to actually “see the forest for the trees”, you can start to work through each piece of your life putting things back in priority order. Suddenly it’s easier (though definitely still not easy) to get things like exercise back in to where it belongs in your day.
- It increases your quality of life. Think of the difference between being in Manhattan, NY and being in rural America. There’s something freeing and enriching about having open space of corn fields and being able to look around and see things in the distance. The point is, when we have space in our lives to sit still and observe, we feel more alive and aware. We feel more joy in our journey and have the perspective to accept things more easily. In the end the quality of our lives is improved just by having the space to enjoy it.
Making space comes with a cost, but everything does. If that sounds scary, think if it more as a trade-off. In order to buy something the trade-off is that we must give money to get what we want. In order to make space in life, we have to give up something to make that space. It can be as simple as watching one less episode of your favorite TV show or reading one less chapter of the book you’re reading.
It can also be something much more challenging. Here’s a personal example.
I recently found myself stuck with too many things going on in my life. After slowing down enough to look at my life, I realized that I needed to make some space and after thinking about it a great while, I came to a conclusion. I decided to walk away from a business venture that I was just getting involved with, something that could have been very interesting and lucrative, in order to make space in my life for living more intentionally.
Not only did this involve walking away from a great opportunity, it meant hurting a relationship with a good friend, and that hurt me a great deal. In the end though, it freed up the space I needed to start prioritizing the opportunities in my life and make strides toward launching a small business that I’m excited about. I don’t know what the future of this little business truly is, but one thing is for sure. I will never know if I don’t make the space to give it life.
The fact is, everything in life has a price. Make sure you’re paying for the life you want to have. If you pause for a second and realize you’re paying for something that you don’t want in your life, stop paying for it and get it out of your life. And be sure to always make space for life.
Question: What are you going to remove from your life this week to help you make space? Leave a comment below or share on the following social networks.