From the desk of Grace Lange,
YOLO… You only live once.
This saying has been around since I can remember, and it is often related to doing things spontaneously or recklessly, because heck… you only live once!
I was recently listening to a podcast called “You Only Live Once… So Commit” from The Happiness Lab, and it really got me thinking.
We are extremely afraid of commitment.
Well… our society has created a culture where we can pick and choose basically anything we want. And if something isn’t good enough, we can simply pick something new.
This can be such a great thing, but it has also hurt us more than we can even imagine.
When we are constantly seeking something new, we are never able to be content in what we have.
On this episode of the podcast, they challenged the saying YOLO by explaining what the true meaning is. When Ben Zimmer first trademarked the phrase, he did not intend for it to be used to do spontaneous, reckless, and oftentimes careless things.
He intended for us to use the phrase in a way that meant: you only live once, so do not be afraid to commit to things.
Do not be afraid to choose a place to live.
Do not be afraid to settle down and get married.
Do not be afraid to make big decisions or little decisions…
Because you only live once, so stop being complacent and just do it!
We all have so many decisions to make in our lives, and when we seek to be able to change all of the time, it actually creates more anxiety and burnout than if we commit to something.
And when we don’t make the big decisions, it makes it harder to make little decisions, like which hiking path to take…
The writers of this podcast explain how having too many choices is starting to backfire.
People are so afraid of making the wrong decision that they don’t make any decision at all…
We are starting to see decision paralysis as a much more common thing than it used to be.
So how do we stop this and fix it? Well here are a few things that could help:
- COMMIT TO SOMETHING. Whether it’s a group, a class, a person, a job. Don’t be afraid of commitment. It will only make you stronger. And then when other things come along, you are able to better decipher whether or not they fit into your life, based on your commitment. It will make it much easier to make decisions.
- DELETE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR A WEEK. Start with one week. See how you feel. The comparison game that social media has created for us is crippling, and only feeds into our lack of commitment.
- QUIT MULTITASKING. Everyone always tells us to live in the moment, and that can be one of the hardest things to do… But what if we just focus on doing one thing at a time? So stop going on your phone while you eat. Don’t check your emails during a meeting. Stop trying to do 50 things at once, and I think you’ll see yourself focusing on what is in front of you instead of what could be.
Oh and while you’re at it, check out that podcast. I think you might like it.