I’m sure you have all heard the phrase, “get lost”. It is used as a rude way of telling someone to get away from you. Get lost! Scram! Go somewhere, anywhere but here! We can take it as a slight. We can take it as impolite, or mean. To tell someone to get lost implies they are not. Lost in what context of the word though? Stranded in the middle of the ocean? Lost like car keys or socks? People that don’t know what to do with their life, they have hit a rut and can’t seem to move forward, they say they’re “lost”. Lost doesn’t always mean the lack thereof.
We also use it to describe being deeply engaged in some activity. Getting lost in your studies, or getting lost in a good book. I would argue that if someone tells you to get lost, maybe they’re right! Maybe you do need to get lost… in something. Not to vacate the space you occupy but to vacate all other distracting activities, or thoughts. Focusing and concentrating on something you love to do. It forces you to think about what engages you so much that you would be willing to invest all of your time and energy into. Be careful though. There’s two sides to a coin. You can get lost in something that does not fulfill you as well.
I think everyone gets lost in something. It could be something that motivates you, that energizes you, that fills your heart with joy. It could be something that erodes your self-worth, or leaves you with a headache. You can get lost in things and relationships that won’t do you any good. So you can’t just get lost into anything and expect positive fulfillment. I’m thinking of self-destructive habits such as drug abuse. You can get lost into an addiction. You can concentrate all of your efforts on seeking pleasures and escapism. I know there is an opioid crisis in this country today. It is tragic! Life is rough and painful. Sometimes you just want to get away from it all, but we don’t get to. You don’t get to get away from life until it ceases for you. I know many people take that alternative, to end their lives. What you get lost in determines the person you will become and the life you will lead. We can choose to focus on only the negative aspects of life, and become depressed, angry, and worried.
I got lost into video games. My childhood was not the greatest and many of us can relate to that. Wrought with abuse, shame, and guilt. Video games were my escape, they were what I chose to get lost in. It was my safe space. Since I had such a toxic relationship with them from the beginning it only became worse over time. I chose to spend more and more of my time playing them. I started to neglect my reality, the things that were real. My health declined. I became more apathetic and negative. My relationships suffered, my conversations were dull and boring. I got lost in something that wasn’t making me better, it wasn’t enhancing me as a person. I had a turning point when I realized how much time I spent doing that, instead of focusing on the things that were real. My relationships are real, my dreams are real, my skills are real. It’s a funny thing when you get lost into something, time seems to go by so fast. Before I knew it I’m in my mid-twenties and I haven’t traveled much, haven’t learned much, and haven’t developed myself as a person. I was unhappy, just paying bills and counting my birthdays.
How we choose to spend our time determines the type of people we become.
We are all born with an expiration date, but the almost humorous thing about that is, we don’t get to know when that is! We don’t get to know when we leave this world. We only get so much time, so we must use it wisely. I had to ask myself, what am I spending my precious time on? I’m sure you’ve heard people say, “if only there were more hours in a day”, or “if only there were more days in a year”. These are people who don’t use their time wisely. I can almost guarantee that if these people lived on another planet where the days and years are longer, they would still complain about not having enough time! Even if physicists figure out how to stop time, they shouldn’t tell anybody! It’s not how much time you have, its how you spend it. Since you don’t get more, you must use what you have more wisely.
Jim Croce sang, “If I could save time in a bottle…”, and we know we cannot. Sure, things would be much easier if I could just go down to the local CVS and buy some more time. It would be the next hottest commodity! The sobering reality though, is that we are only given so much time in this world. We only have so much time to share with loved ones, we only have so much time to work in the day before the Sun goes down. This gives our time importance and value to us. I value my time much more now and choose to get lost in only the things that enhance me as a human being. I returned all of my video games, I stopped looking at cynical garbage on the internet, I stopped having relationships with things and people who did not fulfill me. It took me a little while to break the habits, but once I did I found that I had enough time to get lost into the things I loved. Writing was always a passion of mine, and that is one thing I started getting lost in. I started developing my skills as a speaker. I invested more time into learning a martial art. I read more books. I dreamed more. I put a higher value on the time I have to spend with the people I love, the people that make me greater. That’s where happiness lies. Happiness comes on its own, you can’t force it. Try forcing a smile! You know and other people know that isn’t genuine!
Happiness comes from getting lost into whatever will make you more compassionate, more experienced, and more confident.
I always say, make this our decade! Spend the next ten years of your life getting lost into something that fills your heart with joy. We have to get lost to find ourselves. We know challenges lie in wait, that’s a given. Jim Rohn described all of human history in one sentence, “Opportunity mixed with difficulty”. We can choose to squander our time and get hung up on the challenges, or choose to get lost in the pursuit of our greatness.