How does one began to live a life that matters? The best life we could possibly live. The life we dreamed of as kids. The one where we set the world on fire. The dreams overflowing with passion. Here are a few guidelines I’ve found helpful. When I lived in my car following my divorce years ago I penned a series of ideas to act upon immediately.
No matter what the history of your day has entailed thus far, the rest of your day depends on what you do right now. Write it on your heart that the rest of today is going to be amazing. Here are some ideas to help you make it so:
1. Loosen your grip.
Trying to micromanage every little thing every moment is stressful. Life should be touched, not strangled. Sometimes you’ve got to relax and let life happen without incessant worry and micromanagement.
Starting now, let go before you squeeze too tight. Take a deep breath. When the dust settles and you can once again see the forest for the trees, take the next step forward. You don’t have to know exactly where you’re going every single second to be headed somewhere great. Everything in life is in perfect order whether you understand it yet or not. It just takes some time to connect all the dots.
2. Focus forward.
You can’t go back to how things were, or how you thought they were supposed to be. All you really have is now. The smartest thing you can control in life is your reaction to what’s beyond your control. Dwelling on negativity from the past simply contributes to its power. So stop focusing on what happened and start focusing on what’s going to move you forward.
Everyone’s life has positive and negative aspects – whether you’re happy and successful or not depends greatly on which aspects you focus on. The best thing you can do now is to let go of what you can’t control, and invest your energy in the things you can.
3. Check one lingering task off your to-do list.
Putting something off instantly makes it harder and scarier. What you don’t start today won’t be finished by tomorrow; and there’s nothing more stressful than the perpetual lingering of an unfinished task.
You know that thing you’ve been meaning to do, but you keep putting it off and it keeps nagging at you from the back of your mind. Stop the nagging by taking action now! (Read Getting Things Done.)
4. Spend an hour working on something that moves you.
When you strike that fine balance between the challenge of an activity and your skill at performing it, when the rhythm of your work feels in sync with your purpose, when you know that what you’re doing makes a difference, you become absorbed in the task at hand to the point where time ceases to exist. This is what true passion and happiness feels like.
So is there anything you do on a regular basis that makes you forget what time it is?
5. Try something totally new.
Step out of your comfort zone and try something totally new. What have you wondered about doing, but haven’t had the courage or time to try? Aim for something small that you can accomplish in an hour or less. It can be a whole new activity or just a small experience, such as talking to a stranger.
Adapted from 10 Ways to Make the Rest of Today Amazing.
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