The Reality of Reality Acceptance (blog)

The Reality of Reality Acceptance blog will be updated to explain the basic concepts of Reality Acceptance.

Valuing Time

Valuing time is the most important concept that anyone can learn. Valuing your own time and the time of others allows people to work together in society. Time is one of the few things that everyone on earth has in common. Everyone has to confront the finality of life. Valuing time means making the most of your limited time. When you deny reality, you are not valuing time. The goal of valuing time is being happy and healthy for the greatest percentage of your life.

You will neglect most aspects of your life if you only focus on a few. Spending more time on one aspect of your life will leave less time for the rest of it. If you value your time, you will try to distribute your time evenly and efficiently. Any aspect of your life that is neglected can bring down the value of your life. Valuing time is valuing all of your life and not letting one aspect devalue the rest. Singularly focusing on one aspect of your life will lead to an unfulfilled life. Widen your focus in life and you will better discern what values your time most.
Being bored can devalue your time. If you are forced to sit and do nothing, you can still value your time. Spending time alone is valuable for yourself and those around you. Having your own thoughts and opinions is important to valuing yourself as a person. If all of your thoughts and opinions come from others, you are merely acting as a mouthpiece for them. Valuing yourself as an individual is just as important as valuing the time you spend with others. Being bored is a symptom of being a boring person. One regret people have when looking back on their lives is not living true to themselves. Be the person who brings value to others and yourself.
Planning how you spend your life is critical to valuing time. If you do not plan for the future, your time will become less and less valuable. Planning allows you to optimize your time. When planning for the future, keep in mind why you are planning. If you are planning to spend more time at work because you want more money, ask yourself if you consider that time as valuable at the end of your life. Did that time at work make you happier or would more time with your family and friends have valued your time more? Valuing time requires you to balance planning for the future, living in the present, and learning from the past.
Arbitrary time restraints can limit your ability to value time. Most arbitrary time restraints are self imposed. If you say you do not have time to do things that value your time, that is an arbitrary time restraint. Part of valuing your time is arranging your time so you prioritize your hours in a day to allow yourself to do what you most value. Instead of saying what you “must” do, make conscious choices to do things that most value your time and the time of those around you.
The top goal of valuing time is happiness. Valuing the time of others builds the happiness of others. The more happy people are, the less they will deny reality. Happiness has more to do with the choices you make than the reality you can not change. Knowing what makes you happy is not always clear to all people. If you do not know what makes you happy, you will not be happy. Always keep in mind that happiness is not the same thing as pleasure. Pleasure is short term, but happiness can last your whole life. Planning to be happy is just as important as any other planning you will do. Valuing your time will increase your happiness.
An additional benefit of valuing time is better health. Balancing your time between exercise and good nutrition is just as important as valuing your happiness. Happiness will lead to better health and good health will lead to greater happiness. Making time to eat right and exercise is a matter of starting slowly and building. If you exercise too much when you start, you risk injuring yourself or stopping exercise all together because you are in pain. Nutrition can also take time to work into your routine. The end goal of developing healthy habits slowly is to make the habits part of your daily routine. When you are tempted by unhealthy practices, you will be less tempted over time because you will crave being healthy over the unhealthy feelings brought on by the unhealthy practices. Valuing your health values your time.
Valuing time encompasses every activity in your life. At any point in your day, you can ask yourself, “Am I valuing my time right now?” Valuing your own time includes valuing the time of others. A person who is isolated from others is not valuing his or her time. Valuing time is not about making the most of every moment, it is about valuing a high percentage of your lifetime. You will have negative moments in your life, but how much those moments maintain or decrease your happiness is up to you. If you lose valuable people in your life, you can value those people in your memories. Focusing only on the loss is not valuing those people or your time. The only person who can say if you are valuing your time is you. You must accept the reality that time is finite. Valuing time is important in accepting that reality.

Widen Your Focus

Being a well-rounded person will make you a better person. Focusing your attention on only one thing neglects everything else, including your happiness and health. Whether you only focus on politics, entertainment, technology, money, science, culture, religion, health, food, books, art, family, or other things that may be beneficial to you, other things in your life will suffer. Expand your focus and you will expand your mind. Rather than becoming an expert on one thing, learn as much as you can about everything. No one can experience everything or everyone in the world, but widening your attention is always preferable. Other people exist beyond who you know. Get to know them as people, not stereotypes or cliches.

Kids spend most of their time focusing on only one thing at a time. This is not so much of a choice as a limited ability to focus on more than one thing at once. Kids have the excuse of being kids, but they still need to learn to widen their focus as they grow up. Parents who focus their kids on a singular goal are doing their kids a disservice. Kids need to learn a variety of skills to be happy in adult life. By only focusing on one or two skills in life, the child’s quality of life will decrease. Some parents unintentionally teach their kids to only focus on themselves. We call these kids brats. Hopefully, they grow up and deal with people outside their family and friends so they can widen their focus on the world at large. If they do not, we call these people snobs.

Is widening my focus/attention going to make me more of a success? Being a well-rounded person will make you much more of an interesting person, but it won’t make you more successful. That is unless you consider happiness being successful. Most people consider money to be the measure of success. If you want to be more successful financially or just be more powerful, probably narrow your focus. People who have large amounts of money have it because they were born into money or they narrowed their focus to such a point that money was the only thing they cared about in life. They may have divorces in their past, lost family and friends, cheated and lied to others, or suffered health problems, but they had their money.

Nerds are examples of being narrowly focused on only a few things. I say this with all the love in the world because I consider myself a card-carrying member of several nerd clubs of the month. Just like other subjects, it is possible to be nerdy about multiple nerdy things. In most cases, the nerd focuses on one show or type of show. I like Star Wars but cannot tell you every last detail about Star Wars. I also like Star Trek but I have seen little of the original TV series. I was more of a Next Generation fan. Some would say, “If you don’t consider the original Star Trek to be superior, you are not really a fan of Star Trek.” So be it, I say. As a creative person, I would rather create something others can nerd-out about than focus on what someone else created.

I have a degree in English Composition I am using to write the words you are reading. In the past, I called it my Useless English Degree. I didn’t consider it useless because I didn’t use it. It seemed useless because I didn’t make a huge amount of money with it. I was at the time only focusing on the money. Now, in my wider focus on life, I see that the degree has been helpful in every other aspect of my life. I have focused on music, animation, acting, and philosophizing as I am doing now. Writing has helped with all of my pursuits in life. It has allowed me to put all of my experiences in life into words (just like the words you are reading right now).

Addictions are an extreme over-narrowing of your focus. When you only focus on one substance or one activity in your life, you can become addicted to that substance or activity at the expense of the rest of your life. No substance or activity starts out as an addiction. The more focus you give to one thing, the more your addiction can develop. An intervention is often needed to break the narrow focus of the addiction. Addictions will never break easily, but if something does not break it, the person can lose his or her life or live a life that is not worth living.

Those who narrow their focus on only one thing in life will soon find themselves unable to widen their focus to the world at large. Widening your focus is a skill that needs developing. If you never develop these skills, you will soon only see the narrow focus of the world you have created. Everything else becomes invisible. Widening your focus means accepting the world around you. The world around you is not going away so you may as well embrace it and increase your awareness of other people.

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