It's defeating, isn't it?
The perfect life you've dreamed off seems miles away. Living a life you love sounds like a fairy tale reserved for actors, athletes, and corporate business owners.
Not for someone like you.
Sure, you have goals, but you're nowhere near completing even half at your rate. You might as well suck it up, quit now, and learn to be content living a mediocre life.
Or maybe, your fantasy life is closer than you think.
Not long ago, I felt exactly the same. I was in college, getting an education so I could spend the next 40 years making someone else rich, hoping to be reimbursed with a peaceful retirement.
Then something happened.
I woke up one morning with an excruciating pain in my stomach. I was forced to go to the emergency room and eventually was diagnosed with Pancreatitis.
The doctors couldn't explain why it happened but part of my pancreas was dead. It was no longer producing insulin and if the disease continued to spread, it would kill me.
After that, everything changed. With part of my body gone, the rest of me felt more alive than ever. Something terrible happened, but it made me realize how blessed I already was.
Looking at the bigger picture, you're so much closer to living a life you love than you give yourself credit for. The fact that you're here now, reading this, means something. By the time you reach the end of this post you'll realize how amazing your life already is.
1. You're Alive
We live on a pale blue dot in a vast stadium of empty space. Somehow this tiny speck of a rock we live on formed something called life.
That itself is a miracle.
On top of that, you're here. You were born into this world, and despite all the diseases, predators, and so many ways to die, you're still here.
2. You Have Basic Essentials
"Life comes from physical survival; but the good life comes from what we care about." – Rollo May
A place to sleep. Somewhere to escape the cold & rain. Clothes to keep you warm. Food to nourish your body.
These are things that have become so normal we never give a second thought on how hard life would be without them.
Humanity has mastered our basic needs allowing us to do something more with our lives than simply survive another day.
3. You Know How To Read
If you've made it this far through the article, I assume you know how to read, but according to the website Statistic Brain, over 775 Million people in the world can't.
Reading puts us at such an advantage from our ancestors who came before us by allowing us to record history and learn from our past mistakes.
It comes as second nature, but the fact that these weird looking lines on a screen make sense to you is pretty amazing.
4. You Have Access To The Internet
At the end of 2014, 60% of the world still wasn't connected to the internet.
With a global network in your hands you're given the potential to connect with lives all across the globe. You can literally change someone's life without ever meeting them in person.
Even goals away from the web, such as getting in shape. It's way easier having the internet to search for great workout plans and healthy recipes to fit what best suits your needs.
The internet has become so accessible in developed countries that it's potential has become something seriously taken for granted.
5. You're Still Learning
"Once you stop learning, you start dying." – Albert Einstein
Being a know-it-all isn't any fun. Humans are natural explorers and it's in our DNA to discover more.
Just because you have a master's degree doesn't mean education stops, if anything you're just getting started.
Learning everyday puts you so much further ahead than those who think they already know everything they need to know.
6. You've Let Go Of The Past
This can be hard, really hard. Sometimes we don't want to move forward.
The good news is, you already have. At least part of you. Your mind may wander back from time to time, but your body is here for good.
Lurking in the past never does any good and being able to move on is a powerful habit to have in your repertoire.
The faster you can turn away from what's behind you and focus on this moment the happier you'll be.
7. You're Afraid To Do Something
Even if you haven't taken action, thinking about your fears forces you to imagine yourself outside your comfort zone.
Most people never notice they haven't left their comfort zone in years and they're perfectly content never changing for the rest of their lives.
Permitting yourself to be afraid allows you discover what it is you need to do most. You've at least thought about things that make you feel uncomfortable, and now you can focus on taking the steps to actually doing them.
8. You've Made Mistakes
The only failure that lasts forever is giving up. Otherwise, every mistake you make is a stepping stone.
Making mistakes forces us to grow. It allows us to push our boundaries and do things we never thought we we're capable of.
It's okay to make mistakes, we all do. It's not okay to be so afraid of making mistakes that you choose to do nothing.
Which as it turns out, is the biggest mistake of all.
9. You've Made Someone Smile
"A warm smile is the universal language of kindness." – William Arthur Ward
The best thing you can do for someone else is make them smile. To bring them a small burst of happiness even if only for a moment.
There's no point being around someone who is making you feel worse about yourself.
There's a lot of angry people in the world, and they aren't doing much to help anyone. But by bringing laughter and joy to the lives of others you're making the world a better place.
10. You Still Have A Mission Left Unfinished
One of the saddest things in life is to see people die in their 20's and get buried in their 70's.
People do a few things and then think there's nothing left for them. They've done all they can and now they're okay with coasting out the rest of their life.
The truth is, your life is never finished. The fact that you still have more goals you want to accomplish, places you want to see and things you want to do puts you so much far ahead of anyone who isn't even trying.
Life is meant to be lived, and your work is never finished. Even when your old and limp, you can still encounter the experiences of a lifetime.
The Gift Of Revival
"Change your perception of what a miracle is and you'll see them all around you." – Bon Jovi
Six months later I was back in the hospital for a check up. The doctors put me to sleep to stick a microscope down my throat and get a closer look at my pancreas.
When I woke up a few hours later, the doctor's face said it all.
Somehow my pancreas had revived. It was 100% functional. A true miracle.
It took a trip to the emergency room and being told part of me was dead for the rest of me to wake up, but since that day my life has never been the same.
One Last Thing
In the end, there is so much do with our lives and not enough time to do it all, but maybe trying to doing it all is the wrong goal.
But rather living a life that means something to you.
You don't need a giant house or fancy cars to live an amazing life. You already have everything you need to achieve your goals and make your wildest dreams come true.
The beauty in life isn't fantasying about the things you don't have, but enjoying the luxury of having the things you do.