How To Slow Down Your Life & Enjoy the Ride Right Now
Do you tend to always worry, rather than embracing the moment? If so, it means you are thinking about the future, rather than sitting in awe of how lucky you are to be alive right now.
No matter how lovely the present circumstances might be, you habitually live psychically 30 minutes — or 30 days, or 30 years — into the future
Are we doomed to this torrent of stress which distracts us from enjoying our life? We don’t have to be.
An older man came up to me after a speech I’d delivered, grabbed my hand, and said he wished he’d heard me speak decades ago. After I asked why, he said that when he was eating lunch on break or dinner with his family, he was always thinking about what he had to do after the meal, which represented his daily life. “At the age of 97,” he said, “I’ve officially lived my life 30 minutes ahead of whatever I was doing.”
Here are three things to remember:
• Don’t cry before you are hurt. Don’t put up your umbrella until it rains. Worry restricts your ability to think and act effectively, and it forces your mindset into fear and anxiety about something that may never occur. Laughter is the opposite. When you laugh, you’re living almost completely in the moment, and it’s one of the best feelings you can have. So, laugh more often.
• No one can ruin your day without your permission. As much as we cannot control in life – our genes, our past and what has led up to today – there is much control we may take upon ourselves. Today, for example, we can realize that life picks on everyone, which is helpful when our daily life becomes difficult, so we don’t need to take it personally. When we do take misfortune personally, we tend to obsess, giving our days a legacy of distress.
• Cure your destination disease. Live mostly for today, less for tomorrow, and almost never about yesterday. How? You might have to repeatedly remind yourself that yesterday is gone forever, yet we perpetually have to deal with now, so why not live it? And what if tomorrow never occurs? There is a difference between working toward the future, which is inherently enjoyable in the light of hope, and living in an unrealistic future that remains perpetually unknowable. If tomorrow never comes, would you be satisfied with the way today ended?
It is not how you start in life or how you finish. The true joy of life is in the trip, so enjoy the ride!
Steve Gilliland (www.stevegilliland.com) is a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame,