In this BodyTalk 4 Life newsletter, I will give you some tips to help you figure out what exactly you want from life. We often go for the things that we think we should want. Sadly, these are rarely the things we do want. Even sadder is the fact that most of us are not even aware of what excites us. Often, it is not before a disaster happens that we get in touch with what matters the most. Don’t wait for a disaster! Read on and check on your priority list before it is too late. After all, we are not immortal, so best make the most of the time that we have left to live!
Want to find happiness? Ask yourself what you would change if you only had a month to live!
I often ask my clients what they want from life and their answers are inevitably related to having a successful career, being successful in life, having a family, a house… And here is another interesting one: “reaching my full potential” (whatever that means). When I ask what they would do if they only had a month to live, no one mentions their career, or buying a house. Even less common is that someone would want to rush off to get married and quickly have kids. Normally people say they would forgive and love. Most would also travel, take risks, play and explore. Or do something creative like painting, dancing, or writing.
Isn’t it interesting that priorities change when you become aware that you only have a limited amount of time left on earth and you need to live for yourself, not for others? We are so conditioned and expected to do “the right thing”. And the truth is, there are many unhappy people because they are doing what’s expected. But there are also just as many unhappy people because they are NOT doing what’s expected. The guilt caused by having fun and not being “reasonable” gnaws at so many young and not so young, otherwise intelligent, human beings…
Now, I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with wanting to get married, buy a house and have a successful career. That’s perfectly fine, as long as you really want such things and you are not simply ticking off the boxes. But there is nothing wrong with not wanting any of those things. “Raising a family” is not a value in and of itself, “forming loving relationships” is. It is the quality of your experience (and of those around you) that is important. And if you experience frustration, fatigue and dissatisfaction, then you are not doing the right thing for you (or for anyone else around you for that matter).
Now, what would happen if you lived your life as if today were the last day you had? What if you were seeing the things in front of you as if this was your last chance to see them? How about doing your daily chores as if you would never get to do them again? When you speak, could you communicate as if these would be the last words you would ever say? That’s not easy to do all the time but making the effort and doing it every now and then can help us connect with what is really important. It can help us prioritize, let go of the junk, and focus on being happy. And happiness, we’ll then realize, is always here! It is simply waiting for us to become present in order to be able to observe it. For happiness is not something we achieve, it is something we observe.