Numbers were never really my thing. I never had the slightest bit of interest in math in school and I thought for sure that upon leaving, mind-numbing calculations would have little prominence in my life.
So when I realized the extent to which I was using them day to day, I just couldn’t understand it. If I wasn’t frantically counting calories, it was the pounds in my weight, endless estimations to try to change the number. Shopping trips would either be ruined or enhanced depending on the digits jumping out from potential new clothes. A walk was a challenge to achieve x amount of miles in x number of minutes.
My meals were numbers, my clothes were numbers, my entire worth became based on a number.
This kind of fixation can be different for everyone. We can be notching up negative numbers of anything - habits, rules, time, things we don't like about ourselves, things we're not good at etc.
And where do all these miserable measurements get us? Does it all add up to any sort of happiness?
I can tell you that it doesn’t, because it becomes never-ending and really all it is doing is putting our focus on something incredibly insignificant.
We are more than the sum of a bunch of numbers. We're made up of so much more substance, potential and authentic character than we realise.
The focus needs to shift and instead of wasting time counting what doesn't really matter, we could start totting up all the little things that make our lives what they are. It’s time to put less importance on the size of our difficulties and more on the size of our lives. Why not start to count;
Good moments in the day: Begin to take notice of the little moments that help you get through everyday. Maybe it’s a five minute extra snooze in bed, getting a seat on the bus, an amazing cup of coffee or just someone smiling at you as they pass. When you start to appreciate each of the seemingly irrelevant moments, even your average days won’t seem so bad.
What we’re grateful for: How often do you take stock of all of the great things in your life? Why not sit down and come up with ten things you are grateful for each evening? There is so much to be grateful for that too often goes unnoticed. Particularly on challenging days, it’s refreshing to sum up what we have and are truly appreciative of. Make it all count.
What there is to look forward to: Sometimes we can fixate on the countdown to 5pm or the highly anticipated minute when Friday finally arrives, but why not make more to look forward to in each day, even before 5pm rolls around. Create more small boosts of enjoyment throughout your day that will break up the monotony and give you something worth working towards.
The number of achievements we’ve made throughout the day: Do you give yourself any credit for each of the little steps you successfully take each day? We can overcome a lot throughout the day without even really noticing. We might down play it as a mere necessity or something that’s taken for granted but really without having completed certain steps, we’d be much worse off. Even if you’re just acknowledging going to work or reading a book, it’s important to give credit for what you have accomplished each day. Some days even getting out of bed is worth giving yourself a pat on the back.
Life is made up of a sum of people, lessons, experiences, interests and so much more. Everyday we fill twenty four hours with a range of activities, thoughts and achievements. It might not feel natural to start counting all the little positive things but why not try it? Why not begin to look around and notice what is adding up to equal where you’re at right now. We might realise that there's some scope for subtraction and adding more life enhancing things in.
It’s interesting to find what makes the size of your life larger and discover a way to keep multiplying your enjoyment in life. It could be certain people or passions or hobbies. Looking at ourselves as a number that we want to continuously shrink makes our whole outlook smaller or seeing our lives as a sum of negative experiences. It’s too general and blinds us to everything else that enhances our experience. There’s a whole world out there with the potential to enhance the size of our lives.