We are all about our energies. The more I have explored the science of yoga and meditation in the last few years, the stronger has my realization become – that it is very important to decide what we use our electricity for.

Do we use it more to light up our own dreams or do we use it for silly pursuits that light up someone else’s bored life?

My job as a Motivational Speaker has taught me how to be very judicious about the use of my time and energy. I just wish had known sooner, the things I need to stop wasting my precious energy on.

Hence this article – for all those who are looking for a starting point, after maybe a couple of failed races. Here are 5 things people need to stop wasting their precious energy on, because mostly they don’t take us anywhere.

1. Destructive Criticism

The thing about destructive criticism is that it rarely comes from a good place, a genuine place in the heart. Most of the times, it comes out of frustration and nearsighted-ness of the person criticising us.

I have been privy to many people questioning their own abilities because they couldn’t chaff out the destructive criticism from the hay of positivity. We tend to believe one negative remark about us but ignore the 5 positive comments because it is much easier to believe that we are no good. Well, newsflash – most people around us have this insecurity deep down. And that’s too much competition.

Believing in destructive criticism often keeps us mediocre because it does not help us with directions to improve. A better place to exist is in the minority who think they can definitely do it. Less competition there.

2. Following the Bandwagon

I would say this is the easiest. When I see college students trying to sit for interviews of companies with all kinds of job profiles, I think of a herd.

Often, we are too scared to lose out on things we thing we need. So, we tend to avoid making tough decisions for ourselves and choose to simply follow someone who appears to have a sorted mind and has figured out what he wants.

Problem is, half of the time, the leader of the herd doesn’t know what he is doing. The other half of the time, they are mostly not going where we want to go. I think the second problem is a bigger one. Because then the bandwagon leads to a stop that probably won’t make us happy.

It takes a little courage to stop being afraid of losing out. That gives us time to decide what is it that we really want to achieve. Otherwise, the anxiety and nervous energy of trying to emulate someone else’s life can eat us up from inside, slowly, like termites do. Does the spray work on humans though? I highly doubt it.

3. Casual Relationships

I recently wrote elaborately on this subject because it appeared to have been causing some major emotional upheavals among the younger population.

First of all, I don’t think casual relationships are that casual. Young men and women often think it is less time taking and more fulfilling but that’s not what my experience says. It may be fun for 20 minutes. But once the lights are on and the person has left, it tends to push people down the rabbit hole of depression, anxiety, loneliness and commitment issues.

Yes people are free to decide what they want to do with their time and body. But strangely I have never seen someone with an unbeatable zest for success wasting their precious energy on mindless hook-ups. I have seen them to not mixing ‘fuck’ and ‘focus’ and it works out brilliantly for them.

I am not suggesting that relationships are bad for our energy conservation. But random relationships with people we meet at random places definitely are.

4. People Issues

Where to begin and where to end this one!

Emotional competence is an art that one needs to learn. The biggest problem with a majority of the younger population who think too much about people is that they think that everyone is thinking about them; that the world revolves around them.

The truth is that everyone is busy with the stories of their lives.

Another major energy dissipator when it comes to people is that we want everyone to look at things the way we do. Is that even possible?

We are from different walks of life. we have grown up in different cultures, belong to different schools of thought. Our opinions are the result of our lifelong perceptions. Instead of trying to change every facet of the people around us (family, friends, partner, colleagues, etc.), a much better idea is to accept them as they are.

Trust me, it will free up so much time! When we no longer have to deal with the task of making people see reason, we suddenly free ourselves from the energy spent on trying to fight useless battles.

I think it is important to pick our battles. Not every fight has to be fought today, not every battle requires our presence. Figuring that out can save us a lot of energy.

5. Mindless Addictions

It could be anything, from alcohol to smoking to substance abuse to relationship addiction or something as simple as internet browsing.

My point is, whatever is not taking us towards our goals, is taking us away from it. It is as simple as this.

Today is a great time to be alive, to do mistakes, to fall-learn-and-get-up. But I see people often do the same mistake over and over again because it makes them feel good. Building a life and a career is a tough thing to do. And addictions to any kind of substance can slow us down immensely, giving us false sense of victory and hope. In reality, nothing has been achieved. And by the time we realize that, it is often too late.

I just try to tell my audiences not to get perturbed by failure, or the fear of it. Those who really aspire to do something good with their lives and don’t believe in murky short-cuts, often don’t have time for all this because they are too busy making progress.

It’s a great model to follow. If you want success, become so busy finding it that you don’t have time for such mindless pitfalls.

Being young and alive is a once in a lifetime opportunity – with unlimited energy source, but limited knowledge of how to use them. Wouldn’t it then be a better idea to not while away our ‘everyday’ energyon people or things that don’t matter?

-Akash Gautam

Guide to Inspired Life