Your life is all you’ve got.
Whether you choose to believe it or not, your life and my life are going to be at their end before we know it. It scares the shit out of me every time I think about it.
At 43, my life expectancy is half over. Sure I’ve traveled a lot, met a ton of great people, been married (and divorced), had children, owned a home, and seen my share of successes and failures. But is there more to life here? Is life just a bunch of things we are “supposed” to go through?
Society seems to have its idea of what a person’s life should be like and we learn it from the day we are born. Go to school, get good grades, work hard, go to college, find a job in a respectable field, work your way up the ladder, get married, have children, retire at 65 with a gold watch and a small pension, and then retire to Florida where you can spend the rest of your days watching birds from your front porch.
Sound about right?
What Happened To Happiness?
Well what about happiness? What about doing shit that makes you feel alive? What about waking up and looking great, feeling great, and feeling ready to LIVE your life?!?
I don’t know about you, but I ask myself each day and what I implore you to ask yourself is how do I make my life better right now?
I’m not talking about instant gratification that is so prevalent these days, but rather in terms of the decisions I make that will improve my life going forward. My biggest fear is running out of time and not having the experiences I wanted to have. At some point, we will be too old to do anything about our dreams and then our regrets set in.
I don’t want that and I probably can assume that you don’t either.
Let’s face it, we all want more. More time, more freedom, more money, more autonomy, more fulfillment, more sex, and more stuff. But are we asking ourselves the right questions? Are we asking ourselves why we want these things?
Are they going to make us happy?
Of course we want to be happy, that’s a given. But what does that mean? For years I let myself believe it was making a lot of money, being important, and getting respect. But after 11 years working as a financial advisor at some of the top brokerage firms in the world, I realized it was all bullshit.
What I really wanted was control over my time, to be in the service of others, the feeling of vibrancy and confidence I got when I was in great physical condition, and a loving relationship with my significant other and my daughters.
That’s my definition of happy.
I spent many years with my foot on the brakes, holding myself back from having more of what I wanted. I made bad decisions, wallowed in low self esteem, and played my life on a much smaller scale than what I wanted and deserved.
If you’ve read my story, you know that I changed my life dramatically in the last year and have made the choice to live life on my terms and become a better person.
And I’m happier, healthier, and more excited about the future than I have been in a very long time.
And the good news is that I still have half of my life to go!
The Best Thing You Can Do For Yourself
People may say that happiness is all an illusion or that life is about grinding it out, earning a living, and being responsible. I call bullshit. What about being fulfilled with what we do and who we are?
It’s far too easy to get caught up in going through the motions of life and forgetting that life doesn’t give a flying fuck about how we spend our days. Time is just time.
I believe with my whole heart and soul that our happiness, that which makes us feel most alive, is what this life is about. Whether that’s playing tag with your children, making shitloads of money, giving to the poor, sailing across the Atlantic, or sitting on a beach in Thailand, it’s all about what does it for you.
The best advice I can offer you is to figure out what that thing is and go after it with everything you’ve got.