Giving Up Something Rather than Giving Up

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“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.” – Paulo Coehlo

While writing early the other morning, it occurred to me that anyone who has written a book almost certainly had to do a substantial amount of unpaid, self-motivated work before being rewarded or even recognized for their efforts. This doesn’t just apply to authors. There is no question that people who have managed to turn their passion into a living had to seriously give up a few things along the way.

What Can Go

Like with giving up something like chocolate or candy as a kid for Lent, there are some things that could be temporarily sacrificed in the name of a dream. Right now, I am giving up sleeping in on the weekends and days off, afternoon naps, and using my hour in the morning for yoga and meditation. As much as I love my yoga and meditation time, I have decided to replace those morning activities with writing for now.

Excess sleep is the first thing to go for me. I know sleep is essential to health, well-being, and optimal functioning, but I also know I don’t need to sleep in late and for the most part don’t need to take naps. I will allow myself to take a nap every once in a while (I am thinking about once a week), but not everyday. If I need an extra 20 minutes a day to make my writing dreams come true, then I don’t need a 20 minute nap.

I have decided to revert to my “drying time” plan for meditation. This is actually how I started finding time to meditate, which I highly recommend for anyone who would like to start a daily meditation practice (especially if you live in a humid climate!). I am moving my 20 minutes of meditation from the morning to immediately after I shower. This is a more efficient use of the limited time available to me, as I like to take some time to dry after showering anyway. Why not lay down on the bed and meditate for 20 minutes while you are at it?

Daily yoga is a little trickier, and I haven’t figured out where to put that back in just yet. One of my goals for summer is to start attending a yoga studio once a week, so I might trade in my morning 15 to 20 minute yoga sessions for a once a week class at a studio. In an ideal day, I would have time to fit in 20 minutes of yoga, but right now, I am working on fitting in more writing time into my days. So daily yoga will have to wait for the moment.

Temporary Sacrifices Are so Worth It!

I know that I will allow myself to go back to sleeping in a little bit on the weekends and napping once I accomplish the specific goals I am currently focused on. I have a vision of my life in mind that includes sleeping in sometimes and short naps in the afternoons. I know that someday I can have these luxuries back in my life. But today is not that day, and I am okay with that. I would rather procrastinate on sleep than on my dreams.

I catch myself whining that I don’t have enough time all the time. Every time I do it, I wonder how much I could have accomplished with the time and energy I dedicated to worrying that there wasn’t enough of it.

I have to constantly remind myself that I am not alone in the feeling of not enough time. Everyone has goals and things they want to have accomplished already. I often wish I had achieved my goals about three years ago, which makes me feel even more anxious and pressured (by myself) to make things happen more efficiently and swiftly.

That is why I am giving up naps and rearranging my daily schedule: I don’t want to look back in three years wishing I had spent a few hours a day on my dream that could have amounted to something. A little bit of work each day will add up eventually. It can be hard to wait out, but harder to do nothing and then wish things were different.

Is there something you have given up or would like to give up in the name of a dream? Join the conversation! Namaste.

image credit: Chris Olson

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