It seems that the older we get, the less we have to look forward to. Speaking literally, we actually do have less to look forward to because we have less of a life left to live, but that isn’t the sense in which people find things to look forward to with difficulty.
It’s not that the older we get the more we realize that the sum of the enjoyment we will experience in our lives literally decreases with each second. It’s more the fact that the more we experience, the less novelty we believe there is to experience, and therefore, find it difficult to become excited, spiritually aroused.
That’s what it all boils down to: excitement. The beauty is that if done right, you can be excited almost every day of your life -- without the addition of any consumable substance. There is more than enough in the world to try for the first time, but simply trying new things all the time can get boring in itself. Here are a few tips to get you looking forward to life again:
Start by tweaking your habits.
There’s a science behind increasing the chances of arousing excitement within yourself. It all starts with what you do on a daily basis. We often fall into daily and weekly rituals that quickly become habits. Habits for the necessities in life are great. Sleep regularly. Eat regularly. Exercise both physically and mentally regularly. And that’s about it.
Everything else we insert into our lives to, supposedly, increases our enjoyment in life. However, people have a nasty tendency of not being very picky with what they let into their life – especially when it comes to activities. They figure they should try everything once, which I can understand. However, people often do things for the sake of doing things. Those things usually either have a negative impact on the individual or have no impact other than the loss of missing out on something that would have been more beneficial.
Overall, do less.
We feel that we constantly need to be doing something, moving. But the fact is, we are always doing something as it is. We don’t need to push ourselves to constantly be doing more things because more isn’t better. More of what we do most and of what benefits us most is one thing, but more overall isn’t. With more you get clutter and clutter makes it difficult to enjoy anything at all.
Our minds will be too busy thinking ahead, moving on to the next task without enjoying the moment we’re living in. Our minds need time to reflect on what is happening and on what just happened. Without reflection, we lose joy and excitement. We enjoy most things after the fact. Don’t take time to enjoy them after the fact and you won’t be as excited for them the next time around. You’re excited for the joy and happiness you experience, not the actual activity.
Customize your friendships.
Some friends are great. Others are awful. Others still are great, but only in certain doses. There is no shame in cutting ties and/or starting new ones. The life you are living is yours and yours alone; if you don’t design it the way you want it to be designed, no one will. Your friends affect you more than almost anything else in life.
You likely spend a good amount of time with them, and even if you don’t, it’s the human interactions we experience in our lives that have the greatest effect on us. Surrounding yourself with not only good people, but fun, excited individuals will help you feel excited about life, as well.
The outlook of our friends’ often ends up being our own outlook on life. Get rid of those friends who aren’t worth the time and focus on spending your life with people who actually make your life more enjoyable.
Learn to despise your comfort zone.
Comfort zones are sneaky. When you’re in yours, you feel great -- so great that you don’t ever want to leave. Unfortunately, we have evolved to also dislike processing the same information over and over again. We need to feel as if we are learning and experiencing new things regularly – that’s what makes us feel that we’re living.
This creates an inner struggle: We don’t want to try new things because new things come with uncertainty. Uncertainty can be dangerous. But certainty is boring. What to do, what to do… Force yourself out of your comfort zone. Once you are out and about, you’ll come to realize that there is very little if any danger and that your fear was for nothing.
We’re all afraid to leave our comfort zones, but you know what? Leaving your comfort zone is exciting like nothing else on the planet. The unknown is exciting. The known is predictable.
Do things that are meaningful, but only if you love to do them.
Life seems to be a balancing act. As humans, we have so many contradicting thoughts and feelings that it’s difficult to choose our course of action. For example, we all feel that our lives should be purposeful. With purpose, there is meaning and we have a need to make our lives meaningful in some way. At the same time, we want to do things we love to do and avoid doing those things we don’t want to do.
For whatever reason, a good number of people seem to believe that doing something important with your life means that you have to do things you don’t love doing. That’s an awful way to look at it – and from an economic standpoint, a stupid concept. People are most productive doing the things they love because, for one, it comes easier to them.
Two, they work with little to no complaint – much more efficiently, I may add. And three, because love sparks curiosity – aka excitement – their curiosity leads to innovation. Doing the things you love makes the world a better place. Making it meaningful makes you accept it as your purpose in life. A meaningful and love-filled life is an exciting life.