A Beating Heart Doesn’t Mean That You’re Really Alive
The whole “wake up and start living life” message is pretty popular these days, but few people realize what “really living” actually means. Here are five simple things you can start doing today to improve your life.
If you listen to the “successful” podcasts, motivational gurus, and super-sexy people on Instagram, then you might think that “really living” means jumping out of airplanes, being on vacation 24-7, and spending most of your days exercising and eating organically-sourced, eco-friendly, gluten-free, vegan muffins all day.
As an internet entrepreneur, I can honestly tell you that most of that stuff has more to do with marketing than it does with any real message about exploring the complexities of life and finding a balance between happiness and the bad stuff (the “bad stuff” being defined as anything that doesn’t make you happy for most people).
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I think the incessant drive towards constant happiness has the opposite effect; it leads to more dissatisfaction and causes you to distance yourself from the basic truth of life.
Nothing is static (especially happiness), everything is changing and falling apart, and the truth is that this occurrence is a good thing. All life, just like the earth, the sun, and all of the cosmos has a start and an end, and denying that fact doesn’t make you wiser in any sense of the word.
So, you realize that you don’t have to be happy all the time, but what does that have to do with “living more?” I’ll tell you! These tips won’t instantly make you happy, but the learning they’ll inspire will in the long run. More than that, they’ll eventually make you satisfied.
#1 | Join a Cause
I think it’s a copout when people say that they’re “not into something” as an excuse for not having a strong opinion on anything. If you don’t have something that you’re passionate about, it’s not because there’s nothing that interests you, it’s because you’re too lazy to find out what that something is.
So, join a cause. Literally ANY cause (an ethical, legal cause of course).
Just make sure it’s something that can link you to a community of other passionate individuals.
#2 | Workout Daily
I’m sorry, I know you’ve heard it before, but YOU HAVE TO WORKOUT. You’ve been given this incredible vehicle and enhancing it is your job. Aside from that, only a small percentage of the population even TRYS to enhance their’s, meaning that you could be amazing just by training a little bit. Just imagine how everyone used to live on farms a couple hundred years ago and were probably shredded, but it didn’t matter because EVERYONE was shredded.
More than just exercising, you have to exercise daily. There is not such thing as an off-day. If you didn’t dedicate a small fraction of your day intentionally improving your body, you failed. End of story. Do something.
#3 | Share the Most Interesting Thing You Did Today
This sounds narcissistic, and maybe it is, but you should do it anyways. The process will make you realize that (1) you haven’t done anything worth sharing today, or (2) there are other people who share your interest that you should be connecting with. I think most people really overthink social media; in the end it’s just a resource to connect with other humans FOR FREE. There has never been anything like it and it’s not going away, so start taking advantage of that fact (don’t be a lazy luddite).
#4 | Start Working on a Real Skill
One of the problems with the workforce in the USA is a shift away from trade work and training. We’re all supposed to go to college and become managers or something. This is not only entirely unrealistic, it prevents the majority of the population from realizing what true skill, and gaining said skill, really means. IT’S F@#$ing HARD. There is no app you can download that will replace decades of experience, mistakes, and learning. What you need to do is just pick a skill and start working at it.
Sport, music, carpentry, coding, art, writing, fitness, WHATEVER. It really doesn’t matter as long as you seek to learn about the skill and grow within without any expectations other than one of two things: (1) I hate this thing and I don’t want to do it anymore so I’ll try something else, or (2) I love this thing and I’m going to kick ass at it.
#5 | Do Something Nice for Another Human
It’s easy to get into behavioral routines. I try to always take out the trash as soon as it’s full so my wife doesn’t have to do it (or ask me to do it). I guess you can say that this is a “nice thing to do,” but at this point it’s just a habit. Just being polite doesn’t count either. If it is polite to hold the door open for someone (man or woman, don’t be a sexist), then you should do it as a habit.
I’m talking about doing something thoughtful and unique for an individual. You’ll have to actively seek to do this at first, but eventually you’ll start seeing the opportunities without even trying. Just keep it in your mind all day, “I’m going to do something nice when I get the chance.” You’ll be shocked at how alive this will make you feel 🙂
There you have it! Get back to work.
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Mark de Grasse
Mark de Grasse is the owner of MegaMad Industries, a website design firm specializing in comprehensive solutions for small businesses. He is also a former executive of Onnit Labs, former founder and editor of My Mad Methods Magazine, and a dedicated father and husband to a growing family. Learn more at www.MarkdeGrasse.com