It happens every day. Spats with loved ones. Dissatisfaction with employment. And the sinking feeling that you should be doing more. But you can use your discomfort to propel your life forward. Start today and upgrade to your life’s premium package – an authentic, light-filled existence.
1. Be the person you want to be
Close your eyes and visualize yourself – and notice what’s holding your back. Got an addiction? Go to a 12-step meeting during lunch. Feeling overwhelmed with parenting? Take the kids to a park and reach out to other moms. Schedule that daily thing that will make your life better. It will take effort. It will take lots of daily baby-steps (this is where the word “practice” comes in.) But you can become that person.
2. Connect daily
We are wired for connection. And you can create moments of connection by reaching out to others. Schedule a walk-and-talk with a friend. Make freezer-meals with a neighbor. Introduce yourself to someone at your gym. And remember to seek quality friendships. Be that friend. It is worth it. You are worth it.
3. Say sorry, daily
Let’s face it. We’re going to have misunderstandings. But instead of having your verbal gun on your holster consider a smoothing balm of love. When you have a misunderstanding, say sorry and ask if you can have a do-over. When you bump into someone at the store, say excuse me. When you cut-off another car, wave to say sorry. Saying sorry cultivates empathy. Saying sorry shows a common humanity and civility. Change your life by being the person who can say sorry.
4. Find a cause to rally behind
Reignite your passion for life by finding a cause to rally behind. And the best place to find a cause to support is your own life experiences. Maybe you’ve adopted a child or a pet. Maybe you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Maybe someone you love has lost their fight to cancer. You can always start a blog, volunteer at a race or cook for an annual bake-off. When we help others — especially in an area where we have scars — it helps our hearts to heal (as well as helping others.)
5. Show up and sometimes fail
Showing up is a big part of life. And showing up means being present in every way. Your body is present. Your mind is present. And your heart is ready to invest. Decide today to start something you’ve been hankering to try — and show up. You might fail. But show up, nonetheless. And you might not fail. Plus, if you really love it, keep at it. Fail. Get up. Fail. Dust off. And pat yourself on the back for showing up. Live a more authentic life.
6. Champion someone else
Most of us live extremely busy lives. But stopping to smell the roses, and looking around to see who can’t yet reach the roses, can be a beautiful life-enhancer.
Find someone you can mentor. Share your skills. Listen to their fears. Support their goals and cheer them on in their struggles. This can be especially fulfilling when you mentor someone in an area where you once struggled. Sharing your vulnerabilities – telling your stories about once being where they are can help bring about a full-circle feeling to your life.
7. Play daily
When life gets hard, many of us dig in our heels and work harder. But working harder often allows adrenaline to super-charge our bodies. Consider a new modus operandi for when life gets hard: Allow yourself a specific amount of time to play. Write, draw, cook for fun or graph your garden. Play is critical because it allows our minds and bodies (hello, adrenal glands, we’re talking to you!) to reduce its speed and calm down. In this calm place, we have the ability to do back-burner thinking which is often more creative and is soothing.
8. Seek the beauty in loss
In every situation there is beauty. Although with loss, the beauty may not be obvious at first — it is there. The beauty in loss reminds us that life is fluid. The beauty in loss reminds us to live in the “now.” The beauty in loss reminds us to share funny stories about loved ones.
And seeking the beauty in loss can be seeing how our loss has increased our capacity to love. Seeking the beauty in loss allows you to shift yourself to live in the present. Move yourself to a mental place of calm by noticing the glimmers of good in any situation.
9. Cultivate anonymity in giving
Bring out your inner-daredevil and philanthropist through anonymous giving. Consider writing an unsigned card to a neighbor who keeps a beautifully landscaped yard. Or maybe you pay for a stranger’s meal or the parking costs for the car behind you. The great thing about anonymous giving is that the good is maximized because the receiver doesn’t know who to thank. Help someone feel like they live in a more loving world. Help yourself feel good with no praise attached. It can change your day. It can change your life.
10. Keep time (not money) as your most important commodity
Money doesn’t equal happiness. Yes, it makes us more comfortable. Yes, it enables us to have more fun. But you can see in the faces of many hard-working folks — especially in third world countries — that their quality of life is not dependent on how much their pockets jingle. When making choices, instead of considering how much something costs or how much money you’ll make, make sure you’ll still have time to spend with the people you love and on the projects that make your life fulfilling. Guard your time and only allow the most important things to get a portion. Your life will feel all the more rich.
Making changes for the better doesn’t require a major overhaul, but it does require a commitment. What changes could you make in your life today?