So…maybe I am a little crazy for thinking that I know how to live a rich life. I mean, most people would deem me silly and incompetent because “I’m way too young.”
To be honest, I guess I can’t negate this statement. Heck, I’m not even old enough to legally drink in the states! However, instead of going on about “age doesn’t matter,” I’ll just say that I don’t know know what it takes to live a rich life, however, I do know that these 5 things can only help me along the way! So now, I’d like to invite you to try incorporating these 5 things into your life, too! It can be a project we start together…so let’s get started, shall we?
1. Don’t “live in the moment” — Live in the Past.
I read a great article the other day, that basically talks about how living in the moment is bad advice.
Why? Well, living in the moment can make us do some pretty rash things.
“Live in the moment” is a newly-worded 2015 phrase that takes the place of the old 2013 “YOLO.”
Both statements essentially encourages the act of doing whatever you feel like doing at any given time — in that moment. But it’s not a great idea because, like YOLO, living in the moment can push us to make bad decisions that we may regret later. That’s why it’s not the moment that we’re trying to live for, it’s the past.
Everything we do right now becomes a part of our past, it gets stored as a memory, and we make these memories each and every day. That’s inevitable, right? So why not start considering about what you want to remember, rather than what you want right then and there?
Think about it…when you’re 89 years old looking back on your life, what memories do you want to have? Heck, what memories do you want to have looking back on your life 5 years from now? How about a week from now?
As Benjamin Hardy states: What you do right now determines the future you hope to create.
By thinking about how we want to look back on life, rather than thinking about what we want at any given moment, we’re less likely to make detrimental decisions. What’s more, he says, is that the way you feel about the past determines your confidence in the future. If you’ve started the week off on a good note, than you’re more than likely to continue the week on a good note.
You get to decide the pages you write in this year’s book, so write it with good intentions.
((This article was a spectacular read that I really encourage you to check out for yourself to grasp the full essence of it, so Click here to check it out!))
2. Let go of what’s easy, and start living your passion.
In my previous post, I touched on the idea of the of expressing individuality by living your passion. I mention how many of us are distracted by what we truly want because of society’s scripted regimen that, if followed, promises a life of comfort and stability.
For example, I recently changed my major and future career goals because I decided that I’m going to live my passion. By ignoring the financial stability of a Doctorate degree, the praise of working in the oh-so-popular medical field, and what my parents/grandparents think is best for me, I was finally able to let go. I’m not saying that getting a Doctorate degree and working in the medical field is easy…oh goodness, not by any means!! However, what’s not easy is going after a career whose market may not call for any raise in demand (AKA: no job guarantee & no financial stability); what’s not easy is telling your parents that you want to pursue a career judged as ‘uncanny’ in their books; what’s not easy is hearing people say what they believe to be best for you, but still kindly turning down their advice, despite how convincing it may sound.
Maybe you’re a totally opposite boat from the one above. Maybe you do want to become a doctor, or an architect, or whatever! Maybe the thing holding you back is all the schooling, or all the loans you would have to pay off, or all the time you’ll have to spend in the practice before you can get to a certain level. But the question still boils down to this: Will you wake up every morning doing what you love? Will you truly be living your passion?
If you answer yes to that, then you have your answer. Don’t let anything or anyone hold you back because this is for you, and no one else but you.
3. Be a little Selfish.
This may go hand-in-hand with the #2 above. Despite what everyone says, sometimes you have to do things for yourself.
My favorite author, Elizabeth Gilbert said, “In Mandarin Chinese, they have two words for selfish. One means doing that which is beneficial to you and the other means hoarding, greedy, and cruel. We, in English, have pushed those two words together.”
When we think selfish, most of us think of the ladder. We think there is no “good” kind of selfish, only the kind that makes one feel guilty.
Susie Moore, a confidence coach, talks about how guilt, in our nature, only serves to highlight a change that needs to be made. She adds, “But guilt should not enslave you. You can use it as a trigger for change, to inspire action…[but] ongoing guilt is not productive. We apply it far too liberally upon innocent circumstances in our lives.”
