In the past months, I’ve heard stories about a lot of people passing away both young and old and it had me thinking lots about life and how we live it. We often get caught up in the little things that don’t matter and fail to pay attention to the people and things that matter the most. We stop enjoying the journey.
You can change that. The secret to being happy is accepting where you are in life and making the most out of every day. It doesn’t matter how old we are, what we’ve done, or how much money we have. Our journey is a personal one, full of lessons and reasons to be happy. When we stop comparing ourselves to others and realize how full our lives are, we can appreciate our value. I remembered always comparing myself with other people in the same age range as me who have accomplished a whole lot of things and here I am still battling with ASUU strike. After years of comparison, I realized some people wished they possess what I have, there are others who aren’t even alive anymore to dream or wish. It was then I realized we all have our journeys! It’s important to value the journey, wherever you are in life.
An important value in my life has been “change”. Change can be an event, a feeling, or just a difference in yourself. Many things in my life have changed as I have gotten older. Sometimes change is good, even though it might seem hard to go through. The result of change and how it affects you is what truly matters. Change in simple terms is when something becomes different. To me, change is a value that shapes who you are as a person. As far as you’re moving, no matter how small it is then you’re growing. Accept your growth!
There are so many human beings living on this planet, it never ceases to amaze me. I think humanity exceeded the seven billion mark in 2011, which means there are seven billion individuals, from all kinds of different cultural backgrounds with very diverse professions, biographies, wishes, dreams but also burdens and privileges, living on earth right now. And yet, some somehow seem to manage to make the most out of their lives, no matter the situation they find themselves in. I’m talking about the people who never cease to stand up again, no matter what life throws at them. On the other hand, there are vast amounts of people, who are not happy with their life at all. Just stop and ask yourself, “where do I fall in these two segments?”
Some are even deeply depressed about it, even though they have everything they ever needed to be happy in life. I’m not necessarily talking about the possession of huge amounts of money or having a lot of fancy tangibles (i.e. sports cars, mansions, and jewelry); I’m talking about the basic foundations of a happy life: Health, Freedom, and a Clear Mind. So, how does the aforementioned category of people manage to live their life to the fullest, even if they are (in many cases) far less gifted than many others, or even lack one of the three foundations of a happy life?
This is me telling you to live life as if there is no tomorrow. Yes, I know. This is the kind of phrase everyone throws at you when looking for guidance on ways to make the best out of life. And most disregard this piece of advice as they associate a destructive lifestyle with it; life at the limit that cannot be sustained for a long period.
But when looking at it more closely, the profound, hidden message becomes clear: spend more time doing the things you truly love, with the people you cherish. Value the moment, but don’t let it be ruined by worries about the future. Allow your creativity to flow, see where it leads you and do the things that make you happy.
Therefore, the advice to live life as if there is no tomorrow has not so much to do with an apocalyptic scenario where there are only a couple of hours left before everything collapses. Instead, it means to free yourself from all the man-made illusions about what life really should be, remove all the things you don’t need, and focus your attention on what really fulfills you.
And this is where “live as if there’s no tomorrow” comes in, as this kind of mindset makes it easier for you to dislodge the unnecessary. I was fortunate enough (that’s arguable of course) to experience a situation where my life was hanging by a thread for some months. And as tough as it was, it did one thing that made the experience very valuable: it erased all the illusions I had about life, at the stroke of a minute. All the illusions advertising, Hollywood, social media, and society had talked me into believing were gone. And I could clearly see the things that were really important to me: Family, Friends, unconditional Love, and making the most out of the moment. Anything else, from the past to the future, the material things and tangibles, money, fame, power, etc. was and still is an illusion to me.
When looking at your life’s experiences, the way your parents raised you, your cultural background, education, (etc.), you will notice that you find yourself in a very individual life situation. Unfortunately, many factors have conditioned us to such a strong degree into believing that you’re nothing if you’re not a superstar, billionaire, celebrity, powerful figure, or politician. Therefore, many compare their lives with those of the “selected few” and take it as an excuse not to make the most out of their lives, along the lines: “First I have to get rich, and then I can live the life I really want to live!” Other excuses can sound as follows: “I’m in the worst situation of all. I was born in poverty/riches, with so many burdens on my shoulders. I have a responsibility towards my parents/siblings. I’m simply not this and simply not that, and never will be!”
Stop the comparison, this will bring you nowhere! The point I want to make is that we all find ourselves in a variety of different situations that all come with diverse burdens, which are very difficult to compare with those of others. Therefore, we all will have to make the best out of our personal situations, but in our own, individual way. Therefore it is so important to come to terms with your particular situation and accept it, instead of continuously comparing your life with others who seem to be better off. Unless you dare to compare your life with someone who makes the most of his life, despite living in a third-world country, with no tangibles at all, you’re just creating an annoying illusion from false role models.
The past and the future are only existent within our thoughts. They are not within grasp (any longer / not yet), which means that the only tangible and influenceable aspect in your life is this very moment in the present. Hence it makes sense to value each moment and to make the most of it, right? The key to this is to be living in the moment, instead of “sleep-walking” through life from one sensory overload to the next one. The distraction with different kinds of stimuli, i.e. TV, internet, etc. will preclude you from being conscious of the beauty of the moment. The only happiness you can truly experience is the happiness you feel at the very moment. It does not depend on tangibles or wealth but on your ability to be grateful for the things you already have.
Do you even know that helping others will benefit your life? It will certainly not bring you riches, fame, or power so where is the rational point of doing it anyway? It is kind of contradictory that you cannot make the most of your life if you are not willing to give something back. By only taking what one can for oneself, there will always remain a gap within one’s heart that cannot be filled with wealth, luxury, or other tangible things, but only with the smile and the gratefulness of a person whose life became a little bit easier through your work.
Create the solution to a person’s suffering and you will not only be remembered as the person who truly made the most of your life but also as the one who enabled others to make the best out of their situation as well! So, stop beating yourself up on things that have happened, or your mates that are getting it better than you are, instead get out there and create an impact and most importantly be happy!