HAVE YOU EVER CAUGHT YOURSELF in the middle of a perfectly wonderful moment thinking about what you’re going to do next? We all do it and it’s something that most of us have to make a conscious effort to correct. What’s so bad about letting your mind wander off to the next big thing or the memories you hold onto from years ago? You miss out on all of the things happening around you right now. The next thing you know, you’re living that moment you were thinking about so longingly yesterday, but your mind has moved on to tomorrow or is stuck in a moment from two weeks ago.
Challenge yourself to start living in the present, starting now.
STOP LIVING IN THE FUTURE
During our younger years, we tend to spend a lot of time wishing for the future. We see all of the privileges that come with growing up and we wish our time away. We wish for the day we get our driver’s license, we can’t wait to move away to college, and then finally, to graduate into the “real world.” All of a sudden, our college days are over and we wish we could go back to those days. The wisdom to appreciate these years is not commonly found in teenagers and young adults, but it’s important to slow down and cherish these moments now before they are gone.
STOP LIVING IN THE PAST
After you lose a loved one to death, it’s common to find yourself living in the past. You think about how great your life was when the person you lost was still a part of it. There’s a difference between keeping the memories of your departed loved one alive and missing out on your life now because you’re stuck in the past. Even though your loved one is gone, there are people in your life now who care about you very much and who want to see you happy. Don’t miss out on that love and happiness that is all around you now because you can’t stop thinking about the way your life used to be.
We all have one life to live. Live your life in the present and try to cherish each moment as it happens. We’re only human, so you’re bound to find yourself longing for a different time every now and then. It’s okay to hold onto your memories and to get excited about the future, but don’t let those past and future moments keep you from cherishing the moment that is happening right in front of you.
HAVE THE COURAGE TO LIVE A LIFE TRUE TO YOURSELF, NOT THE LIFE OTHERS EXPECT
People say it all the time: “You only live once.” Yet, it’s still so easy to forget that on a daily basis. Sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day grind that we forget to make each day count. Time goes by so quickly that we seldom stop to really think about life and whether we’re living it in a way that will allow us to look back on it with no regrets when all is said and done.
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?
Take some time to think about your past. Without being too critical, can you say that you’ve lived your life in a way that is true to yourself? Make note: there’s a difference between living selfishly, and living your own life. I’m not saying you should just stop caring about those around you, but rather live in a way that makes you happy. Reach for your goals, not the goals of someone else. Although you can’t take back or change the way you’ve lived your life thus far, you can use your past to motivate you to change.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Maybe you’ve already realized the importance of living life for yourself, and you’re putting that principle to work. That’s wonderful! If you’re not living a life true to yourself, most likely you already know this. You know because it weighs on you. You feel the conflict between whatever or whoever is holding you back, and the life you know you’re meant to live. Maybe not every day, but the thought creeps up on you and it’s painful to think about. That’s how you know you’re not living life true to yourself. So…
WHAT WILL YOU DO?
Living a life true to yourself is going to look different for everyone. For some, it could be something drastic, like a career change, faith change or relocation. For others, it might be simply making small changes to your daily living, like learning to tell people “no” when you have to. Find out what it is you have to do in order to start living true to yourself and work towards putting that into action. It’s not going to be easy and like any change, it will take time. Be diligent about chipping away at the change, and patient in reaching your goal.
No matter where you are in life, it’s never too late to start living a life that is true to yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re 16, 36 or 76. Start being true to yourself now so that you don’t have regrets later.