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5 Things In Life That Are Much More Important Than Politics

I noticed a weird trend while swiping on Tinder the other day.

A bunch of women had their political affiliations in their bios. Often, it was the first thing they mentioned.

Is this where we’re at?

Have we become so politically obsessed that politics has seeped into every single area of our lives? It appears that way. But, for you, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Politics matters. I’ve reversed my position on that point. As someone who loved to say I stayed away from politics, I recently realized just how much I’ve been lying to myself. I’m just as wrapped up in it as you. I need to stop. And so do you.

Why? Because politics is eating the world. And while it’s important, it pales in comparison to other areas of our lives — areas we’ve neglected because of politics.

Before I get to the list, just imagine how much better off the world would be if we put all of the energy we put into politics into, you know, our own lives. We’d be so productive as a society that politics wouldn’t matter much at all.

But here we are. I’m not asking you or telling you to do anything. I’m just sharing the personal epiphany I had.

While being informed does matter, the downside, the anxiety, the stress, the anger, the outrage, just doesn’t seem worth it compared to all the other options you have available.

The election is over. Now, let’s put our focus back on some important areas we may have been neglecting.

Your Health

As much as we’ve been talking about protecting our health with co-vid 19, it’s interesting how we’ve talked about it.

Instead of having a holistic conversation about the totality of factors, including things like vitamin supplementation, exercise, diet, sun when it was hot, etc, we had a politicized debate about mask-wearing alone.

Now more than ever, you should understand how important your health is. It’s unfortunate that we can no longer have fully honest conversations about health due to things like politics and the culture at large.

I saw a Tweet the other day that said, “food is not ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’ it’s food.” I’m not even going to engage in a serious debate about that quote, I’ll just say that there are certain health factors that have an underlying truth regardless of your cultural or political opinions about them.

Your muscles, organs, limbs, etc don’t have an opinion — they just function based on a number of factors. Control the ones you can. You also have the mind-body connection, which doesn’t get nearly enough attention in our health conversation. Our discourse is unhealthy, literally.

In the past four years, I’ve observed people develop what appears to be a mental illness over politics. Real anxiety. The real world is already anxiety-inducing enough right now, why add the extra stress of political obsession?

As we move through the wintertime, caring for both your mind and body are more important than ever.

Your Decisions

Regardless of where you start in life, your decisions have a huge impact on your circumstances. Two people with the exact same starting place can end up in wildly different spots based on the choices they make.

Many people in our current society use politics to absolve them of agency in their life. What do I mean? More and more, the conversation has shifted to people blaming all of their circumstances on the outside world and none of it on their decision making.

I had the best four years of my life from 2016 to 2020. I’ll have an even better four years from 2020 to 2024. Some of the worst years of my life happened from 2012 to 2016. I couldn’t vote in 2012 because I was a convicted felon, a result of poor decision making, not policies created by the president.

Be honest about your situation. What matters more in your life, political policy, or your day to day decisions? No politician can give you the things you really want, even if they level the playing field for you.

Think of the way you chose to spend the last four years. What if, instead of doing whatever it is you did, you decided to do everything in your power to succeed, regardless of who’s in office. That’s what I did. You can do the same.

Choose now. I don’t know if your chosen candidate won or not. But I do know that you can make decisions that benefit your life either way. You can transform your entire life in the span of a presidential term. I did it. You can do it. But you have to decide to do it. And no one can do that for you.

Your Relationships

If you cut family and friends off over politics, I don’t know what to say to you. It’s not that serious.

I personally don’t have relationship bonds so weak that politics would get in the way of them at all.

Part of me gets it. I understand that, for many people, politics is a matter of good and evil or life and death. Some people do look at politicians like demons or angels.

Here’s what I’ll say to you moving forward.

You need the right people in your life to be successful, from romantic relationships to friends to colleagues to business associates and more.

And there are about 100 different criteria you can use to judge the quality of the people you interact with than who they voted for.

I see all these hot takes, memes, and statements that equate to mind-reading of the ‘other side.’ Truth is, you don’t know why people make the political decisions they make, but you can observe their behavior in the real world and use it as a much better judge of their character.

I have fans and readers from the left and right because I focus on the things that bond us together. We all want to improve the quality of our lives, be healthy, have some financial stability, see and do cool things, feel like our lives mean something, etc.

Why not build relationships to achieve those goals?

As I said, I can’t force you to change your mind. I can only tell you what I’m doing. I’m leading with love and looking deeper than the surface level of what people choose to do once every four years.

Your Inner World and Immediate Environment

People look for scapegoats when they’re not living the lives they want. It’s a coping mechanism. We all have our coping mechanisms. We need them to varying degrees.

Why? Because it’s hard to face up to the reality of your life on a day to day basis. Who wants to look themselves in the mirror and say “Damn, I’ve made poor decisions, I’m not doing everything I could be doing, I self-sabotage, I let my doubt win, and I need to change.”

That’s a painful inner monologue to have. It happens to be the one that leads to real change, but you have to get really emotional and uncomfortable to go through the process.

Scapegoating is easier. And the scapegoat de jour is the combination of mass, macro, complex, geo-political issues that you have no real control over.

What goes on in your immediate environment and your day to day life is much more important than what’s happening ‘out there.’

I wrote an article recently talking about my optimism for the future. Someone commented something along the lines of “Well, there won’t be much of a future if climate change destroys the world.” Ok. If the planet dies and we all die, then, we all die. I can’t personally control the climate.

Neither can the person who made that comment. And if I had to bet, I’d guess that individual hasn’t done much on a personal level to deal with the problem. So is the way of the world.

Macro political problems affect you, but you can’t do all that much to affect them. You can move the needle much further on an immediate, local level.

If you want to make a change, make a change in your life. Help change your family. Then change the community you actually live in. Change a tribe of people who trust you. Then, if you still have energy left after that, you can ‘change the world.’

Your Purpose In Life

In the past four years, how much time, energy, and even money have you invested into figuring out what you are meant to do on this earth during the little time you have?

Think about this for a second. Think deeply and let the answer scare you a little bit. Do you put more time into your purpose or politics? It makes me feel gross to even think what the answer might be for some people.

Finding a purpose for your life, something that makes you feel like getting up in the morning can change everything.

Think about what you’re investing in when you invest in politics — fear, greed, outrage, the maintenance of the status quo, individuals who’ve spent entire careers talking without actually doing anything, a system that’s the equivalent of a person a smiling face holding a dagger held behind their back.

It makes me sick to think about how much I’ve invested my energy in politics and I’m someone who’s already found their purpose. The madness needs to stop.

You want to be informed? Get informed about your own talents and strengths so you can use them to test a new path for your life. You want to fight the system? The best way to fight the system is by escaping it altogether.

You should be aiming to make the whims of politicians less of a factor in your life, not more.

The political outrage we see stems from a lack of meaning and purpose in our lives. Humans have some level of religious need.

We all need to put our energy into something higher. Politics is the worst place to put that energy. The best place to put it is in yourself.

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Originally published at http://ayotheauthor.com on November 11, 2020.

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