Two Sides To The Same Coin

In today’s post I’ll start and end with a quote.

“It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly my darling…”

– Aldous Huxley

I just finished my first semester of college. As I slowly get closer to beginning my ‘adult’ life, I have been spending more time reflecting on who I am and who I may become. As I learn more about my strengths and weaknesses, I look to the future, trying to forecast the triumphs and pitfalls I might experience there. I get so overwhelmed with preparing for the future that I forget to live in the present moment.

Moving through life ‘lightly’ is essential for the stability of the mind. Sometimes I need to stop taking things so seriously all the time. There are so many things I want to do in this short life, but anxiety only degrades the life’s quality.

Activities like rock climbing, yoga, and running are great ways for me to slow down and take in the moment. Until, that is, that I get the idea in my head that I need to be ‘really good’ at these things. My ‘try hard’ mentality makes any form of failure at a much higher mental cost, and the time spent simply isn’t relaxing anymore.

Maybe I need to learn to ENJOY the things I do rather than trying to be ‘good’ at everything. That way I can enjoy my life without being so stressed out all the time. I can make more time for relaxation and spending time with friends and family.

Remember to ‘move lightly’ through your day to day life. Take events as they come and don’t get too emotionally invested in events and activities that are temporary. I once was overthinking a social situation involving my best friend. Some of the best advice my Dad has ever given me came in three words.

“Just relax man.”

Focus on moving through your life with a much heavier emphasis on the present and you will lead a much more fulfilling life.

Take a deep breathe and relax!

I just finished my first semester of college, and I’m realizing how little time I have left to make an impact in this world. I feel the urge to grab ahold of my mind, body, and life and use it to make a difference. To reach my full potential I need to take advantage of every moment I have.

How can I shape my mind in the ways I want it to be? What do I need to do in the present to set myself up for success in the future? In what ways could this moment be used more effectively?

I don’t want to just stumble through life blindly without a mission. Who wants to wake up someday and realize they wasted their youth on frivolous activities? If we all took ahold of our destiny and used that knowledge to help others around us, this world would be a much better place.

The age and time I am in RIGHT NOW is the best time for me to begin to shape the person I want to be in the future. And stress isn’t always a bad thing. As we go through stressful situations, we expand our ability to handle those situations.

There was a time when I was debating whether or not to take on a new project. I knew it would probably be good for me, but I was already stressed out about the other things I had going on. Some of the best advice ever given to me came from my Dad in three words.

“So sleep less.”

Focus on bettering yourself and taking good opportunities. This is the key to leading a fulfilling life.

Now is not the time to relax.

“Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts…”

– C.S Lewis

Thanks for reading. I’d love to talk with you AND get your advice down below. Also, if you would share this post with a friend that would be amazing!

Casen (Co-writer)


28 Replies to “Two Sides To The Same Coin”

  1. Rather I would suggest to take proper sleep. Body needs rest for working better, otherwise you will notice bad effects on your health. It is good to be cautious not worried. Plan and do things, all will fall right. We desire to do many things but we are not machines. Hope I have not hurt your feelings. Be calm and move forward.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. “Who wants to wake up someday and realize they wasted their youth on frivolous activities? If we all took ahold of our destiny and used that knowledge to help others around us, this world would be a much better place.”

    I felt this way. It is the ONLY way to feel when we are a freshman in college. It should NOT be any other way. BUT…if I could have told myself ONE thing back then it would be, “You’re pretty small. What you can hold in your two small hands is the size of the difference you can make. That doesn’t mean you don’t reach. Reach. But understand you are part of a network of strangers who are all reaching for The Good. The great changes in the world are made this way. Don’t be daunted, but understand the size of your destiny or you will break your heart against the size of things. And have more fun.”

    I love Aldous Huxley. I don’t recognize your quotation — is it from Island? I was really sad when I was asked not to teach Brave New World any more because it was too difficult for my college students. It hadn’t been for the whole 30 years of my teaching career up to that point. My students had loved it. OH WELL!!! That was the first step toward the open door leading me back to Colorado.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. “I just finished my first semester of college, and I’m realizing how little time I have left to make an impact in this world.” I almost laughed out loud when I read that. Kids these days and their foreshortened futures! The first semester of college is but a prelude to the real impact your life will make on the world, and the more important and consequential thing during those years is the impact which the world is making on your life.

