” Make Your Life Better”
Like you probably did, I used to dream, wishing, and hoping for a life like you see on TV. Not just an ordinary life, but one that amazed me. As I grew older and wiser, the material wants and needs in my dream changed. When I was younger that dream had me with a fast car to turn the heads of the guys as well as the girls, nice clothes, a big house, and couldn’t wait to get out of bed the next morning. But that didn’t happen. Don’t get me wrong, I consider myself very fortunate today.
At one point I realized I was living within a bubble. Same routine … sleep, wake up, crawl out of bed, work, eat, sleep. The same the next day and the day after. It was like I was a hamster running on its wheel, always running but never going anywhere. I felt stalled and on the brink of being bored, like my dreams of a different life were on hold. I was in a rut. Not unhappy, just stuck, and uninspired. That heaviness was finding its way into my heart as well as my head. All I wanted to do was sleep. And eat. And then sleep some more.
I have a pretty good life, retired and comfortable. I had friends, family, and all of that. I am living in a nice neighborhood with a good car, decent home, but I was uninspired a lot of the time. I got to asking myself, “Is this all there is?” I wasn’t really unhappy, but I was often uninspired and seeking a purpose. I was unmotivated and felt unfulfilled at times. Walking and talking almost like a robot. It felt like I was just going through the motions, I acted normal and wasn’t really unhappy, but it seemed as if something was missing. Was it because it was after the holidays and the weather was often not the best or was, I trying to compare day-to-day life to the trip I took on my last vacation? The good times would be meaningless if we didn’t have bad times to compare them to.
I thought about it at length, taking a good long look at my life. I realized that I had it good, better than a great deal the people today. I just needed to twerk my life a little and make some subtle changes to suppress these feelings and spice things up a little. I just woke up and thought only I can make myself see the world from a more positive view. I made the decision to correct my course, be thankful for what I have and make a concerted effort to add what I feel had been missing in my life. I took charge of my life avoiding excuses and blame. I then started seeing my life through a different lens and living with a purpose. I am the only one that could make the necessary changes. After doing so I realized that I had been living a good life all along. But it could be better if I were willing to do what needed to be done, no one else, just me. I decided that I must do the little things myself, it had to be me. I had to be the one to do what needed to be done each and every day. You can do the same if you feel it is needed. This is the direction I took; it is working and is an on-going endeavor.
Here’s what I did:
Looked at my own situation.
Life today is not what it was like when you or I were younger or even just a few short years ago. Things change in the blink of an eye, and it is continual. One thing that is constant is that life is continuously changing. Blink your eye and bam, you are in the rear-view mirror. It will pass you by in a second, not a minute or an hour. Wake up and take notice. It didn’t used to be this way. Pay attention to details each day and don’t wander aimlessly. Stay focused and pay attention instead of being in a fog. The fact is, anything can and will happen and it is up to you to be alert and flexible. Open your eyes as well as your mind and ears making full use of your senses. You’ll be surprised what goes on when you pay attention.
You have to make the first step, but it doesn’t have to be done in one day. It is and will be an on-going process. If you stay glued to the TV while sitting in your recliner or the couch or immersed into your computer, it will never improve and just stay the same. I know from experience that it is up to me and only me to work on improving. Nothing will change or improve if I keep doing the same thing. That would be failure and a major mistake. Don’t think that I am suggesting you jump up from the couch and be Superman or Superwoman. Just get moving and take the first step going in the right direction. When we were growing up, we had to learn to crawl first, then learn to walk and then learn to run. Take it at your own pace, it is not a race but a marathon. Just put forth some effort each and every day.
Took charge of my own life.
If you don’t take charge of your own life, recognize your own faults, and change them then you are not serious and you will never achieve the outcome you desire. You must do something to put change in motion. It is tough at times, but you not only have to be true to yourself, but you also have to step outside of your comfort zone. It may be scary at first or at least make you feel uneasy, but it will become easier in time. Make a conscious choice and take the road less traveled. Try something new, meet new people and learn some new things. Be more social and be a better listener than a talker. But don’t hesitate to voice your thoughts and opinions. You don’t have to agree on everything discussed but you may accidentally learn something new, and it may make you think. Keep your eyes and ears open and your mind receptive. You’ll find it may be very rewarding.
Lightened up a little.
Don’t be serious all of the time. Remember your inner child and recall how you had fun doing anything no matter how silly it was. Use your imagination. I remember staring up at the sky and saying that cloud resembled something. Cut loose and relax giving your brain a break. Just be a kid again. No rules. Just smile, laugh and be care-free for a while. Like the saying goes, “If it feels good. Do it!” It makes you feel good and makes you relax. My wife has asked me, “Are you ever going to grow up?” My reply to that was, “Nope. Tried it once and didn’t like it.” There are times to be serious and times to be care-free. We need a balance of both.
Learned to be kinder.
Be kind and nourishing to not only yourself but to others, your partner, family and friends. But it is impossible to be truly kind to others if you are not kind to yourself first. Soon it will snowball, be second nature and you will be able to be kind to others more genuinely and without effort. You will be surprised how it will change your outlook and make you feel good.
Open your eyes and enjoy the sights. There’s beauty to be found in a variety of places. Get back up and continue your journey if you stumble along your way. Just don’t give up. You are worth it.