Sometimes we wake up in the morning and dread the day in front of us. We think about going to work, studying, tending the kids, making payments, and we just want to pull the covers over our eyes. Our lives become a perpetual tedium with only brief pauses of relief…but we deserve better! We deserve to create a life that makes us excited to live because life should be enjoyed instead of seen as a means to an end.
So…how do we create a life that makes us want to throw off the covers each morning and dive head-first into the day?
The process is ongoing and different for every person, but there are a few steps we can all take:
1. Finding the Outstanding in the Ordinary
If we’re going to the gym because we have to look good in a two-piece, working because we have to pay the bills, studying because we have to make the grades, then we’re not really living. Think about all the time required for any of those tasks – we’re talking about hours upon hours of time where we are just tolerating our lives instead of living them.
Instead of viewing the mundane as unavoidable, let’s live in the moment and find a deeper purpose for our day-to-day tasks. Instead of exercising to lose weight, let’s exercise because it helps us relieve stress or because we just want to take care of our bodies. Let’s study with a desire to process the material and to increase our knowledge. Let’s go to work with an open mindset!
2. Gratitude, Gratitude, Gratitude
Oprah Winfrey once said, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.” A helpful exercise is to take a moment each day to either say or write down ten things you are grateful for. Make sure that you are intentional with what you say; really think about each item and how it blesses your life. Gratitude is the gateway to a more meaningful, purposeful life.
3. Embrace the Present
A fun activity to help embrace the present is to pretend like you were dropped into this current moment. Soak in your surroundings as if this was the very first time you were witnessing them. Where are you? What is surrounding you? What sounds can you hear? Who are you with? What are you amazed by? You’ll be surprised just how much this activity can alter your perspective in a positive way.
4. Kick Negativity to the Curb!
Sometimes we gloss past what we love in life because it’s much easier to focus on what’s going wrong. We are living in a life surrounded by blessings, but isn’t it funny how tiny blips of negativity tend to eclipse the positive? It’s like having a beautiful apple tree brimming with hundreds of ripe apples but only focusing on the one rotten apple that fell to the ground. In the grand scheme of things, these tiny and inconsequential occurrences, or rotten apples, are such a miniscule part of the day, yet they take up SO much of our time. It’s not easy to say “see ya!” to negativity – it feels good when we get to vent out our feelings. But excessively engaging in negativity is like eating junk food – it feels so good to eat it in the moment, but just like overindulging in chips or donuts, you feel sick afterwards. When negativity is hurled our way, let’s inhale positivity and exhale the BS.
5. Make the Best of Difficult Situations
Sometimes situations are difficult no matter what we do. But there are ways to ease the burdens: put on a podcast or your favorite songs while you work, sing in the car while you drive carpool, or allow yourself to take breaks to walk outside in the sunshine and take deep breaths. If you’re dealing with family drama, a medical situation, or someone who refuses to be kind, make the best of it. You can’t always control the situation, but that doesn’t mean you have to let the situation control you.
There are innumerable ways to WAKE UP and LIVE! All that’s required is action and an open mindset.
What is your personal favorite way to wake up and embrace your life?
– Jesse Craig
Jesse recently graduated Cum Laude from the University of Utah with a BA in English and a BS in Economics. She loves hiking, writing, cookies, and spending time in the sunshine with loved ones. She currently resides in Utah.