It was full today. Everyone was in post-holiday mode, except a few people.
I had a conversation with a woman, and had a chance to see how certain words, how certain way of saying what I have been saying lands.
I shared my story, how I escaped becoming mediocre like most people. I said no to coasting with people in my life.
What is coasting? Coasting is pending time with people doing things you do not find rewarding, but they are doing it, and you are just there.
- Watching TV
- even having dinner together, at home or going out to eat
- even cooking and chatting
There is an often said phrase: quality time… but no one knows what it means.
Why? Because they spend so much time together, not even present, just to pass time, that quality time? It looks like work… so it remains a slogan.
OK, here is my story:
When I was 16 years old, I was expelled from one high school on a Thursday. My father pulled some strings, and Saturday morning I showed up in the best school in Hungary. A teaching school… just like there are teaching hospitals, there are teaching schools, where students learn how to teach. So the pupils have to be good, and the teachers have to be even better.
I went from nearly the best to nearly the worst.
It became obvious that without actually doing the work, I wasn’t going to be one of the best… There is more to the story, but for now, I’ll skip that.
The school was far, and I never got home before 4 pm. Both my parents worked till 5 pm.
So I set up my life that I can study… because obviously with everyone talking, and dinner, and setting the table, and TV… I was never going to have time to study.
So I went to bed at 5 pm, was asleep by the time my parents got home, slept through the hubbub of a normal family, and got up at 11~12, when it quieted down.
I did this for six and a half years.
I wasn’t popular. But I got good grades, I was accepted to a university with an over-application of 20:1, and got good grades at university. I was never late with any assignment. I never skimped, cut corners, I did the work.
You see, they had time for coasting, but I didn’t.
My brothers didn’t get good grades… they never studied.
I carried this “do not join in when others are coasting” habit through the years. I have had no television set. I strayed a little last year and watched Netflix… coasted. Life did not seem worth living.
I don’t know which was first: the chicken or the egg. And honestly I don’t care.
Being someone I can respect, meeting my own expectations is very important to me.
Unless I do, I can kiss self-realization, self-actualization, good bye.
So what makes people join other people in wasting life?
Being able to see that it is not time well spent, that the price to pay is a lot bigger than the gain is the secret of being able to overcome, or at least curtail all this coasting.
The reason people with family not often amount to much more than just having a job, is this coasting.
Family is important, but just like you would not want to pay for what you want earning 10 cents an hour, you should not pay for family time with pennies… you are not present, you are not doing anything meaningful, you are not having great conversation, or anything memorable.
The solution is not moving out. The solution is not divorcing. The solution is not forcing the family to have a meaningful time together.
The solution is to set boundaries that you demand respect for.
I have to tell you, even though my family didn’t like that I wasn’t participating in family coasting, they never came in while I slept, never knocked, and never said anything in my face.
I did have a lock on the door, and I locked it to be sure.
The fear of missing something, the fear of being left out of some fun can’t be managed. At least I cannot manage it.
Even when I am on someone’s webinar and I hear their children raucous sounds in the background, or I hear their spouse put away the dishes in the background, I am bothered.
And I wonder how that person can have clarity of mind…
Of course we are all slightly different.
I am kinesthetic/auditory… I can’t have any background noise, or I can’t hold my attention on what I am doing.
My chirping bird sounds are good… it is more like words that bother me. Or the intention or the emotions of other people.
If you are not growing in spite of your commitment to grow, in spite of, for example, being in the 67 steps, it is high time to pull away of the hubbub and carve out some time for yourself.
That carved out time is what you have, well used, to become happy, and to live the good life.
The rest is coasting.
One other reason that I detect with some students is this: they are tired when they get home.
And for some weird reason, instead of injecting energy into their lives, they let all they had leak away.
When I am tired, which happens occasionally, I declare myself “running on empty” which is like a battle cry. It is time to refuel.
I read. I write… it energizes me. Or I dance a little…
All look like activities that you should do when you are not tired… But then again, that is a clear indication that reality and your map of reality are out of whack. And your vibration is low. Lower than it could be…
For a list of cognitive biases here is the link to a Wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases
A cognitive bias is a mistake people customarily make. The misweighing bias, or choosing to hang out instead of refueling are examples of cognitive biases.
Note: All the people in the pictures say the same thing. It sounds good. But I promise that they love hanging out with their kids so much because it happens only rarely.