Often as I walk around Grounds to go to class or head off to the library, my headphones are tuned in to my latest obsession at the moment – podcasts. Now that we’re stuck inside, whenever I take a walk, I listen to a podcast – to learn more about the word and my place in it. My favorite one changes every time.
Comedian Chris Gethard talks to strangers about their lives despite not being a therapist. It’s entertaining, it’s heartfelt, and often it reminds me what it means to be human in this world. If you are tired of listening to your family members while you’re stuck inside, pop some headphones in and listen to a stranger tell their life story.
The Next Right Thing
I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you this one. In the midst of figuring out my college plans, I found this podcast. It talks about decision making in your everyday life, so that you can do the next right thing in love. While decision making may not be such a priority during this time, given how much of life is out of our control, this podcast still finds a way to tackle this pandemic and our new reality with grace and clarity.
As a college student and as a Christian, it can be hard to find good content that relates to this lifestyle. The Gathering is a college ministry led by Pastor Noah Herrin in association with North Cleveland Church of God in Cleveland, Tennessee. The messages are always good, and I always look forward to a new episode. I highly recommend this podcast if you are into ministry and learning more about the Christian faith.
Advice from Podcasts
Unfortunately, I did not keep track which podcast episode I listened to for each piece of advice, but hopefully, this post will still be helpful to you!
Prune the excess in your life to allow the things you care about to grow
We are all doing too much. Watching too much TV. Hanging out with too many people. Working all the time. There are only so many hours in a day where you can develop relationships with the ones you love, do a job well done, and have room to rest. Now that this pandemic has come to pass, it’s a really good time to get clear on what matters to you and what you should spend your time doing. Clear the excess responsibilities that aren’t yours to carry and find joy in the things you actually care for.
If you stuff your schedule, you will feel busy but you won’t be fulfilled. Because you will be too tired to spend time doing the things you actually love doing.
Say no. And say it again and again until you feel like you have control of your schedule. Carefully consider every yes against your categories of priorities. Is this a priority and is it urgent? Yes. Then do it today. Otherwise, take it off the to do list.
The Good Life is often where you are
We are all addicted to our destinations. It’s no wonder how we always speed right by where we want to be. Be where your feet are. Life isn’t perfect and things aren’t always great, but in the present, is where you can find your good life.
Related: Destination Addiction
Don’t rush to get to more and more, more, more because then you never appreciated the life you had for a moment. Take each day as it comes and breathe.Your life doesn’t have to be filled with spectacular adventures every second of every day. You just have to spend it with the ones you love, doing the things you love.
This is even true of quarantine. It may not be the most enjoyable experience but there are still things you could learn in this season.
Not everything is supposed to last forever
As you grow up from high school into college and beyond, this lessons starts to seep inside you. Not everything is supposed to last forever. There are friendships and relationships you are hanging onto because of time spent with that person instead of the quality of their relationship in your life. Friendships are supposed to end.
Movies give this unrealistic expectation of best friends forever and the squad for life but people lose touch and life gets busy. We may be doing new activities now. Maybe in college you loved choir. But now you like to play tennis on the weekends. You don’t expect yourself to stay the same forever and you can’t expect your life to remain the same forever. You can’t expect people in this season of life to join you in the next season.
Pay attention to the gifts this season of life is bringing you
Each part of your life is filled with gifts and treasures for only a short period of time. Cherish them. Cherish people, memories, adventures, whatever your life is filled with, whatever is bringing you joy. For me, it’s the college weekend trips. I am so lucky to go to a university in a state where there are nice small towns to explore and memories to be made. I’m also aware that I won’t live with people my age in this context after college in the same way ever again. I’m just trying to enjoy it while it lasts.
Trust character over talent
Many people have skills, but their work ethic and their countenance is what really makes them stand out. Work on your own character. No matter what skills you feel you are lacking, a teachable person is better than someone who has skills but no desire for improvement.
Additionally, someone with good character is a lot more likely to do a task well according to your directions than someone with talent. Character triumphs over talent.
Leave a space better than you found it
Whether it be a person, an apartment, or even a public restroom, leave that space better than you found it. In this life, we are all responsible for our own actions and that signals to others the type of person you all. It also signals to you your level of integrity. Be the type of person that puts a smile on someone’s face. That makes the kitchen sink empty. And leaves the bathroom with a pretty smell.
This also goes for people. Leave people better than you found them. No one should leave a relationship with you feeling inadequate or judged. Be kind and be aware of the way you actions affect others around you.
Take a regular inventory of your life
Career, Relationships, Self-Development, Spirituality, and more. Use these categories to analyze how your life is going. If you never reflect, you can never tell if something is wrong.
You can journal. You can go on a silent retreat. (Not during a pandemic.) You can do a staycation. Try your best to examine your life based on where you are now and where you want to go.
Maybe there is a friendship that needs time to work. Maybe it’s time for a side hustle. Perhaps you’re interested in joining a small group at a local church. Analyze your categories and then set goals for yourself to get to where you want to be.
Friends, tell me something you’ve learned lately!