I travel a lot, as you know, and sometime while I’m sitting on a bus or in a train, I have thoughts. These thoughts are about life and about myself and about others. They can be about anything really and sometimes they can be rather profound. Or at least the thoughts seem profound to me. As I watch trees go by or stare at an ancient building, these small little notions come sneaking into my mind and I am blown away by sudden realization. I like to put these thoughts down on paper. I use to keep a journal before it was stolen. I probably should start doing that again but now I am really going to start sharing these thoughts with all of you with the hope that maybe it’ll help with life or whatever.
I know a lot of people and it seems a good portion of them are always worried about things or express their unhappiness with one subject or another. Even I do it sometimes. Right now I am thinking about my next trip and it’s causing me to not really enjoy the moments here at home. That’s exactly what I want to talk about with this article. It seems to me so many of us tend to miss out on life in the moment because we worry too much about the future. Or its a combination of that and the continuous search for something we believe will make us feel better. But what if I told you the key to unlock the door to fulfillment right now is to stop worrying so darn much?
First Thing Is Money
I feel like most people I know tend to complain about how they don’t have enough money to do the things they’d like to do in life. It seems like money is the major limiting factor for so many people. And I totally understand why it is such a big issue for so many people. Let’s face it, we live in pretty crappy times when people can work hard all day and not make nearly enough to live by. And yes, without money it is a lot more difficult to do things such as travel. Sometimes the issue of money can be all consuming and relegate you to feeling like you’re just surviving and not living. but money is future-oriented. That means if you’re worrying about money to the point of it debilitating your mindset then you obviously don’t have it right now. Worrying isn’t going to change it but action might. There are million ways to save money and while I know it isn’t always that simple, it’s a start. And then start making changes in your life. Do you really need coffee from a coffee shop everyday or can you make it at home? How about eating lunch out everyday? You know I did the math on lunch for myself once and I was eating at a restaurant for lunch about 5 days a week. I’d order a sandwich combo pretty much everyday coming at a total of $12 each time. For the year, I was spending about $3000…on sandwiches. So I reduced how much I ate lunch at restaurants each week saving a small fortune and also improving my health.
It’s quite natural to worry about money and finances. That worry isn’t going to just go away but it seems it becomes something of a safety blanket for people. “Oh, I can’t do what I set out to do because…well, money.” It’s the sickness unto death because when we linger too long on the fact that we don’t have as much money as we’d like then we allow it stop us from living our lives. In turn, your mind is always focused on something that has yet to come and you totally miss out on this wonderful life happening around you.
Don’t Let Love Hold You Back
Another thing people tend to become consumed with is love. Love is a wonderful thing but the kind of love most people tend to focus on is romantic love. Never mind there are a multitude of other kinds of love like for instance the love you have for your friends or that you have for your pets…or even the love you feel for a stranger in need. All these feelings of love are perfectly valid and important. But we all tend to get lost in the sea of romantic love. People want to have that perfect relationship like you see in movies and want it to live up to every single expectation they have. The funny thing about love is that it’s one of the most wild emotions we experience as human beings. It simply cannot be tamed. Here’s the truth: It is isn’t ever going to be a fairy tale and it is probably never going to live up to some arbitrary picture you’ve painted in your head.
I mean, we can look at my own relationship as an example. I never really expected to meet someone like Alfred and I certainly didn’t think I’d fall in love with him. And I definitely love him. I can’t imagine what life would be like without him in it and even on the worst of our days…I know that we should be together. But our relationship has been anything but a fairy tale and it certainly doesn’t live up to what you see in some romantic comedies all the time. Half my family knows this already so I guess this will be a surprise to the other half if they read this but…we are not monogamous. I am not going to go into the details of what that means. Suffice it to say that we love each other but we don’t see each other as possessions and grant one another total freedom. I also don’t need a crazy lecture from any of you about whether or not you think the way we lead our life is wrong. We don’t care. In any case, I use to believe my future relationship that worked would fit certain parameters that I created. And for a about a month I think it did work. But then life started hitting us hard and taking the form it wished, as it does. We adjusted accordingly.
Love just sort of happens and often times we ignore it when it does or shun it because we believe it needs to fit these criteria set up by ourselves and a heteronormative society in order for it to work. The thing is love comes in many different forms and different calibers. Every loving moment doesn’t need to be intense and super passionate. It’s your choice to recognize love when it happens and let it happen or run away from it. But above all else, you don’t need to worry so much about love, relationships, marriage…any of it. Even more importantly, don’t compare your love to those nauseating couples you see on Instagram and other social media. It isn’t real. Even they have issues. While your busy worrying so much about finding the perfect relationship that checks all your boxes, you’re likely letting someone go who is showing you the kind of love you need right now. Love develops over time and yes, it can be scary…especially when it’s a situation that you are not use to or perhaps never imagined being in yourself. But no matter what, it’ll happen when it happens. In the meantime, don’t linger on it. Let yourself feel love and don’t miss out on the opportunities life is throwing at you simply because of your expectations.
