Trading in Time

(“Why am I Always So Tired?” – How Discerning the Cost of Anything is Essential to Living Well, Part II)

This is Part II of a series looking at how discerning the non-monetary cost of things in our lives can help us figure out why we’re so tired – and how we can live better.

In Part I, I wrote about shifting our definition of “cost” from that of mere monetary valuation to a more accurate weighing up of the amount of life something requires of us. How much life do we have to trade in to get the thing?

Most of us aren’t used to thinking of cost in terms of life: we’ve been trained from an early age to consider the price tag as an accurate representation of how much something is worth, rather than asking ourselves what the life-cost is to us.

There are three main ways to start thinking about life-cost: time, energy, and emotional expenditure.

Let’s talk about the life-cost of time.

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“Why Am I Always So Tired?” – How Discerning the Cost of Anything is Essential to Living Well

“Why am I always so tired?” If you’ve asked yourself this question, you’re not alone. Most people I know are perpetually exhausted! And the reason why isn’t what you might think: while sometimes we genuinely need to sleep more or explore a chronic health condition, very often what makes us tired is a lack of discernment about the cost of things in our lives.

If we want to truly live well, we have to pay attention to the expenses and income of our lives, not just our bank accounts. When we ask how much something costs, most of us are referring to a thing’s monetary value. How much money will we have to give up in order to own (or lease) the thing?

But most of us get money to buy things by giving up something of ourselves: our time, our expertise, our physical labour.

Giving up these elements of our life can make us really tired.

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How to Deal with Emotions When You’re Highly Sensitive / Intuitive/ Empathetic

Do you find yourself really sensitive to the feelings of others? Inclined to come away from an encounter with strong emotions you can’t account for? Wondering if others can “sense” the unspoken feelings floating around a room?

If so, you might be what various personality typing systems call “highly intuitive”, an “empath”, or “highly sensitive.” These labels can’t tell you anything you don’t already know, but gaining a deeper understanding of the common experience of others like you can help you to understand yourself better. It can help you to deal with your own experiences better, too.

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“I Don’t Know What I Really Want.” (To Find Out, Try This)

Several years ago, I found myself sitting in a coffee shop with a friend, discussing the paths our lives were taking, and whether we should follow or change them. “I just don’t know what God wants for me,” I lamented.

“Maybe,” he offered, “God is asking you what you want.”

What did I want? In that moment, I couldn’t answer the question. Sometimes it’s hard to know our own desires.

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What Do You Want More of in Life?

“Whatever you want more of, put that front and center.”

–Michelle Martello

This piece of advice came to me in a Marie Forleo email about website design, but it also struck me as great life advice. 

If I want more time with my family, it has to be front and center. If I want more personal growth, it has to be front and centre. If I want more of a spiritual life, it has to be front and centre.

But sometimes what I feel I want more of doesn’t line up with what is actually, currently, front and centre in my life.

Maybe I want more time with family, but my career is front and centre. Maybe I want more personal growth, but social events are front and centre. Maybe I want more of a spiritual life, but my hobbies are front and centre. 

Sometimes what we think or say is important to us isn’t actually what we live out. 

Not sure what you’re putting front and centre?

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