Life has so much to offer us. Most of us reading Elite Daily were fortunate enough to be born in well off countries and most likely have been born into families that reside in either the middle or upper class. The number of opportunities that come our way are significantly higher than those that present themselves to people who are not as well off as we are.
There are those out there that live lives so mundane that if we were to find ourselves in their positions, we would likely die from boredom. How is it that some find fascination living lives of minimal change while many of us living modern, fast-paced lives are unable to keep hold of our own interest? Why is it that although we are presented with multitudes of options, each potentially leading to different adventures and unforgettable memories, do we choose not to act when opportunity comes a-knocking?
It almost always boils down to two reasons: we are either too afraid or too lazy — either way, we find and give excuses to ourselves and to others as to why we can’t and or why we won’t grab life by the balls. If you’re tired of keeping yourself locked up in that self-imposed prison, here’s how you can break out and live a bit more:
Would My Life Be Better For Doing It?
Not many of us can say that we are happy with who we are and are happy with the way that we are living our lives. This is the reason why most of us find ourselves on an endless search for that ultimate treasure, which someone at some point in history dubbed as the elusive state of happiness. Not all of us are willing to admit that we are unhappy — but are more readily available to admit that we aren’t entirely happy. Most of us feel that although our lives are decent, they could improve.
This is the point at which we list all of the things that would make us happier: more money, a better car, a nice apartment, a better job, a girlfriend, wife or mistress… We are under the illusion that attaining these objects or relationships will make us happier. But why is that? The items themselves do not hold happiness — we believe that having these items will open doors for us that were before closed; we believe that having objects will allow us to do more.
This is the key. We want things because we want to do more; we want to live more by acting more — by literally doing and experiencing more. We are under the impression that living the lives we are living now, we are unable to experience life fully. What we ought to be doing instead of waiting until we can afford a speedboat is looking at every opportunity that comes our way individually, deciding whether our lives and we ourselves would be better off by the experience.
If you were to do it would your life be more exciting? Would it be more spontaneous and would it uncover more mystery? Would you experience more — more fear, more nervousness, more excitement and joy? Would you be stronger or wiser for the experience? If you answer yes to even one of these questions then you ought to act.
What Good Reasons Do I Have For Not Doing It?
It’s important to be honest with yourself. Looking at the situation and finding a logical reason to restrain from action is entirely reasonable. However, you must use logic correctly — it is easy to reason with oneself why we should not act when fear or laziness is the driving factor. The only things that you ought to consider when deciding whether or not you should do something are the possible negative outcomes — outcomes that you wish to avoid.
The most prominent being outcomes that lead to significant physical or mental harm to you or to someone else. Not learning to skateboard because you’re afraid you will fall and get bruised is not a good excuse. Not longboarding down the side of a mountain because you have only been skating for two months is completely understandable.
Not going out and partying it up because you prefer sleeping 8 hours to 6 hours is not a good reason — but not going out and drinking all night because you know you’d have to drive home after, is. If you can’t come up with a reason for why you should not do something then it’s safe to say that you ought to do it. This is the only way to get more out of life: by straying from our routines and living moments that we have never before lived.
Would Doing It Help Me Progress Toward My Life Goals?
How much would we benefit from acting? Another way of deciding whether or not we should do something instead of letting it pass by is weighing the benefits that we would attain from acting vs. the benefits that we would attain by restraining ourselves from acting. Whenever we choose to do something, we are actively choosing not to do something else — we are trading one experience for another. We may very well want to do something one day, but hold off on it because we decide that we would be better off doing something else at that moment.
However, this is not to say that we are always calculating accurately. More often than not, our fear and laziness play a crucial role in our decision-making. Although we may very well enjoy doing something else, unless we compare the two or three options side-by-side — leaving our fear and laziness out of the equation — and weighing the benefits of both, we will never come to the best possible and most beneficial course of action. This is why most of us choose the easier way out — because the easier way out also has its benefits.
To live the best life you can, you must rationalize each decision that you make and choose the one with the most beneficial outcome. Many-a-time it will be the one that your gut is telling you to go with; this being the same gut that seconds later contracts in fear and convinces you not to act. Our guts aren’t reliable — stick with rationalization.
What If I Died Tomorrow?
The last and arguably most important thing that you can ask yourself is whether or not you’d be happy with the life you lived and the way you lived it were you to die in your sleep. Many — if not most — live our lives on hold, explaining to ourselves that we will get on it tomorrow. We will go sky diving tomorrow, we will work harder tomorrow, we will try out that new restaurant tomorrow, we will kiss her tomorrow, we will say we love them tomorrow, we will climb that mountain tomorrow… Tomorrow is not a promise.
In fact, each day that you are alive increases the chance of today being your last day. Each and every day you are more likely to die — it’s fact. You are literally living on borrowed time and the clock is running out quickly. The worst thing that I could think of is understanding that you are dying knowing that you have live a life wasted.
Even if you do not believe your life to be completely wasted, you can almost certainly live it better — waste less of it. The trick is to stay focused and to keep all of these questions on your mind when making decisions. Life can be grand and it can be crap; it all depends on you and whether or not you decide to live a life full of action or full of stagnancy.
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