    I think back on things I did during college, the zeal with which I took up new causes that had just converted me, and very little of it is important today. Other than its educational value these episodes in my life could largely be forgotten, but with two exceptions: 1) During my young adulthood I began to understand my relationship to God, which became a valuable anchor for everything else in my life, and 2) I got married and started having kids during my undergraduate years, which infused everything else I did with a concrete purpose. These two things gave my life perspective and meaning, and everything else was so much noise.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Both sleep and frivolity are underrated. I remember, in my 20s, knowing people who were waiting for retirement to travel. They were busy making money and planning for “the future”. I was afraid that, by that time, I might not be able to go the places I wanted to go and do the things I wanted to do. I didn’t wait. Some might call that frivolous. On the other hand, I didn’t manage my cross country bike trip until I was 65.
    Don’t wait to make an impact, but also realize that you may make a totally different impact somewhere down the road. Some of the greatest changes in my life happened “by accident” (sometimes literally). A guy in France (Robert Marchand) recently set the hour record (riding a bike in a velodrome) for his age group. His age group is >105. While I might be old at 65, Marchand is as much older than I as I am older than you. You could have a hell of a long time to live still (or not).
    Want what you have and you will suffer less. Also, beware of placing too much stock in the advice of strangers.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Life is a journey. No matter what you do you will reach the end. When you are in your final days you will not be wishing you spent more days at the office.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Which side do you tend to lean towards Fred? The treading lightly or getting s**t done? I think it’s probably different for everyone.
      – Casen

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I tread lightly. My wife gets things done. Both are of equal importance. Neither works well by itself. In duality I trust.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Sounds like you have a hard life filled with pain and a deep soul. You think it’s dark now? Since you’re in college it’s time to have a Leonard Cohen phase. Start with his final studio release You want it Darker. Then learn to discover how bright the work is listening to each song in order. If that does not work, try the Existential Crisis Hotline. Look for it among the Russian bots on Twitter. If neither helps, you are probably going to have a better life.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Great thoughts. I am learning about the importance of ‘play’ in my therapy homework. How to be childlike in your adult life and the benefits of that–I have been looking at some of Stuart Brown’s research on the importance of play (he has some youtube videos and I think a TED talk).
    When I look back on my life, the times I feel I was the most impactful and/or had the greatest insights was when I wasn’t trying so hard to ‘make a difference’ or ‘do it right (perfect)’ but rather I was just enjoying the process and having a good bit of fun while doing that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I could so relate to your post! I turned 50 this year and am marking it as the halfway point. Also, I am about to begin my final semester in college toward my undergrad (I started at 44). I too am learning to just breathe. One thing that helps me is to remember that just as nature has its seasons, so do I. Work hard when projects are in front of me, and give myself permission to rest when it’s time to rest
    One thing I recognize as an “older” college student is that my life is more peaceful and relaxed when I don’t procrastinate. When the assignment is due on Friday, I try to get it done by Wednesday. This leaves more room for sleep and fun, and results in much less stress.
    Another thing I recognize is that bringing the best version of myself to the space I am in is what changes the world. Bit by bit, little by little, when I am positive, it rubs off on others, and that is never wasted. We are responsible for the energy we bring into any situation.
    One of my favorite quotes by Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Carry on!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Follow your interests, with heart. Keep open enough to all things, so as to better notice your interests. Don’t think of sleep as an interrupt to your active life; see it as sacred and necessary for permitting you to digest your biography without ‘indigestion’. 🙂 Also, see and know sleep as a kind of renewing though unconscious contact with the spiritual world. Huxley’s lightly advice is wonderful — but difficult to grasp, especially when young.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Life is cumulative. You don’t “unlearn”
    The Journey should be fun, and it does not have to be done on deadline. We started climbing and hiking at 50. Wish we had started years earlier, but at least we started!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “Who wants to wake up someday and realize they wasted their youth on frivolous activities?”

    To much angst and not enough frivolous activity make Jack a dull boy.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I remember being you. I’m 52 now and the people that look at the outside of my life perhaps believe that it is mediocre. I didn’t finish college. I’ve never had a big career, nor made a big difference in the world on a large scale. Everything that happened that made a difference in my life happened by accident. I wouldn’t discourage you from aiming high, nor would I encourage you to go without sleep. Best books I ever read: Eat That Frog and The Power of Now. Each has its own message that is empowering. Best thing I ever did was to stop taking advice from everyone else and use my gut instinct. I’ve never been sorry when I’ve done that. By the way, I’m currently a Resident Advocate in Nursing home here in Utah. Every day I get the chance to help someone, to make a difference, to change the world. If you had asked me at your age if I wanted to do that, I would have thought you were crazy. Now, I wouldn’t trade it. In my spare time, I go to free cultural events in the area. Last week I attended the local Egyptian Theater to see Evening in Brazil. Bossanova music at it’s best. You never know where you will find happiness. You sound like you have a good start.

    Liked by 1 person

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