Navigating life can sometimes feel like being in the middle of the ocean, on a small boat, trying not to get thrown off by a huge wave. This means that feeling uncertain, hurt, afraid, or uncomfortable is part of the journey, and while those feelings can be great teachers, they are not supposed to be in our lives on a regular basis.
Life is designed to be a rollercoaster with emotions of all kinds for you to experience. It is when the rollercoaster stops working and stays on the ground that the problem begins. Constantly experiencing negative emotions can take a toll on your mental health and prevent you from enjoying your most treasured possession, the present moment.
The good news is that just because we have picked up damaging habits and beliefs from our environment, it does not mean we cannot unlearn them and return to our original selves.
The habits I am covering today (gratitude, mindfulness, purpose and passion) are nothing new for us. Babies and children—who are yet to condition their minds to those around them—live in a constant state of gratitude, mindfulness, and a firm determination to go after what they want.
And that is what I want to remind you of today.
Becoming aware of all the good things already in our lives is a shortcut to happiness, and sadly, not everyone is aware of it. Cultivating gratitude is all about appreciating and not taking for granted the good in our lives. This simple act uplifts your mood and encourages you to keep going.
If you can read this, then you have access to the internet, an electronic device, and electricity—three things to be grateful for and not take for granted. And since reality is subjective and a reflection of our inner world, approaching life with a grateful heart does really change the experience of life.
Conversely, if conflict, desperation, and lack reign in your inner world, your outside experience will not be the most enjoyable. To make this habit stick, make a list or say out loud 3-10 things you feel grateful for every day. Commit to doing it for a month, and feel the shift.
Staying present is difficult, especially for people with hectic lifestyles. However, it is the only way to enjoy the present moment. Without it, you will be living life in automatic mode, solely depending on your old habits.
And you do not have to be a yogi or spend 30 years in a cave to practice it neither. Mindfulness is as simple as staying present—all you need is to learn to notice what is around you and quiet the voice inside your head, mentally inviting you to be somewhere else.
To make this habit stick, start by creating a mindful wake-up routine. Give thanks for all the good in your life, and try to prevent your mind from drifting away.
Purpose & Passion
Living with purpose and passion is like loving or being satisfied with the activities we engage with daily. It sprinkles hard work with harmony to make it enjoyable, and it also is what makes the difference between a subpar and outstanding performance.
Giving in our innermost desires to please others or seek external validation is one of the most common reasons for their lack in people’s life. And it does not have to be like that. The people you want around are those who love you and accept every facet of you. Remember that it is about belonging and not fitting in.
To make this a habit, compromise yourself to only practice or do the things that make your heart smile. Easier said than done, but you have got this. By the way, paper and a pencil may come in handy.
Good luck, and here's to a more meaningful life.