Cultivating Indifference

I regret the time and attention I’ve given to things throughout my life that didn’t matter. Of course, I may have thought they mattered at the time. But that was only because I hadn’t cultivated indifference to such things. I wasn’t sufficiently sensitive to just how much time I was wasting.

Indifference isn’t the same as apathy. Indifference is about discriminating and prioritizing the things that truly matter. It’s about valuing your time and resources. And being aware enough not to allow others to dictate your agenda for you. It’s about being willing to say no. Often.

I’ve gotten better at it later in life, but I still have room for improvement. It’s easier to practice indifference when you’re not part of a company, church, or other organization. Organizations always seem to spend a lot of time and energy on things that don’t matter. It’s more noticeable to me now that I’m not part of an organization. Sometimes it helps to step outside and look back with a critical eye. And to ask yourself the easy yet hard question: Does this matter?

Often, it doesn’t. Frequently, people are filling time. Or working on things that keep them busy but are actually insignificant and immaterial. Activity isn’t the same as contribution. It sounds obvious, but you’ll be surprised by the number of people who confuse the two.

When I became more aware of the need to cultivate indifference, I started to: Continue reading