As humans we have a limit on how many things we can focus our energy on and still manage to make them productive. As a rule of thumb it’s about five – see Warren Buffet’s 20-5 Rule.

This number might differ slightly from person to person, but this is not the point. The point is, because this limit exists in our natural make-up as humans we must be careful what we invest our energy into. We don’t want to fall into the trap of trying to be something that is not set on our values – we don’t want to waste our valuable stores of energy on attaining temporary short term highs.

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We work jobs, study degrees and often travel the globe beyond our means, which is great. However, we don’t want to get up caught in a cycle of pursuing work and study just so we can travel, for example. Our job should be our passion, not merely a means of financial supplement. For young people this is a lot easier to foresee. The older you get, the harder it becomes to break these cycles as you have children and start a family – but there is still a way if you’re creative with your perception of life.

We can sometimes value things like money, social approval and perfection too much, only to later realise that the time and energy we had spent pursuing these things could have been better spent somewhere more meaningful.

As time passes, we realise that hindsight becomes our best friend. It’s a little whisper that tells us what we might have changed if we had a situation over again. And luckily for us, we have the opportunity to employ what hindsight has taught us, not necessarily in the exact same scenarios that have passed, but in a present scenario that is focused on our future wellbeing. We learn to care for ourselves better by realising the lack of care we had for ourselves in the past.

We learn to care for ourselves better by realising the lack of care we had for ourselves in the past.

So in the midst of deciding who you are and what you want in life, don’t be demoralised by the fact that you may have pursued some of the wrong things in the past or placed your energy into things for the wrong reasons. In fact there is an added advantage that comes with this ‘mistaken use of energy’ if you call it that.

Somewhere along the way, our energies must be directed to things that are not necessarily in our best interest, and these commonly occur earlier in life, but not always. What we must realise is that our mere reflection on the inadequacies of our past is already a major step in confronting what we desire for our future selves.

If we truly accept the past as unchangeable and take the lessons we have learned forward with us, there is only place for growth.

…..And where growth pursues, happiness cultivates.

~ Adam M, 2018