Everyone has different fears. For some people, it’s spiders. For others, it’s heights. For many, the dark. In a world full of many things to be fearful of, my main fear would have to be coasting.
TOO MANY times I catch myself doing this thing I hate, over and over and over again. Coasting is scary because it’s so easy. It’s too easy to fall into a rut of doing the same thing day after day, going through the motions, feeling more or less emotionless. Coasting means not really caring about the fact that life is passing you by while you are going about your days in a comfortable zombie-like rhythm.
Yes, don’t get me wrong. I am fearful of creepy crawlers, heights, dying, etc etc etc. But what I am the absolute most fearful of is life passing me by. Some days I feel like I live life to the absolute fullest, but then there are other days when I end the day wishing I would have spoken up, made a new friend, done something adventurous, learned something new, told my family I love them, or just wish I did something differently. When I am old and nearing the end of my life on earth, to have these regretful thoughts about my entire life is what I fear the most. And fear, as I’m learning (especially from the latest election) is a very powerful thing.
On the other end of the spectrum, love is also a very powerful thing. The love of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Isn’t that what it’s all about? The love of being present and alive is what drives a lot of my decisions and has a huge influence over how I live my life day to day.
I think a lot of people share this same fear and love, whether or not it’s acknowledged. Whether we are driven by fear, love, or a balanced combination of both, the outcome is the same. We want to live our lives to the absolute fullest. We have a need to feel alive. I have compiled a list of little things that I do personally to try to make the most out of every day, and I thought maybe it could be of use to someone, so here it is:
1. Make a mantra for each day. I just recently started doing this and it honestly works wonders. Although it can be a tad cheesy, personally, I love it. A mantra is any positive phrase that you want to embody and remember throughout the day. So if you’re religious, maybe it’s a scripture verse. If you’re not, maybe it’s something like “accept what is, instead of resenting what isn’t” or “make happiness a priority” or maybe something specific like “today I will talk to the cute guy at Starbucks.” Literally anything can be a mantra and it helps keep me centered.
2. Pay it forward. This is super important for me. Every day I TRY to do something for someone else. Whether it’s paying for someone’s coffee, helping someone in need, being a shoulder to cry on, or even literally smiling at someone or loaning out a pencil. Honestly, any small act of kindness makes the difference.
3. Make a to-do list. So this might sound like something that is living more in the future than in the present. And I will admit that I am always 2 steps ahead and sometimes am bad about keeping myself in the present. With that said, I think that I benefit from making a to-do list. I’m not talking about a day to day to-do list but more like a lifetime to-do list that you keep adding to every day. It reminds me of how much I have to live for and all the amazing things I want to accomplish. And for me, it works.
4. Talk to a stranger. Ok, obviously my mom taught me not to talk to strangers. But I feel like if you’re in a public place, not 5 years old, and have good judgment, then it’s ok, right? Talking to people I don’t know is out of my comfort zone, which is why it’s on this list. But talking to strangers can lead to new friends and new stories.
5. Inspire yourself. I do this via blog. Reading other people’s blogs, planning future trips to far off places, watching at makeup tutorials, or looking at recipes on Pinterest, all inspire me in one way or another. Getting inspired by things I love is an awesome way for me personally to be more goal oriented.
6. Laugh really hard. Casssh me oussside, how bow dah? I find a lot of things pretty comical, so this is an easy one for me. But sometimes, someone/something will make me laugh so hard that I will laugh about it days after it happens, and those are the best days. You can’t have a bad day when you’re laughing, right?
7. Tell your loved ones they are loved. I mentioned this in an earlier blog post, but it’s just really important to me. To have a family who loves for you, cares for you, supports you, is something special. Sometimes I’m bad about telling my family how I feel on the daily, but every chance I get I tell them I love them because you never know when the last time will be.
8. Chill out. If you know me, I’m pretty much always stressing out about something. As a natural born worry wart, sometimes it’s so hard to just chill. When I start to get stressed out I remind myself that what I’m stressing over usually doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things and being carefree is a better way to spend my time. Life is too short to be stressed all the time. So take a chill pill and take…(see #9)
9. You time. In the wise words of Parks and Rec, treat yo’self. I think it’s absolutely necessary for anyone’s sanity to take a break and get some time to yourself. Doing something you love every day is essential. Even if it’s a couple minutes, I find that it makes me a tad less stressed, and a little more happy.
10. Learn something new. I’m a firm believer that to learn is to live. New languages, new hobbies, new foods, new places, new knowledge always makes me feel like I’m truly living. It’s hard to do this every day, but I will say it’s pretty easy while traveling. 🙂
Personally, this list helps me live every day to the fullest potential and avoid coasting. I think at least trying to make time for even a couple of these things per day is important.
To my friends and like 7 followers (lol) : Thank you for reading! I hope you are liking all my extremely personal, probably really cheesy, possibly wanna-be inspirational thoughts. Love ya’ll.