Change to live a fulfilled life
I’m not a fan of “yolo” – the “you only live once” craze. While I do understand we only live once, we also need to be able to live a functional life during that one time you live on this earth. You need clothes, food on the table, a roof over your head and if possible health insurance. So many things about life, in order to live a comfortable pleasurable one, mean dealing with things that are rather not pleasurable.
If we had a choice, no one would love to spend their time doing dishes or the laundry, let alone paying taxes etc. It’s really hard to feel like you are living a full life if it’s full of tasks and basic chores. So how do we balance this? This contradiction that yes, while our lives are unique and precious, and we should cherish being alive every day, there are many tasks that fill our days that have nothing to do with the feeling of living your best life.
So here is a trick I learned from a happiness class I took. Write down all the things you do on a every day basis on the left in a list. Be honest. Now on the right, write down a lot of things that you would love to do. Sometimes they overlap, sometimes they are completely different. Next step is to adjust accordingly. See how you can balance out the “have to do” with the “want to do”. In certain cases, this may seem easier said than done. But try mixing in those things that you want to do with the haves. Create more time for things you love. Say you want to read more, trying listening to audio books or podcasts while you are cleaning or doing the dishes. Say you want to watch more movies, carve out one evening a week to watch a movie. Or watch a movie on your commute. Find the slots and the places where you can do what makes you ignites you. If you want to meditate more, do it while you are brushing your teeth. You want to spend more time in nature, buy yourself some plants to tend to. Be creative but purposeful in your approach in changing your life into one you desire. It can’t all be yolo – you can’t be traveling eating exotic food while skydiving every second of your life. Life is something that happens every day. It is easy to feel alive when you are pushing your boundaries. It is much harder to feel alive when you are mowing the lawn.
I often see a lot of people struggling with this. Especially millenials look for meaning or purpose in their lives and feel empty but at the same time not knowing how to fill this void. Many go looking for themselves in adventures. But I often tell them “If you can’t find yourself where you are now, you will not be able to find yourself anywhere else”. It’s easier to find yourself when you are in a new place. It takes great courage and strength to find yourself between the bliss of every day life and to find gratitude in it. Yet this is where true happiness lies. Life is living in the simplest of moments and in the most common day to day. Not in random one time moments. Find a way to love your every day. You deserve it. For after all, you only have one life.