Friday 5: Five Ways to Live the Life You Want to Live

Life is extremely short and it is important that we do not squander our days by living a life that does not make us happy. The whole world is at your fingertips: go, find out what makes you feel good inside and what out there allows your heart to fill with love and joy. The following 5 are ways in which you can develop an approach toward life in which you are following your heart, doing what you love and making the decisions that will ultimately lead to the exploration of and the development of your own happiness and wellbeing.


1.) Listen to yourself: When I say listen to yourself, this can be a confusing piece of advice, because all of us often have so many contradicting feelings and thoughts that are active inside of us, that it can be difficult to wade through all of the confusion and find your core intuitive feelings (the feelings that emanate from your heart) as well as the most sound and logical thought processes. I am a firm believer that listening your heart over your head in most situations will lead to greater happiness; however, you must always incorporate reasoning and logic into your decisions. You must also remember though, that your mind is much like a computer, only the “data” stored inside a human mind is often inaccurate, as it is primarily based upon your own subjective perceptions, not necessarily the reality of a situation. Your heart can often help guide you toward what makes you feel joyful or passionate, but your head acts as a filter to remind you of what is at times, realistic. Therefore, it is important to listen to your heart, and I suggest that you pay greater heed to your heart than your mind. Nonetheless, do not ignore your mind entirely, because raw emotion and logic utilized simultaneously, allow for the most well rounded decisions to be made. Do not ignore your intuition or premonitions, but learn when to distinguish whether a hunch is emanating from your heart or from your mind, because often, it can be difficult to distinguish between the two.


2.) Learn what you want out of life: So many of us live our lives through a series of decisions based upon settling. We sometimes get lost in the idea that happiness is for ‘other people’ and I believe that many of us hold the unconscious belief that we don’t deserve happiness. Well the good news is that every single human being deserves happiness and joy and I have found that life is about seeking and discovering that which provides you with the greatest joy. The best way to discover what makes you happy is by spending more time alone with yourself, pondering the direction of your life and the legacy you’d like to leave behind before your days expire. How do you want others to remember you? What kind of impact do you want to leave on the world? What can you do to ensure that your life is not wasted in a state of unhappiness or boredom? What makes you feel alive? You could perhaps create a bucket list of things you’d like to do or accomplish before you die, or just purposefully reflect in your mind about what it is that makes you feel passionate about being alive: everyone has something! Make learning what you want out of life a top priority, and do not settle until you feel that you are living the life or on the path to living the life that makes your heart soar.


3.) Surround yourself with supportive people: Do not allow yourself to invest in people who are more concerned about their plan for your life rather than the plan for yourself that you deem will make you most happy in life. Many people that you will encounter in your life will be what I like to call “energy vampires.” These are people that spend their days sucking the energy out of others for their own benefit, and these individuals are largely unconcerned with how their actions affect any one around them. Know how to identify an energy vampire who is not interested in a symbiotic relationship, but rather a parasitic one, and either distance yourself from this person or do not allow them in your life at all. Sometimes we cannot avoid energy vampires but we sure can learn to keep them at a distance! Fill your life with positive, energy-giving people who care about your well-being and happiness, rather than what they can extract out of you or coerce you to do.


4.) Love yourself: If you do not love yourself, then surely you will not view your life as a beautiful opportunity to find happiness and love for yourself. No one else can make you feel worthy, only you can make yourself feel worthy, and as stated previously, you along with every other human being have an innate right to search for and find happiness in your lifetime. Many people you meet are going to be more concerned by finding their own happiness, rather than what will contribute to your happiness, and this is a natural part of human nature. Thus, it is essential that you develop self-respect and never let your happiness be sacrificed for that of another person. You deserve what makes you feel good and you should not settle for anything less than that. Look within and find a way to be compassionate to yourself and love the unique person that you are.


5.) Take chances: Getting hurt is a part of life, but we do not learn what we want out of life or what is best for ourselves without risking pain to our heart and to our pride. It feels quite painful when something does not work out in your favor even when you gave it your all. However, I find that it is far more painful to live with regret and the nagging curiosity over what could have been had you given something or someone a shot. I promise you, all wounds heal, and those wounds that are created by allowing yourself to love and live deeply–they heal much quicker than those created by avoiding the risk of love and of life. We can develop wisdom from the hurt that may arise from an unreciprocated love or a love that leads to pain; however, it is much more difficult to grow wiser from an opportunity that is never taken nor explored.