Our lives are never set in stone and if we can read this sentence then we’re old enough to realize this truth. I am a creature of habit and have always functioned well with a routine. My last post gives insight to fears that have held me back and so I won’t revisit them. This time is about life changes. From time to time we all require change in our lives and I don’t mean for catching the bus. Although change can be incredibly scary, change will come regardless. So, I believe the best course of action is to at least attempt to brace ourselves for it. Funny thing is that we usually are too polite with ourselves when we know, intellectually, that something has to change. People often refer to moments such as these as the “should” moments. I should get out of bed or go to the gym. Most of the time these statements are often followed immediately by an excuse as to why they just can’t happen at that moment or ever. I should get out of the bed but it’s cold or I should go to the gym but my workout clothes are dirty are examples of this.
I know these moments first hand and have found a way to fight them. Fixing our mindsets about the things we would truly like to accomplish starts with small changes. Don’t say “should” anymore. “Should” allows the statement to remain intellectual. What really needs to happen is that the feeling has to become “emotional.” A catalyst such as this will help us jettison into the change like nothing else we could have planned. Tim Ferriss refers to this as the “Harajuku moment” in his book, “The 4-Hour Body.” During a chapter on weight loss, he tells the story of a man that was too heavy (about 300 lbs) to wear any of the awesome clothing he saw in Japan and realized that a change must occur. Ever worked a really shitty job? Not an “I hate this place” but keep going job. I mean a “Get me the fuck out of here right now before everyone gets murdered” and quit on the spot job. Right there are two examples of emotional catalysts that became action. Emotional responses replace a “should” with a “need”, “must” or “have to” because these words compel action. As far as inspiring those actions is concerned, that is something we have to identify for ourselves. Hunt down the “why”, the catalyst and the reminder that this is a change we wanted to make happen for us.
All of that being said, I have made myself a list.
The structure I have borrowed from Joshua and Ryan over at http://www.theminimalists.com :
I MUST live healthier every day.
I MUST exercise every day.
I MUST connect with good people every day.
I MUST inspire others every day.
I MUST learn something new every day.
I MUST move towards my dreams every day.
I MUST write every day.
I MUST read every day.
I MUST listen to music every day. (Currently listening to: Ólafur Arnalds)
I MUST show gratitude every day. (Gratitude journals rock.)
I MUST enjoy my life every day.
Nice list, right? Perhaps we should all have a list. Although, a small reminder that it is not enough to only make a list but pay attention to the emotions that drive us to make the list. Some of the items on this list can be completed at the same time. How’s that for multi-tasking? However, I do the best I can to complete them all independently because each one is special to me. That’s right, I said the best I can to complete them. If an item can’t be completed on my list one day or multiple days, it doesn’t matter. Yes, my list is important but it’s something to strive towards daily and not be upset with myself if I miss one or two items. Beating myself up for not completing an item on the list is not an item on my list. 🙂
Remember, everyone, that life is short and it’s only short, once. Life can be lived strictly for ourselves, it can be lived devoted to the service of others or a life can be shared with all of us. Either way, know for certain that your life is the one you’ve chosen to live and always ensure that it is worth living.