Life is Too Short to Waste Any of It

15 Things to Stop Doing Now


Mary Oluonye

3 years ago | 8 min read

Don’t waste your life. Like the morning mist, a fading rainbow, a warm breath, a heartbeat. Here one minute, gone the next. It could be you or it could be someone you love. Gone forever.

Life is too short to waste any of it, and yet that’s exactly what we do. We waste our time on useless, nonsense things. Things of no benefit to you or anyone else.

Here is my list of 15 time-wasting things to stop doing immediately because life is simply too short.

1. Life is too short to spend your time trying to live up to other people’s expectations

What do people want from you? What do you want for yourself? You don’t have to get a consensus on how to live your life. Concentrate instead on the expectations you have of and for yourself, and by the same token, let others do the same for themselves.

2. Life is too short to ignore taking care of your health

You have one body and just like a car or other exquisite piece of machinery, regular maintenance is key to longevity. The better your health, the greater your quality of life, present and future.

Some risk factors may be genetic and you can’t do anything about those, but as for the other factors that you can control or manage such as, diabetes, high blood pressure, weight, high cholesterol, smoking, drinking, and exercise, go ahead and take control. Do what it takes to take care of you.

3. Life is too short to spend time working at a job or in a career field that you don’t like at all

How many of us fall into this trap? Spending years doing what you hate. So maybe you can’t just up and quit, but you can begin to immediately focus your thoughts on how to retrain or re-educate yourself, or take courses and be on the lookout for any opportunity to do something that you will enjoy doing.

Begin to make an exit plan. It is so easy to put it off, and then one day you’ll look around only to find that you are still working at, and still hating the same job, only now you are ten years older.

4. Life is too short to spend time arguing with people and holding a grudge

Really, what’s the point? Arguing with people often boils down to expectations. Ours.

Our expectations concerning someone else, and what we feel he or she should or should not be doing or saying.

People do not have to agree with you or with me, or anyone else. It is simply a matter of respect. We can agree that it is okay to disagree amicably. As for holding grudges, it is harmful to the spirit. Just let it go.

5. Life is too short to put off making your dreams a reality

This one reminds me of something that happened to a friend of a friend whose dream was to visit South Africa. He kept putting off the trip, but one day he decided that the time was right. He renewed his passport and then purchased his ticket.

The day before he was to fly out, he packed his suitcases and later that night he went to bed. But here’s the thing. He never woke up again.

The perfect time to start making your dreams a reality is now.

6. Life is too short to always need to prove that you are right and someone else is wrong

Sometimes we are the ones who have it wrong and the other person is right.

Sometimes you are right, and you know that you are right and you want others to acknowledge that you are right.

This is a waste of time, energy, and sometimes goodwill. If the matter at hand is not all that critical or important, then just let it slide. You don’t have to prove anything.

7. Life is too short to be too busy for family and friends

It is so easy to get caught up on this one! What is it about daily living that makes us behave in a manner that pushes the important people in our lives to a secondary position?

Then years later we wonder why there is an emotional distance or lack of real conversation and companionship. Worse yet, someone dies and is gone forever, and all we are left with are memories.

It should be the other way around. Family and friends come first. Work and other related matters take a secondary or even tertiary backseat. Make it so.

8. Life is too short to spend time amassing material things

After you have enough to live comfortably, or even very comfortably, and are able to provide for yourself and your family, what is the point of continuing to spend time and energy accumulating more?

After all, how many houses, cars, boats, clothes, millions are enough?

What lies within is the measure of a person, not what he or she possesses.

9. Life is too short to stay in any relationship that is dangerous to you

Traci (not her real name) was a popular marriage counselor who helped couples and families overcome their challenges, heal and find peace.

She was often invited to appear on a local television station to comment on marriage issues. She was well-liked, working on her doctorate, and owned her marriage counseling practice.

However, the situation in her home was far from peaceful. The bitter irony is that Traci could not extricate herself from her own dangerous environment.

When advised to leave, she stayed. That decision cost Traci her life. Her husband stabbed her 17 times and left her to die.

10. Life is too short to stay stuck in the past

Reliving past mistakes and disappointments, or wishing for something lost such as youth, loved ones, material possessions, etc., is a distraction to living now and taking full advantage of the fleeting gift and opportunity of present time. Live today — not yesterday, not tomorrow. Today.

11. Life is too short to put off saying, I’m Sorry

Sometimes all it takes are those two simple words to change the course of a confrontational or hurtful event. Two words, I’m sorry, and yet it is one of the most difficult things to admit, voice and mean sincerely.

Sometimes it is pride and the need to be right. Sometimes it is embarrassment at having to admit to yourself that even you did not live up to the expectations you have of yourself.

I’m sorry.

It is hard to admit, and the longer you wait, the harder it becomes to say the words and rectify the situation. Yet, the relief and appreciation of both parties is so palpable and so appreciated when you finally do apologize that you will wonder why you didn’t just say, I’m sorry earlier.

12. Life is too short to sweep things under the rug

Things swept under the rug, though out of sight, do not go away. They just pile up, and worse yet, you’re not fooling anyone, especially yourself.

These are the issues, situations or discussions that are uncomfortable and you don’t want to deal with them now, if ever. Sooner or later, they will resurface.

But before then, other related matters will be added, little by little, to the pile, resulting in an ever-increasing mound under the rug. The higher the mound, the longer it takes to clean it up.

It is a waste of time and energy to keep sweeping this way. It will weigh on you and you won’t have peace of mind. Just brace yourself and deal with the issues up front and in the open, then sweep all the debris right out of the house once and for all.

13. Life is too short to lie to yourself

This one is a complete waste of time because it is impossible to do. You may be able to fool everyone else, but deep down you cannot lie to yourself. It simply does not work.

Do you know what happens when you lie to yourself? You’ll feel weighted down and you won’t be able to fully relax and just be yourself. You’ll always worry that someone will learn the truth about the lie you have been telling yourself.

It’s stressful and uncomfortable and in the long run, there is nothing to be gained. Why do that to yourself? There really is wisdom in the saying, “the truth shall set you free.”

14. Life is too short to worry so much

A little worrying is okay. After all, it may help bring certain matters that need to be taken care of to the forefront.

A little worry may be just the impetus you need to deal with a situation. It prompts action to solve something that needs to be solved. So simply take the steps, even if they are baby steps, toward taking care of the matter.

But excessive worrying does the opposite. It can lead to paralysis, no action, and ever increasing worry. In short, you create a vicious cycle for yourself. So it is better to just look at the situation, do what you can do, and then stop worrying.

It’s about what you decide to do. Handle the matter. Do the best that you can, and know that you’ve done all that you can, and then let go of the worry. Funny how things work out. Sometimes in letting go of the worry, the problem begins to look more manageable and able to solve.

15. Life is too short to not reach out to someone

Have you ever met someone and felt you wanted to know more about him or her?

Maybe you felt a connection, or thought that there might be a connection, but were too afraid to be the first one to say hello? And then the moment passed, never to pass your way again?

Or perhaps, someone needed help, or was sad or lonely, but you weren’t sure, so you remained silent?

Sometimes all that a person needs is for just one person to care enough in that moment to reach out to them first. Sometimes that person might be you.

What if you are wrong and rebuffed or rejected? So what? What if you’re not?

What if you were just what the person needed, or better yet, maybe that person was just who you needed. It only takes a moment to find out.

So there you have it. Now you can enjoy all the extra time you’ve gained by eliminating the 15 things that life is too short to keep doing.

See you next time.


Created by

Mary Oluonye







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