Your mind can be the most ruthless criminal against your own happiness.
It snatches joy and fulfilment right out of your hands.
It confuses busy with important, urgent with significant, and difficulty with meaning.
It gives the future and the past too much space.
It worries what the other people are saying and doing.
It reminds you of what you haven’t accomplished.
It wants to speed up time and rush right through precious moments.
And perhaps this is the greatest crime of them all…
Letting life pass you by.
Existing BUT NOT living!
It’s easy to look for the milestones in your life – graduation, first job, promotion, pay rise, first relationship, marriage, first house, new car…
But remember, these make up less than 5% of your life.
The other 95% is RIGHT NOW, the day-to-day, your Monday to Friday and most weekends.
And yet it’s easy to live in a way that feels rushed without making progress.
Or overwhelmed by people and information while still feeling lost and disconnected.
Maybe you’ve told your children “it goes fast so enjoy it”, but you still end up wishing for the end of the day or the end of the week.
One way or another, time marches on.
Future becomes past, new becomes old, and in each and every moment you get another chance to live for right now.
Follow these 3 steps to LIVE each and every day:
Step 1 – Be Authentic
When you are inhabiting your ideal self, time will slow down and the more moments of happiness you will experience.
Happiness itself is not within you.
It’s the ongoing pursuit of fulfilling your ideal self that creates your happiness, regardless of positive or negative emotions.
This is why some people are happy working on frontline hospital trauma wards, and others hate late nights partying – they are being authentic.
To achieve this, put time and effort into working out who you truly are, what you value, and how you want to live your life.
Nobody is saying this is easy, in fact it can be incredibly hard, but it will be the most rewarding work you ever do.
If you are acting out of your authentic self, then you won’t need to wait for the big milestones in life, you’ll already be happy on the journey.
Step 2 – Embrace The Good AND The Bad
This journey will be full of ups and downs, but if you only embrace the good times then yet again you will miss out on a great deal of what life has to offer.
Do not run and hide from fear and discomfort (they will find you anyway), instead go towards them.
Don’t wish time away, even when things are hard.
It’s during the tough times that you grow.
Through hardship you find yourself, or more precisely you find the change in yourself.
This is where you unlock the potential you have inside you.
Put yourself forward at work, have that difficult conversation with your partner, push just a little bit harder in your workouts…
Find ways to expose yourself systematically, in very small increments to what you fear and what makes you uncomfortable, to the point where you build up your tolerance.
Those that appear calm and confident no matter what life throws at them are not free from feelings of fear or discomfort.
They have simply learned how to process and sit with those feelings and still maintain positive momentum.
Step 3 – Take Control
Both of the above require practice.
You cannot read this email, listen to a podcast, or watch a Youtube video and expect your mindset and behaviours to change.
You can either read this: “To achieve this, put time and effort into working out who you truly are, what you value, and how you want to live your life.”
Or you can take a blank notebook and start answering those questions. Sketching, brainstorming and journaling until you have the answers.
The choice is yours.
If you want to feel more present.
If you want to TRULY enjoy life and not let it rush by.
If you want to stop your mind from stealing your joy and happiness.
Then you must learn to control it.
This isn’t some extracurricular activity you can randomly do every now and then when you happen to think of it.
Training the skill of mindset must be treated the same as forging a strong and fit body.
It needs to become a defining trait of your character and a vital element of your life.
If you don’t do this for yourself, nobody else will.
Don’t wake up one month, one year, or ten years from now and wish for your time again.
Be the change you want to see in yourself by acting today.
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