Time Isn’t Guaranteed
That’s right…when you think about it this very moment could be your last. That’s not to say you should constantly be living with your candle burning at both ends but it does mean you should try and live as fully as you can. We have no idea how long we have on this Earth and I can’t claim to know if their is a reason for our existence or what that reason might be. But I can definitely guarantee that our time on this planet isn’t meant to be wasted worrying about how much money we make or any number of other superficial aspects of life. I’m pretty sure we aren’t meant to spend most of our waking moments in life trying to find someone who will complete us either. One of my very important mantras in life is “Don’t waste my time.” It’s simple really…I make sure I tell myself this daily (sometimes multiple times a day) to try and keep me on track with productivity, working towards goals, taking care of myself, and generally enjoying life. I’m currently 31 years old and I have no idea if I’ll live to see 32. It sounds grim but it is the reality. Time is not something set in stone for us; that’s the blessed and unfortunate truth about life. I intend to live my life to the fullest and enjoy it NOW because we can plan for the future all day but it isn’t assured. Right now, this moment….that is all you and I have. Don’t waste your time on trivial matters because you’re just robbing yourself. While you let yourself get caught up in the minutia of tomorrow, life is happening all around you. You should make sure your part of it.
Quality of Time:
Let’s just say you live to be 103 years old. Are you going to look back on your life and say: “Wow! I lived a life!” Or are you going to look back and have lots of regrets wishing you’d let yourself enjoy life as it happened to you? Are you going to see you spent your life worrying about arbitrary things out of your control or things you will never have enough of? Are you going to see that you loved fully and let love happen no matter what it looked like when you were fortunate enough to have it grace your life or is it going to be that you ran from love each time because you wanted to hold out for the “ideal” situation? I think most people reading this would choose the more positive answer to those questions and there is a reason for it. We want to feel like we’ve lived a very fulfilled life. We have a desire to live from quality moment to quality moment. But the choices we make when it comes to how we live our lives can affect the quality of our time spent on this planet. Of course, there are some things we can’t control such as mental illness, sickness, or natural calamities. But we have a fair amount of control when it comes to what we spend time worrying about. We can choose to live now and let go of things out of our control…and yes, sometimes that means emotions pop up you didn’t expect. You have to learn to accept them and embrace situations even if they are a little different. Of course, you can influence your own circumstances but remember everything isn’t always in your control. The time we have on this planet is very, very limited in the grand scheme of things and you can decide what its caliber will be.
Life is an Experience:
And experiences are meant to be …experienced. That means the good and the bad, the fears and the joys, the sadness and the happiness, the rainy days and those beautiful sun filled days are all meant to make you a better soul. Do you know the number one regret from people on their deathbeds is that they did not spend more time living. What does that mean? Well, it means spending time with loved ones and friends, experiencing all that life has to offer you, engaging in activities you find pleasurable, and taking care of yourself. I also think it means having far less concern for the desire to have more and more money and more concern for loving yourself and allowing yourself to be and fill loved. The one thing you are guaranteed in this life is an emotional experience. You have your ups and you have your downs. This isn’t going to change anytime soon. Therefore, let yourself experience the emotional roller coaster that is life.
The really great thing about letting yourself experience life as it happens is you learn so much about yourself and the world around you. Traveling around the world, I have learned to let myself have the experiences that come to me. I’ve opened myself up to other people’s stories and tried my best to understand the places I am visiting. I don’t worry about the future as much because it’s totally out of my control. In this way, I am able to live and enjoy life now. I think it’s important that we all do this.
Plans Usually Don’t Go As Planned:
It is perfectly acceptable to make plans. In fact, I think planning and creating goals is great way to make sure you are getting things done in your life. Happiness doesn’t just happen…sometimes it takes a bit of planning. But just make sure you understand that we are all walking down a path leading to somewhere we don’t know. We can influence how we get there but we are not in control. The world and life definitely get in the way sometimes and it’s important to be able to roll with the punches. I know nothing about my life is anything how I expected it but everything seems to always work out for the best. So don’t fret about not finding the love of your life (that’s just a myth anyway probably left). Don’t lose your mind because it seems like you don’t have enough money all the time. Yes, these things matter but if you don’t have them at the moment then you don’t have them. Let yourself enjoy life and what life is handing to you right now. The rest will come.
What do you think….time to start living for NOW?
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