Your Time is More Valuable Than People’s Opinions

photography of book page

Sometimes, life nudges us in mysterious ways —including the subtle hints of wisdom from a favorite Pokémon content creator’s latest livestream. Some viewers were complaining about how he hacks the games he plays in order to save time and produce more consistent results with the Pokemon he speed-runs. 

He argued that by removing encounters and annoying puzzles that don’t actually add anything to the gameplay experience actually not only makes these runs more consistent and less prone to randomness, but saves him immense amount of time, allowing him to create more content. The dissenting voices got so loud that he eventually had to mute them, remarking that his time is more valuable than their opinions.

The High Price of Validation

This got me to thinking about how often I’ve given in to taking too many dissenting opinions too seriously.  We humans naturally long for validation. Often, that comes in the form of other people’s opinions, but at what cost?

By the time many of us reach our mid-thirties, we’ve spent countless hours dealing with societal expectations, peer pressure, and the ever-present commentary of critics and supporters alike. We’ve agonized over decisions that should’ve been straightforward, hesitated to chase our dreams for fear of judgement, and, in moments of self-doubt, gauged our worth based on the opinions of others. Herein lies the revelation: Our time really is more valuable than people’s opinions.

Embracing the Priceless Value of Time

Time is the one resource we can’t renew. While wealth may come and go, every second that passes is a second we’ll never get back. Yet, how often do we squander it seeking approval or fearing criticism? 

The days, months, and even years we spend trying to fit into molds created by others are moments we lose forever. By letting others’ opinions dictate our actions, we indirectly allow them to control our time, which is our most precious asset.

Overvaluing Opinions is a Fateful Trap

The desire for external validation is rooted deeply in our evolutionary biology. As social animals, fitting in with the group once meant survival. However, in our modern world, this yearning can become an anchor, tethering us to a life lived for others rather than for ourselves. 

So, we must question whether the momentary satisfaction of approval is worth the long-term cost of missed opportunities and unfulfilled potential. It’s not that we shouldn’t consider opinions, as they can provide useful insights. But, you have to know when to ignore others and go with what works for you. It’s your life and your choices to make, not theirs.

The Freedom in Recognizing Your Unique Perspective

There’s undeniable freedom in recognizing the greater worth of our time over others’ opinions. When we make choices that resonate with our authentic selves, we not only honor our individuality, but also lead richer, more fulfilling lives.

Imagine the books you could read, the passions you could pursue, or the memories you could create if you simply stopped to listen to your own heart rather than the discordant voices talking over each other around you.

On this note, here’s five pieces of actionable advice we can take away from this hidden nugget of YouTube streamer wisdom:

Audit Your Time: Take stock of your daily activities. How much time do you spend seeking approval or avoiding criticism? Recognize these patterns and actively work to reduce them.

Set Healthy Boundaries: It’s okay to distance yourself from negative influences or individuals who drain your energy. Surround yourself instead with positive, supportive people who respect your time and choices.

Celebrate Your Unique Life Path: Each time you make a decision, ask yourself: “Am I doing this for me or for someone else?” Don’t let others, even those that may even be well-meaning, bully you from taking actions you don’t feel are correct for you.

Practice Mindful Reflection: Dedicate a few minutes each day to introspection. Understand what truly matters to you and jot down these things in writing. Then, actualize prioritizing those values over external opinions.

Constantly Seek Inspiration From Unexpected Sources: Just as a Pokémon content creator inspired this introspective essay, seek out your own sources of inspiration, no matter how odd they may seem to others. Let the stories and insights of those you personally respect empower you to prioritize your time.

It’s an ongoing struggle to prioritize our time over people’s opinions, but its worth pushing ever towards a life lived on our own terms. As we each take our own paths, let’s remember the timeless wisdom of the Pokemon theme song: To be the very best, like no one ever was, requires us to value the power within us above all else. That is, except also for our priceless time.

~ Amelia Desertsong

Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy.
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