"You Say No to Life and Therefore You're not Living"
Ever had the feeling you are missing out on life? I get it quite often and need to remind myself sometimes that opportunities are scarce. We have a relatively short window of time where we need to explore all our interests and desires. Normally I wouldn't post anything negative on my blog since I try to avoid negativity as much as possible. But this article really touched me to the core. It's a wake-up call to spend your time in meaningful ways. It can be used to light a fire inside of you to make the most out of your life.
Over the last couple of months I've been dedicated full-time to developing myself across all 7 areas of life. By doing this I've stumbled upon some cool tips to get more out of my life by pursuing more excitement.
If you feel like you are missing out, that is exactly what you should be doing. Here are 9 awesome ways that have made my life more exciting;
1) Make a Bucket List
Write down all the things you want to do before you die! Here is a site to get you started; http://bucketlist.org/.
Having a list with things you want to achieve adds tremendous value to your life. You are continuously looking for opportunities to achieve your goals. Print it out and hang it up somewhere you can see it daily.
Here are some of mine:
- Attend carnival in Rio de Janeiro (February)
- Go bungee jumping
- Try a polyphasic sleepcycle (uberman, everyman, dymaxian)
- Safari in Africa
- Let your hair grow (working on this one ;))
- Build a rocket
- Barrel roll in an airplane
- Visit Fibo
- Write a book
- Send a message in a bottle
- Ride the highway in Germany (infinite speed limit ;))
- Go to the airport and take a random flight
- Learn to play piano
- Plant a tree
- Take one photo a day for a year
- Shoot a rocket launcher (blow up something :D)
- Bonfire at the beach
- Own a house
- Throw a dart at a world map and go wherever it lands
- Gamble in Las Vegas
The world we live in is infinitely beautiful. There is so much to see and so much to explore. But people just lock themselves up in their own house. They make excuses that travel is for the wealthy. That they don't have time and that they have responsibilities they can't neglect.
Basically, they postpone happiness and stay in their comfort zone. Because anything that requires active thought is frightening and 'wrong' these days. Stop procrastinating life for work/future happiness/whatever.
If you are thinking about something you want, go get it. It is as simple as that. If you want more meaning in your life you will have to be courageous enough to take action. That's where most people fail. Courage.
Some interesting destinations to consider:
- Panjin Red Beach, China
- Galapagos Islands
- Santorini, Greece
Society forces us to rely solely on our head and shut off our heart. We are locked up in our own heads to protect ourselves from getting hurt. We pull up barriers around us so no one can touch us. We become so distant from ourselves that we are afraid to truly express ourselves. Stop thinking and act from the heart!
Express you deepest feelings in music and arts (I write poetry once-in-a-while, you should definitely check it out ;))
Make something in which you can empty you head and your heart. Try painting, poetry, singing, screaming, dancing, running, drawing… do anything that makes you able to express how you feel. See it as a form of meditation. This way you can become more centered and grounded. You become more in touch with who you really are.
Find out what your passions are and how you can use these to contribute value to other people. I've written another post on this titled, How to Escape Mainstream Mindset (And Live Free)
Human beings are social creatures and need interaction and contact with others for mental survival. So connect with other people! There are many ways to do so:
- Service to others. There is no greater purpose in life than service to others. We are taught by society to be egocentric and obsessed by material wealth. But adding (emotional) value to others is what people really need. Even when it is just a small compliment. See how such a small thing can just light up that person's day :).
- Treat others with love and respect and refrain from judging people. You never know what their life was like. We are often to quick in judging others based on our prejudices. Take a step back once in a while and you'll be surprised at how much your relationships improve!
- Defend the people who are absent. Don't talk bad about someone else when he/she isn't present. It will create negative emotions and distrust towards you. It takes courage and heart to speak up and distinguish you from the masses.
- Use empathy and understanding to relate to your friends/spouse/family on a deeper level. Many relationships are very shallow and can't last long because they don't really communicate with each other. To understand someone on a deep, emotional level is the biggest gift you can ever give someone. It adds meaning to your relationship and value to both of your lives.
Expand your knowledge and learn new insights every day. The more you learn about the world you live in, the more interesting it will become to you. It keeps your mind sharp, clear and alert. This way you can stay focused on the things that are important.
It will also enable you to make up your own opinions and theories about the world. When you combine your experiences with your knowledge you will be able to see the connections. How you interpret these, is unique for every person. It allows you to experience life more fully
"A mind that doesn't read isn't any better then the mind that cannot read."
6) Break the Pattern
Many tasks we do become routine after a while and we just turn off our mind. We become stuck in a pattern we repeat day after day. If you want to live more meaningful it is essential to break this. Some ways to break your patterns:
- Do mundane tasks with your non-dominant hand. Try to unbuckle your belt, drink, text, comb your hair, anything with you non-dominant hand. (Don't know why I included this but it is actually really cool to do haha :), you create new patterns in your head which stimulate your awareness)
- Do something random. Nothing says boredom more then predictability. Here is a site with some pretty funny ideas; Randomthingstodo
- Say yes to new opportunities!
- Try something new. Pretty simple isn't it? Go somewhere you haven't been before, try a new sleep cycle, take a different road when going to work/school/supermarket/… . If you lack inspiration just Google it. The internet provides countless of great ideas to spice up your life.
"Excitement is the key to a meaningful life."
- Smile. Many people get stuck up in negativity. Do anything to radiate positivity. When you smile at a stranger on the street these days, it can sometimes even confuse him/her. Genuine happiness is a scarcity these days. Be a light in people's lives.
It is important to keep your life in balance. You need to pay attention to all areas of your life to reach lasting happiness. You can do all the training, working, partying, reading, traveling you want but if you're neglecting a main area in your life that will cost you dearly in the end.
Also understand that you can't keep working forever if you don't reward yourself once in a while. Try meditation and relaxation methods. These will help you get away from all the stress that a 'growing' lifestyle brings forth.
I've written another post on 17 Quick Ways to Relax Your Mind (Besides TV).
The world is really simple, but we insist on making it really complicated.
Like water becomes troubled when it has a lot of waves so does your mind become clouded when you over-analyze your situation. Paralysis by analysis as many like to call it.
So sometimes you just have to give the waves some time to settle. When you get more structured and clear minded, it will be easier to see what you want.
By doing this, problems will matter less, failures become learning opportunities and love becomes evident.
A great way to do this is by writing down your thoughts in a journal to really empty your mind! Uncluttering your mind and removing everything that isn't relevant to your development is one of the key elements of happiness. Make it really simple!
9) Live in the Present
Many people continuously regret decisions in the past or worry about their future. When you are always present to the moment your days will automatically become more meaningful. The next time you do a certain task, be completely aware of what you are doing. Think about it.
When you take a shower. Be aware of the warm water flowing over your shoulders, to your back and to the ground.
Also start to notice the small things in life . Observe people walking by, stare at common objects and look into their details. Go sit on a bench in the park and just observe the world around you. You'll be amazed at what you can find when you take the time to stand still.
Almost all the things I write in my posts are processes. They are not quick fixes that you can use to skip growth. You need to invest energy in these processes if you want to reap the benefits. Everything that is worthwhile takes time. When you understand this and you invest daily in your growth you will add tremendous value to your life (over time). Just remember that there are no shortcuts to anyplace worth going.
Anyway, I thought this was worth sharing. Thanks for reading my post, I hope you have found it useful! If you're having any thoughts or questions on this topic. Feel free to share those with me in the comment section below!
The Inspiration for this post was provided by Owen Cook from Real Social Dynamics