I love lists. You can tell just by poking around “The Great’s Escape,” I love all lists. So many of us love that sense of accomplishment when we cross something off a “To-Do” list, manage to get everything on the grocery list, and possess more than half of a “Most Desirable Attributes in a Human Being” list. Thank you for that, BuzzNews. (This is not real. Don’t email me.)
This list worried me. You know from a previous entry that I have been catching myself in horrifying moments of shallowness, meanness, and bitterness. The last time I was on this downward spiral, I attributed it to a heartbreak. (Shocking news, I’m sure, to you regular readers.) This time around, these bouts of ugliness are not continual- they are moments that roll in like thunder clouds, scare me, and blow away just as suddenly. I wonder if I set about actively rejecting these ten items, could I pull myself away from these moments and stop the spiral? They seem to be not only time wasters, but a recipe for lifelong misery.
Inc. posted Geoffrey James’s “10 Huge Time Wasting Mental Habits” online. His list (without his comments…you can read the whole thing here) is:
1. Wondering what other people are thinking.
2. Speculating how life would be different if only you had …
3. Imagining the worst that could happen.
4. Worrying about the economy.
5. Getting angry at other drivers.
6. Blaming your mother for who you are now.
8. Complaining about things outside your control.
9. Expecting anything to be perfect.
10. Arguing with strangers.
Numbers one, two, and ten stopped me in my tracks. (Well, they stopped me in my clicks because I was reading my Facebook Newsfeed at the time.) I am so incredibly guilty of these things! I try to imagine what others are thinking all the time. When I’m interested in justifying it, I will conclude that it helps me empathize. It helps me sympathize. It helps me temper my own reactions as I wonder how a situation would be interpreted and acted upon by someone else. Number two is how it happens that I have so many “Drafts” of blog posts. I am fascinated with how one moment in time, one quick decision will alter the rest of your life. Sometimes I am able to marvel joyously at those instances – job interviews, Joe, so many moments with the kids. The flip side to the marveling, is the lamenting. Enter: every “ghost”of my past. Number ten hit close to home because just recently I got in an argument (online, no less), with a total stranger. It was dumb. I needled her deliberately. Neither one of us was going to back down. It was stupid- BEYOND stupid. This item on the list I get and I need to be more aware of my reactions, particularly in virtual settings.
What do you think of these habits? Are you guilty of any of them?