Here’s something we don’t think about until it’s too late: Time adds up. And it adds up QUICKLY.
In the last year I’ve come to realize what a ridiculous waste of time it is to spend too many minutes (hours, for some people) looking at ourselves in the mirror on the daily. My roommate last year took–I kid you not–almost two hours to get ready for a night out. And we went out almost every night (don’t judge us, we lived in Spain…). Do you know how many hours that adds up to at the end of the week? At the end of the month? The year?
While she got ready I would literally take naps, write in my journal, practice Spanish with my host mom, and a million other things besides just look at myself.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s important to look good and feel good because those are what give us positive perceptions of ourselves. However, too much of it just adds up, at the end of our lives, to days spent practicing our smiles. Doesn’t smiling come naturally to us anyway? Is there even a real need to practice?
You don’t want to be the 80-year-old looking back asking yourself what you did with your time and not have the greatest possible answer. You want to be the one with so many answers that you don’t know what to say first.
Maybe 2014 will be the year you stop looking in the mirror. Or the year you look a little less. The UN recently launched a campaign for the second annual Giving Tuesday (the National Day of Giving) a few weeks ago. It was the #UNSelfie movement. The idea is simple: take pictures of others, acts of kindness and giving, and hashtag it with #UNselfie.
The level of selfish that too many people are on is high, and maybe looking less in the mirror and more in ourselves will change that. What if you spend ten minutes tomorrow morning reflecting on what you want to accomplish in the next 24 hours, instead of making sure you look good doing it?
Just like a few minutes staring at yourself will add up, a few minutes of positivity will add up too, and the effects are long-term. So, take some time every day to look in other directions. There is so much more to see than yourself.