We are living during the age of entitlement and in the land of instant gratification, where the pressures are real and expectations for success are high. The truth is, these stresses aren’t going anywhere, but our time here is.
We need to stop anticipating what’s next, and start learning how to live in the moment. Here are a few ways you can remember to do just that:
1. Time doing what you love is time well spent.
Try your hand at writing, travel to a foreign place, or cook a delicious meal for one.
Clichéd as it may seem, find what you love and dedicate a part of each day to doing it. You don’t have to break the bank, but you do need to invest in yourself in whatever way works for you.
It may mean jumping out the side of an airplane, or mustering up the courage to speak publicly. Whatever it is, go out and do it.
As Steve Jobs once said,
"Death is the destination we all share."
Remind yourself of this, and use it as motivation.
When life becomes kid-friendly and husband-centric, you will wish you used this period in your life wisely. None of us wants to reach the end wondering "if only" or "what if?"
2. "It" will happen.
Whether "it" is your dream career, dream home or dream husband, it’ll come. It may not happen when or exactly how you imagined, but that's half the fun.
Your time to shine will come knocking on your door when you least expect it, so be open-minded, work hard and live it up.
"It" is coming for you, one way or another.
3. You are most alive when you are taking risks.
Risk is synonymous with vulnerability. When we are most vulnerable, we are the most open. Taking risks equals being alive. It is us showing we have dreams and desires beyond what we currently know.
With risk comes life in its truest form. Ask any risk taker if she regrets her choices, and whatever the outcome was, I'm certain you will hear “no” nine out of 10 times.
After all, to be old and wise, you must once be young and stupid.
4. Your parents will want you to.
Do you ever look at old people and wonder what they were like when they were younger?
Where there are now wrinkled lines and hearing aids, there was once soft skin and a full head of hair. They were once young men chasing after women, and they were young women dancing the night away on the weekends.
Look at them, and let them inspire you to live the kind of life you’ll want to remember.
5. One day, your stories will be your most prized possession.
Your kids aren’t going to know about the fancy restaurants you pretended to afford, or that your outfits were the envy of the town.
They aren’t going to want to know that before them, you spent every waking minute obsessing over finding Mr. Right, and counting away each year you spent childless.
What they will want to hear are the stories that have made you you. They want to know about the time you went backpacking through Thailand, or of the first year of university that you, well, blew.
Rushing to the next part of your story will only take away from this one.
Like every good book, the anticipation for what’s next can drive you crazy. But, we all know the end is so much better when we don’t spoil it by skipping ahead.
Clocks will tick no matter what we do. Are you going to watch it, or make it count?