This is a guest post by William Bourn, one of the pillars of Crazy Essay, alongside his college peers. He functions as both writer and social media ambassador for their business.
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist.”—Oscar Wilde
Most people are bound by their quest for making a living than actually living. It is the norm of every people’s lives. We are driven by the need to earn and make money. We define ourselves by what other people think about us than actually learning to love ourselves and feeling good about who we are.
I once had a conversation with my friend’s father. He said all his life he never stopped working. 30 years in the company and all he did was save money and forget to stop and enjoy the years that had passed. Now that he is old and sick, unable to travel and enjoy the remaining years of his life, he now realizes that he saved money only to spend it on his medicine while slowly dying.
You could say that it could have been worse—sick and dying without money. That is a good point. But is he enjoying it? Lying in bed waiting for his last breath? If you were to answer for the years of his life, do you think that he lived?
The sad truth is that most of us, if not all, have lived like a slave; Slave to our jobs, slave to our responsibilities, slave to our needs, slave to our time.
We can change that.
We are entitled to choose what we want to be and what we want to do. We can do that without sacrificing our normal lives. All we need is to shift our point of views to the positive side.
Here are some ways to help you achieve the life we all deserve to live:
1. Start your day on a positive note.
Some people would grab a newspaper or watch the morning news before they start their day. Try not to do so.
That is because news often tells of tragedies, crimes, and other negative stories that happened everywhere. You will seldom find news that only tells of the positive things that happened yesterday. Instead, grab a book about inspirations, positive quotes or perhaps a bible.
The key is to feed your mind with positive words to start your day. It stimulates good harmony within your body chemicals. It promotes an energized mood to fuel your whole day. It is more beneficial if you could smile or better yet, laugh in your morning. Believe me, it is the best breakfast ever.
2. Eat good food and exercise.
I do not need to explain further what good food and exercise can do to your body. The bottom line is to be healthy.
Besides, I friend told me that an eating person is a happy person. No one is sad while they are eating—except maybe when they ate something bad or foul. Well, that is a different story.
3. Take everything slow.
It means to enjoy every moment that you are alive. If you are living a fast life, you are more likely to miss out on most beautiful little things in all your years.
When you eat, eat slowly. Enjoy the taste of the fruit of your hard-earned money. When you ride the bus, take a moment to look outside the window. Observe the world. Appreciate the colors around you. No matter how crowded and messy looking the street is, when you look at it with indiscriminating eyes, you will find that it is beautiful.
It is like the quote, “stop and smell the roses”. Yes, wake up and suit yourself and go to work. But remind yourself that life has more things to appreciate than to worry about.
Worrying and doing something to solve your worries consume the same energy. Thus, you still end up exhausted in the end. So why choose to worry then?
4. Avoid negative people and keep the positive ones.
It is our natural instinct to adapt to our surroundings. No matter how much we tell ourselves that we are not going to do the same, it happens automatically.
Same goes when you hang out with people who have a negative point of views about life. We tend to copy them unconsciously sometimes. We absorb some of their energy and end up looking at the same angle as they do.
It is hard to keep up with a negative person without being influenced in the process.
As much as it is unfair to leave behind a good friend with such character if you really want to pursue a positive living, try to lessen your time with them. If you cannot do it, at least help them see the world through your eyes.
5. Make a habit of saving.
In my life of ups and downs, I have learned the value of money the hard way. In my younger years, I enjoyed life a bit more than I should. I spent money faster than I could earn them. And so, I ended up broke.
So I changed my act and do the exact opposite: I saved money.
I saved everything to the point that I value money more than my happiness. And I realized that it has been 5 years and I hardly remember the last time I ever laughed. I hardly remember the last time I graced a genuine smile to a fellow human being.
It is then that I thought about making another turn in my life. I balanced my priorities. I save a portion of my earnings while giving myself the pleasure I so deserve from a month’s work. It does not have to be luxurious, it just has to be what you want while being practical about it.
I learned from Chinkee Tan, a Filipino motivational speaker, the importance of making a habit of saving. The goal is not the amount of money that you saved, but the act of saving itself.
Spend a day with your families and loved ones
6. A home is where your heart is.
You must have read or heard somewhere about a phrase that says, “Life is short”. Well, it certainly is.
So since you will never know when it will be your time, try to be with your loved ones while you can. Love them while you still can.
7. Try to take criticisms positively.
If you do not believe in yourself and think little of your abilities, small words affect you easily.
You become too sensitive to take negative words. You should know that it is wrong. Because that means, you are defining yourself based on what people think of you.
Keep in mind that you can do anything if you really want to. Do not let anybody tell where your limit is. Use their words as guides to your next goal. Use them as constructive words to better yourself.
8. Watch your words.
“If you do not have anything good to say, keep it to yourself.”
That is what my teacher used to say back in college. She is right.
We have no right to tell other people bad things about them. Just because we know them does not entitle us to hurt their feelings or say mean things about them. We are not perfect. We also have our own flaws and weaknesses. Surely, you will not feel so nice as well when somebody does the same to you.
Make a habit of saying only positive and constructive words.
9. Do not be afraid to try new things.
Life tends to feel lackluster doing the same old routine for years. That is true on my part. That is why I always find new things to explore, learn and enjoy.
Growth does not happen when you are stuck in one place, reading the same old passage all over again, or keep yourself confined in a room.
Growth happens when you try new things and go beyond the safety of your own room. It happens when you stop being afraid and start living.