02/12/2016 05:57 SAST | Updated 02/12/2016 05:57 SAST

Stop Living Like You Have An Expiry Date

You are a human being, not a bottle of milk.

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I remember speed-walking to work one day and when I stopped for a moment and looked around, I felt overwhelmed immediately. The hustle and bustle of daily life is the perfect metaphor to explain this.

Most of us try to push through the hordes of people on the pavements, trying to get to work on time. Grocery shopping is a war; everyone grabs what they need, tries to get the last sale items and then rushes off to the tills, before anyone else.

We have mental lists that we need to tick off every day about what we've achieved, what we need to do, and whether we have enough time, before our eyes close at night.

I may only be in my twenties, but I constantly feel like I am missing something, or if I don't rush to get my life in order, then I won't reach the milestones that I am meant to reach during this period of my life.

We all know the drill: Graduate from high school, study at university, graduate, find a job, find your soulmate, get married, buy a house...and the endless list continues. No human being can decide a life status quo and no one has, yet we all rush around anyway, trying to get things done.

While we're all jumping on the ''get things done'' bandwagon, we aren't truly living, we're just doing and have forgotten how to be present and awake.

Why are we running blindly?

Can you describe what your breakfast tasted like this morning? If you can't, it's probably because you wolfed it down, so you could get on with something else. Let's take a look at why you might be chasing the clock.


Many of us won't admit it, but we fear what other people think of us. We might think that rushing around to get our lives in order will make us seem more 'put-together' to others, so we continue the headless chicken race.


Having a breather may seem like we are slacking, while other people are achieving things faster than us. This can make you guilty and as a result, you might rush around more to try and make up for being left behind.


Life is a competition, right? Wrong. Yet, many of us are running around like it is.


We all know that time isn't endless, so running around is the logical thing to do, right? Or so we think. Being afraid that we won't achieve everything that we want to while we are alive, plays a big role in why we are constantly rushing around.

Start walking at your own pace

If nature can get everything done without rushing, so can you.

Remember, there's always tomorrow

Leaving a task on your to-do-list for another day might frustrate those of us who like to get things done, but sometimes, it's something you need to do for your own sanity. Leave responding to all those emails till tomorrow morning and kick back and relax for tonight.

Be mindful

Do you find your eyes glancing at your phone when you are spending time with a friend? Did you gulp down your coffee or did you truly experience all the flavours? While you're busy worrying and rushing around, you are letting the present fly past you. Try looking at your surroundings when you are taking a walk. Give your friend your undivided attention. Eat your food slowly and enjoy it.

Stop being overcommitted

Saying no sometimes does not mean that you are a life commitment phobe. Spreading yourself too thin by having too many commitments means that you won't be fully involved for commitments which count. It's all about quality, not quantity. Choose your essential commitments and stick to them. Ensure that one of them is a commitment to yourself and your growth as a person.

Unplug yourself

I know Instagram and Twitter is screaming out to you, but why not switch off your smartphone for tonight? I promise your social media 'fam' will still be there tomorrow. I know you might have FOMO (fear of missing out), but by disconnecting every now and then, you'll find that life at its best is happening right in front of you. Try reading a book, spending time with your family or finally doing something you've been wanting to do for a while.

Give yourself a chance

There's no deadline for you to study, to meet the love of your life, or even to become the person you've always wanted to be. Don't try to keep up with others, they have their journey and you have yours. Be your own cheerleader and motivator and just keep going. One day you'll see what time brings, until then, walk at your pace and give yourself a break, please.