How right on is that?
We are allowed to be a little selfish when it comes to our happiness, health, and confidence. We’re allowed to be a little selfish as long as we refrain from hurting others on purpose, or breaking a moral standard. We’re allowed to treat ourselves, by ourselves, and there’s no reason to feel guilty about that. Shoot, you should never feel guilty when it comes to treating yourself! 😉
4. Practice Radical Vanity.
This idea was introduced to me by a true wonder-woman, Jessica Kneeland. You can watch her TedTalk here, from which this point is inspired because she explains it much better than I can! She’s phenomenal.
Radical Vanity is a way to look at ourselves that illuminates the beauty within us that goes way farther than appearance. It grasps the idea of taking responsibility in how you talk to yourself regarding the way you look and who you are.
Jessi quotes, “97% of women surveyed report having at least one ‘I hate my body’ thought every day…shame and hatred have become a habit; disgust has become a cultural phenomenon.”
There is so much validity in that: shame and hatred have become a habit. Not only women, but men included, are convinced there is a certain standard unrealistic shape they should withhold, but then so many bash on themselves when they can’t live up to that standard. But don’t you remember from grade school what we all learned? We learned that everyone is unique in their own way! That was one of the biggest things we learned as kids, but somehow as we grow older we sadly forget that lesson. It almost is like the social hype to self-loath and chastise ourselves!
Radical vanity is not just about self love. It’s about “cultivating a new perspective on how we see ourselves. One that is ridiculously, excessively, and radically proud of how we look and who we are.”
Jessi mentions that although it takes immense amount of courage, patience, and resilience, its about being present every day. It’s your responsibility to put effort into creativity and re-framing everything you say to yourself.
One of her examples that made me laugh was about grey hair. Rather than degrade them, accept them by saying to yourself, “I’m not going grey…I just have a whole bunch of super rad, blinged out, natural high lights.”
It’s small steps like this that will not only make us feel better about ourselves, but also encourage others to take the same steps so they too can feel good about themselves. I truly believe the power of Radical Vanity can be revolutionary.
5. Read, explore, and express your love more often
I think by taking the initiative to incorporate these three activities into your every day routine, you can enhance your life and enhance the lives of those around you.
Reading is probably the top, best way to enrich your life with knowledge, curiosity, imagination, and creativity. Personally, I love a good book because it takes me away from reality. It relaxes me, it inspires me, and it teaches me. I love reading, and for those who say they don’t like it…I think you just haven’t found a great book yet!
Explore!!! Oh my gosh, explore. Not just through traveling, but through your state, through your neighborhood, through your mall, or simply through your grocery store! Explore anything and everything. Open your eyes to new things, try new things, learn new things! You may find yourself on an adventure. Or even better, maybe you’ll come across something/someone that could change your life. Staying in one place most likely won’t offer that opportunity, and it most certainly won’t conjure up spontaneity.
And last, but definitely not least, don’t be ashamed to express your love for anything and everything. If you love someone, tell them. If someone said something that was ingenious to you, let them know. If you enjoyed a dessert you made, let it be known that you made a delightful meal!! The more things you express your gratitude for, the more you’re consciously aware of all the small pleasures surrounding you, and that ultimately leads a happy life.
It almost seems to be a natural act to speak about what we don’t like; however, negative connotations can bring negative attitudes, feelings, and actions. It reinforces the bad stuff we don’t want, and if you’ve ever read/watched The Secret you know that the more things you express dislike for, the more of those things the universe will guide toward you. (Almost like Karma!) The more time we spend focusing on the great pleasures in life, the less time we have to dwell on the substandard-not-so-important shenanigans!
So there you have it my friends. 5 things that can lead to a happier (and healthier) life. I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope you start incorporating those 5 little things in your daily routine. Maybe in the future…once I’ve lived longer…I’ll revise/add/tweak some things. Until then….