There are 24 hours in a day. This may seem like a lot, but when we consider that 7-8 hours of that time is spent sleeping and 8 hours spent working, we are down to only a third left of our day to take care of everything else, like upkeep, our passions, and god forbid …. recreation. Often times there is not enough time and/or energy after work to handle all the upkeep, so we put off the upkeep to the weekend when we have plenty of time. Ah, but then that kinda makes the weekend a chore too, does it not. Now I could go on a rant about how a minimalist lifestyle can save us the tremendous amount of upkeep, thereby saving us a lot of time. But that is not what this essay is all about. THIS essay is about our obsessive need to follow a plan.
With all the necessary daily/weekly activities taking up so much of our time, it has become necessary for us to plan/schedule our recreational time and passions just to fit them in. Now there is nothing inherently wrong with that, but this has led to our obsession with trying to fill every blank space in our hourly calendar out of fear that we might fall behind in these activities and/or passions. Again, there is nothing wrong with planning out our activities; after all, a minimalist’s life is one of intention, and intention is usually planned and scheduled.
The problem with this is that when a persons schedule is so tightly packed with all the things they want to do, it cuts them off from growing wider mentally at the expense of growing deeper. That is, when someone packs their time to the brim with all the activities they need to do to pursue their passions, they are so focused on these pursuits that they don’t leave them-self open to consider other possibilities, other growth opportunities; potentially other passions. We become so narrowly focused on our goals, that any disruption that derails us from the path we have set for ourselves makes us furious. In our fury, we often close ourselves off from what the disruption is trying to teach us so that we can regain focus and get back on the track toward our destination. What we don’t realize, is that is potentially missed opportunity.
How do we fight this human tendency? simple. Don’t pack our schedules to tightly; allow plenty of buffer time for incidentals, because they can and will happen. Furthermore, don’t be so narrowly focused on these activities that we close our minds to other activities, other possibilities. I happen to believe that most of the time “incidentals” happen, they’re not incidental at all. They are in fact lessons and/or opportunities presenting themselves that we should be paying attention to. They are in fact, REAL LIFE unfolding right before us. If we fight it or try to avoid it, we are only robbing ourselves. Let life happen, and embrace it. Our current passions will still be there waiting for us when the lesson is over.