How to Live a Life You Love (Everyday).
Wake up, love your job, love your significant other and love the birds chirping (maybe not in that order). It’s just that easy, right? Some of you reading this are already shaking your heads, drinking your favorite beverage, glass half empty. How is that possible? EVERYDAY? Yes, it is true and it can be done. It all starts with the most important ingredient: Y-O-U! If you are not in it to win it, as they say, than you can rest assured your life will not be nearly as satisfying as you wish.
How you choose to define love is up to you. Love, as defined by Merriam Webster, is to “feel great affection for, to like or desire something very much or to take great pleasure in.” Imagine introducing yourself to someone and say, “Hi! My name is ______ and I live a life that I desire very much!” Any of those terms have the makings of something that sounds pretty great. You will be the envy of all your friends and neighbors. How do you get to this envy love fest you ask?
Let’s start by assessing the things in your life with which you are happy. It can be your work, your car, your voice or your voice in your car on the way to work. Chances are, you can find something that makes you smile when no one is looking. That is the beginning how you feel love whether you realize it or not. When thinking about it or immersed in it, that moment transcends all. It is that effortless. Remember, life is not always that complicated, so try to simplify it where you can.
Next, take a look at the things that are less than desirable or that do not give you great pleasure. How is the relationship you are in? Is it like crawling through glass on the way to the “I’m more than finished” line? When you see yourself in the mirror, does your reflection laugh and extend the ‘You’re Number One’ to you? How about your finances? Do people on the street reach in their pockets and hand you money because they feel even worse for you? Most of us have experienced some or all of the above at one time and it changed our perspective on life. Why? Relationships, self-image and money are the areas in our lives that can contribute most to our own satisfaction. When one or more of those scenarios are out of whack, we tend to let that override the potential positives that we have going for us. It may not be easy to address, but when you learn to “get real” with yourself, you can be more authentic with everyone else.
As the now cool again Smokey Bear once said, “Only you can start forest fires; only you.” Imagine your life as a gigantic forest. It can be green, lush and full of exotic plants and creatures or it can be bleak, dark and desolate. Which view looks better? Into which forest would you want to invite your inner circle? Once you begin to take better care of the things that matter or the things from which you derive the most enjoyment, the forest will forever be a thing of beauty.
So how do you live a life you love every day? Start small. Get a refill on your coffee or juice and fill it to the top! Life can feel pretty good when things are more than half full, right? Now comes the challenge to this lifelong exercise. You must take inventory of your life and determine where you are not as fulfilled. Where are you right now and where are you headed? What things in your past can you take as teachable moments? There may be extraneous things to consider, but most, if not all of those things are like tiny planets orbiting around you. Remember, you are the center of your own solar system. You have the ability to determine what or who will revolve around you, how often and how close. That is the first step in finding balance and harmony. Once you have your planets have aligned, you can begin to shift focus in the areas that need the most work.
Ah, the dreaded “W” word; WORK! Anything worth saving, doing or loving takes work! It may not appear to us as such for things like going to the gym, playing the guitar or making love to your one and only. However, in each one, you are working to improve your health, your technical skills or your relationships. We all make the time for the things we want to do. It’s the things that require a little more attention that fail to command our attention. In order to have a Feng Shui forest or solar system, address those things sooner rather than later or things will truly spiral out of control or burn to the ground.
Control the things you can control. Love the way your shower feels, how efficient your car is on gas, how your kids make you laugh uncontrollably for no reason at all. Those are the building blocks of something truly amazing. Next, take on the slightly larger things like how you love how you know the shortcuts to work when everyone else is stuck in traffic or that you love how good you are at making your husband smile. Once you have that momentum, love how you are super-efficient at completing the big projects at work. Love how hard you worked to look good in those jeans. Love that you constantly pay your bills on time and your credit is spotless or love that you have a roof over your head and food on the table.
The bottom line is that it all begins and ends with you. Appreciate all things, no matter how insignificant and especially the things of great magnitude. If you don’t LOVE something to your definition, how can you change, modify, or alter it so it fits? What are you willing to cultivate or add to your forest or send to the nearest black hole to never return again? The choices are limitless, but the most important choice is to begin to want to love the life you live every day.