“When I was young, I was too busy…”

I am not sure if it was my personal choice or just expectations of others imposed on me. I guess our choices when we are young are biased and guided by what is perceived “right”; what everyone else is doing in order to be a “successful” member of this society. The ultimate dream of the family was to be successful, meaning be the best student, study hard, find a job that pays well, buy a house, have a family etc! Seems like a lot of work for a young person to comprehend. 

While I was trying to understand this concept, I was trying my best to become all that. Not an easy ride though, as I could feel the conflicting emotions in me: “Is this who I am supposed to be?” “Is this our purpose in life?” Questions that created turmoil and resistance. 

Amidst the busyness of trying to reach the ultimate goal, I was missing out on life. I don’t quite mean alcohol or nightlife, not even socialising with friends. These are just the extras or the rewards of being busy if you prefer. I am talking about dreams, goals, passions, connection, creativity, nature, travelling. I was promised that I could have all of these “treats” after I work hard because “people must work hard to enjoy life”. This is what I’ve been told.

So I did. To the extent that my conflicting emotions overwhelmed me and I could no longer see the future, I was promised. But that’s another story and I won’t go there…

“…now that I’m older I’m too tired”.

But is this the case in the world we live in? We have created a society that is either too busy or too tired.  When is the time that we will start living truly? What if we unleashed all the potential that is hidden?  Waking up – eating – drinking – studying – working – eating again – watching tv – complaining – comparing – sleeping. Is this really who we are? This circle is not the full picture of us. There is much more to that. 

It is never too late to start reflecting on who we really are and how we can approach life in a different way.  I’m not suggesting here that we should stop what we are doing and go on holidays.  On the contrary, why not give meaning and purpose to what we are doing? Or simply do what gives us meaning and purpose?

You don’t need money to find what is important; you need some quiet time to think, feel and reflect creatively. The money will be the energy to help you reach your goals, but it is not the main ingredient. The important ingredients you will find within, the strengths, the ideas, the dreams, the goals, the values.

In my job, I listen to older people having regrets about the life that they didn’t choose to live. Very sad but at the same time empowering for the rest of us to recognise the potential and the possibilities.

We are never too busy, and we are never too tired. The societal excuses we use to escape from the concept of “now” can be detrimental to our wellbeing in the longer run. Unfortunately, we recognise the missed opportunities when we reach the lowest point in our life; physical illness; unhappiness; depression; anxiety; fear. Fortunately, it is that lowest point when we can give permission to ourselves to rise and create something new.

Waking up from the lethargy I had put myself in, I realised that it is never too late to live.


  • Anton Anagnostou

    Wellbeing Counsellor & Community Educator

    Choose To Be

    Anton's lived experience of mental ill-health and recovery journey inspired and motivated him to contribute to improving mental health and wellbeing of people. An epiphany moment led to life transformation by just becoming aware of personal qualities and possibilities.  Anton believes that by choosing, challenging and eventually changing the environment around us and our beliefs, we can create a new reality. Both personally and professionally, he shares tools and strategies that people can apply to improve their wellbeing and cultivate a new understanding by promoting choice, self-care, self-awareness and hope.