“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” – Marcus Aurelius
As I grow older (and hopefullly wiser) I’ve realised more and more the importance of creating a life filled with meaning, joy and most of all purpose to stave off some of listlessness that creeps in with everyday adult life.
Being away from my family and not having an immediate family network around me, I’ve found it’s the small but consistent habits and personal practices that have provided purpose and brought more meaning, joy and new experiences to my life.
With the constant ebb and flow of life it can be hard to remember that “It doesn't actually take very much to make the deepest part of us incredibly happy” Burgs - Mt Wolf
Keeping things simple might just be the path to a more fullfilling life. Here are some of my daily practices that have helped me feel more alive…
- HAVE GRATITUDE
- HAVE FUN
- HAVE PURPOSE
- PUSH YOUR LIMITS
- SAY ‘YES’
- SAY ‘NO’
- BE VOCAL
“Appreciate being here. To feel that you’re alive. To be in touch with your heart. That's it “ Burgs - Mt Wolf
I’ve taken to saying ‘thank you’ for small things and seen some major changes in my outlook on life. Science has shown that people that take the time to notice and reflect on things that they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, are more compassionate and kind, even boosting their immune systems. Having gratitude not just for the big occasions but something as simple as a walk in nature has immense benefits for your wellbeing. Having a daily, small or even micro gratitude practice shifts our perceptions and improves our overall satisfaction with life.
2. HAVE FUN
“Life is a journey, enjoy the ride” while this also talks to the every changing landscape of our lives it also highlights the need to sit back and enjoy and have fun along the way. For many people fun is the antithesis of a successful adult life.
Doing what you love or what brings you joy will help you feel more alive. Don’t let the daily grind become your reality. Yes for some it is an inevitability of life but bringing a little bit of fun back into the everyday has surprising long term benefits. So find ways to play! And up your endorphins, improve brain functionality to stimulate your creativity.
3. HAVE PURPOSE
There’s no greater gift than to honour your life’s calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.” – Oprah Winfrey
Purpose has in my mind become a “dirty” word. It brings forth self doubt and judgement for those who haven’t “found their calling”. But unpacking this a little more you don't need to be the next Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, budding entrepreneur or corporate hot shot. Sometimes our purpose is just to be a better version of who we were yesterday. To continually grow and learn and have small but positive impact on people around us.
These small interactions have a ripple effect so don’t underestimate the power of positive interactions. Being clear about your values, how you contribute to society and cultivating a growth mindset gives a richer sense of who you are, what you stand for, and how you want to move through the world which ladders up to a greater purpose.
3. PUSH YOUR LIMITS
Transformation only happens through action. Like a catastrophic storm or the slow, consistent elemental effects over time these are the forces thats shape us.
Is there something you’ve been putting off - a challenge you need to step up to? Stepping up to the challenge helps us grow and feel alive and while it might be difficult and you may not always succeed you ultimately build resilience and develop new skills by showing up for yourself. Pushing the limits and getting out of your comfort zone is a surefire way to keep life interesting.
4. SAY YES! (TO WHAT’S IMPORTANT)
Sometimes we avoid doing or trying things because we’re worried about what others think. We say no to what we really want because it isn’t what we are “supposed” to be doing. By knowing your purpose and values you should know whats really important to you. So say “yes” to the things that drive you if it is really important to you, it is worth doing.
Saying ‘yes’ to the things that bring you joy, purpose and growth are the things that will move your forward, help you build stronger relationships and ultimately bring you more freedom.
5. SAY NO! (TO THINGS YOU’RE NOT ALIGNED WITH)
Saying ‘No’ goes for people and things. Saying No and setting boundaries can be seriously liberating. Avoid people who continually bring drama and start surrounding yourself with people you’re inspired by and who care about your wellbeing.
Thats not to say you shouldn’t take some hard advice from friends and family, be open but seek out people who lift you up and encourage you to live fully. As life gets busier saying no to things helps prioritise whats most important to your growth and wellbeing and the wellbeing of those that matter to you.
6. SPEAK YOUR TRUTH
Self-expression is essential to feeling alive. But if you’re like me, self-expression isn’t easy. I have a hard time being articulate and often my delivery isn’t received well (I’m still working on that).
Holding back leads to further isolation so finding a way to constructively express your truth and saying what you want to say will always free you up open to feel more alive. When we speak our truth we have the opportunity to connect more deeply with others. We all have something valuable to contribute. Where can you find space to speaking your truth?
“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” – Dr. Seuss