14 January 2015

Mindless living vs. Purposeful living

As I am working through my PowerSheets, dreaming and planning, a theme I notice that keeps coming up in my writing is craving a more purposeful life instead of just mindless living.

Photo taken by Annie
I am noticing more and more how I find myself wasting time in little ways that really add up over time. I find myself more distracted and not really good at entering into the present moment in front of me. You know its bad when you're watching an episode of "I Love Lucy" with your husband when you just "have" to scroll through Instagram real quick. Constant little things like this rob me the joy of just being present in life...not to mention the message that can send Jim while we're just relaxing together.

I often pride myself on being very good at multitasking, and yes it has a time and place in life. But when life starts to become only about getting as much done as possible, you actually miss out on life: an intentional life with purpose...you are just living life mindlessly. Its not about getting everything checked off my to-do list, but about doing things well rather than perfect. When my attention is constantly divided in multitasking, I am unable to focus and do the one task well that is currently in front of me.

Author and blogger Lara Casey sums it up very well here: "Busy is the enemy of peace...I don't want to move so fast that I miss my life." Our fast paced world places great value on being busy and getting lots of stuff done. I don't know about you, but I need to stop the glorification of busy. Sometimes its easy to act like my busy life is something to brag about or be proud of, like it's a merit badge or rite of passage to become one of those busy folks. A purposeful life doesn't just happen automatically. It takes time, intentionality, and changing things in life.

I don't want to live life as an emergency, always rushing from one task to the next without being able to be present to the moment in front of me. I want my life to be rich, full, beautiful, and led by God. I want to be able to do more of what fires me up. Mindless living to me is living life without purpose, without a focus on what really matters. And what really matters is when my life and God's purpose line up...then anything can happen! Mindless living looks like wasting time on things that really don't matter and worrying about the things I cannot control. When I am 80 years old someday I want to look back on it all with great gratitude. I want to see I lived my one life well: dripping with purpose, meaning, and joy. At the end of the day, it really doesn't matter how many followers I have on Instagram or how many people read my blog. While those things are a piece of my life, they should not consume my life.

So what then, exactly does purposeful living look like for me?

  • Less wasting time excessively on social media, at work, negativity, gossip
  • More silence and quiet in prayer
  • Doing more of what fires me up, fills my tank up: good books, writing, running
  • Manage and use my time more effectively
  • More serenity and peace
  • Less comparing myself to others
  • Less clutter and excess...more simplicity 
  • More of living in the present moment well

What about you? Where do you need more purposeful living in your own life?


  1. Perfect blog post for the beginning of 2015! I have been struggling with the same exact things as you. I cannot even watch a movie or sit through a dinner at a restaurant without being distracted by my phone etc...and cannot get through a single day without wasting so much precious time on mindless/purposeless things. And my list actually looks very, very similar to yours! I have these same goals...mainly less time wasting and more time spent in prayer, running, reading. And I have to work on doing less gossiping and judging others as well! So your post really spoke to me Patty. Thanks :-)

  2. i think this is a great thing to pay more attention to. How sad it is to come to the end of a day and not be even really able to remember how we spent it because of too much "mindlessness"...

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