It’s one thing to exist in this world, but it’s another thing to be alive. Unfortunately, many people simply happen to be existing, but not truly living. You and I are not an exemption. There are days, or sometimes even weeks or months that it seems we are at a stall, not moving forward, and are simply stuck in a rut. There are times that we allow our mundane routines to suck the life out of us and turn us into zombies.
However, we were not designed to live boring lives. We were not designed to do the same mind-numbing tasks day in and day out. On the contrary, we were made to live an enlivened life, one that we are enthusiastic about living. We were made to feel invigorated and alive even for the most ordinary of moments. When we are living the kind of life we were made to live, we have hope that lets us find rich meaning in our everyday experiences. Being excited about life is a choice, though, and something that requires our conscious effort. It’s not easy, simply because making any change can be daunting and risky.
The good news is that we are not expected to make drastic changes in our life to improve it. The reason is that coming alive and being the person we were designed to be doesn’t require impressive achievements or massive life makeovers. All we need is to make a few adjustments to our habits and attitudes. After all, happiness depends on how we respond to the things that happen to us. Having said that, here are seven ways you can improve your life right now:
Respond to Negativity with Positivity
Negativity can be pretty subtle. One moment you’re simply thinking about negative things, and the next thing you know is that it has already become part of who you are. All of a sudden, you find yourself complaining at the most insignificant of things. And all of a sudden, you find your happiness and excitement for life being robbed of you. Negativity usually starts in the mind, but it comes to life through the words that we speak. To counteract negativity, you have to learn how to tame your tongue. Instead of complaining whenever you are facing a difficult situation, speak positive words. Instead of saying bad things about a person who has hurt you, responds with positive words and optimism. What comes out of your mouth will eventually drop into your heart, and you will find yourself happier in situations that usually rob you of joy.
Be Kind to Yourself and to Others
Volunteering, offering professional services free of charge, donating to charity, and doing other random acts of kindness is one of the greatest keys to feel fully alive. No man is an island, which means you were not to live for yourself alone. On the contrary, you were made for family and community, and that means you were designed to share your gifts and talents to those around you. That is kindness, and kindness, even in the smallest acts, is enough to energize your spirit. Kindness isn’t always two-way, though. You can also practice kindness towards yourself, and that means accepting yourself for who you are, treating yourself to a nice spa session, buying yourself nice clothes every now and then, or simply writing yourself love letters or motivational messages.
Constantly Learn New Things
You were born with innate talents and abilities, and it is your responsibility to cultivate those gifts. They are supposed to be invested and not kept for yourself. Every week or every month, work toward learning a new skill or simply cultivating your talents. Learn a new word a day, or learn to play one song with your guitar. Find a new hobby that would require you to develop new skills. See to it, though, that you approach each learning with a passionate heart. When you invest your time and energy in something you love to do, it brings richness to your life and make you feel more fulfilled and more alive.
Take Time to Celebrate Life
There are simply a lot in this life that is worth celebrating. Just the fact that you are alive and are reading this right now is enough reason for celebration. Celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, accomplishments. If there are no special occasions, make one, and make sure your celebrations are frequent, fun, and full of meaning.
Find Time to Travel and be a Tourist
Traveling is one of the greatest pleasures in life. It opens up your soul to fresh experiences and opens up your eyes to the realities of the world. It also gives you the opportunity to meditate and reassess your life and reevaluate your priorities. For many people, nothing can make them feel more alive than being able to travel. You don’t need to travel to a different country to experience a full life, though. You can be an explorer in your own city. Chances are there are still a lot of corners in your own town that you haven’t explored yet. It’s something that we often take for granted, but something that can truly add excitement to your daily lives.
Do One Thing You Fear Doing Each Day
Fear is paralyzing. It makes your world smaller and holds you back. It prevents you from being who you really are and from living the kind of life you were supposed to live. If there is one anecdote to fear, it’s confronting it. Break out of the space that fear has imprisoned you into by doing one thing each day that you would help you overcome your fears. You don’t need to do it all at once, but simply need to take one step at a time. It’s more sustainable and more practical.
Deliberately Make Time
We always say time is gold, but if there is one thing that we often take for granted, it’s time. Instead of doing things that are more productive and more fulfilling, we spend our time in front of the computer or the television. Instead of bonding with our partner and kids, we spend extra hours working, attempting to make more money. In order for you to truly live, you have to make time for things that matter the most. It might mean reducing the number of hours you spend in front of your laptop. It might also mean committing at least three hours each day focusing on your kids and simple enjoying time with them. You’ll find yourself more productive when you deliberately make time for what’s essential in life. Most importantly, you will find yourself happier and more alive.