Last week, when I was preparing my notes for a session on Mindfulness for middle schoolers, I got this epiphany about life and how we are living it. It made me introspect about my daily chores and how am I leading my life on a daily basis. I had this question in my mind as to whether “am I living my life to the fullest form” or not? If I have to recollect what I did last Monday and then compare it to what I am going to do today, it’s no different. Yes, I agree that as working parents or as a stay at home parents, we have our chores and jobs listed and they have to be completed in order to eat and take care of kids, and family. But amidst all this humdrum, we can definitely carve out some time for ourselves and make some good memories for ourselves with ourselves or with friends and family. Only, then there would be some meaning to our lives and we can turn back at a later date and reminiscence these days isn’t it?
Few of us tend to lead our lives on autopilot mode and keep running in parallel with the clocks. Our day starts with the alarm and ends with the alarm (setting one up for the next day). All this will be fine till we have children at home or till the time we are working. But the empty nest syndrome starts hitting us once kids leave home or we decided to take a break from our career. We will have lots of time on hand and we don’t know how to manage our time. That’s when we realize how much we missed in our lives and how empty it feels.
But when we lead our lives in the fullest form, then, there will not be any emptiness in our life at any point in time. We would be just happy to be ourselves and be ourselves. When you talk to any other life coaches they advise you to practice mindfulness and take some ME time and a lot of stuff. All those things would improve your health both physically and emotionally and might prolong your lifespan. But, once again those things would make you busier than ever and you would hardly get time to sit still. Jack Langdon once said:
The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time
If you ask the oldest people living on the earth, they would only recollect their fond memories with their friends and family members. Those sweet memories are the ones that make them keep going. Are you in the habit of making those sweet memories on a daily basis? I hope now my question as to are you living your life to the full makes more sense to you.
Now, I know some of you might be scowling while reading as you tend to see “making memories” as yet another task. After the advent of social media, the task of making memories has moved from the personal view to the public view. Now all our memories have to be shared on social media and people have to appreciate us for the same. That’s the reason why making memories has become an additional task. But honestly, it need not be viewed as a task, if we adopt the “Tiny Habits” philosophy from BJ Frogg and also if we decided to keep social media away from those memories.
Our memories need not be picture-perfect, Instagram-worthy pictures. Our memories are for ourselves to cherish and reminiscence at a later date. Our memories are not for us to showcase where we went, where we ate, and what we did! Most of the memorable moments stay with us in our hearts and not in the pictures we click. Those pictures can’t even capture how we feel at that moment. But those feelings would be there to enjoy and reenjoy at a later date in life.
Related Read: Why It’s OK to be NOT OK
I know, I might sound little odd talking about this in today’s social media world. But honestly, how many of you would agree with me that social media is adding stress to us in one way or the other? Though we all know it, still we tend to scroll mindlessly on various social media channels and keep comparing ourselves to the posts over there isn’t it?
Tips for living life to the fullest:
My mantra for living life to the full is simple and its called “AAVAO” Read further as to what AAVAO really stands for:
- Appreciate Yourself:
Most of the time, we take ourselves as granted. We neither care for our physical health nor emotional health. We need to be truly honest with ourselves and understand that there are a lot of capabilities, and talents in ourselves to be happy and make others happy. After this self-analysis, we will find a lot of different ways to be happy and start cherishing every moment in our lives.
2. Appreciate the nature around us
Nature and human beings are always interconnected. Spending time in nature always rejuvenates one’s mind. Spending time regularly improves the production of our happiness hormones. We also start becoming more mindful of the moment and start appreciating life in a more positive way.
3. Value your family members and friends
Sometimes, we take our very close friends or family members for granted. Though we know that our best friend is there in the same city, we take years to meet with each other or talk over the phone. The same is the case with our own family members. Instead, if we take a little time to talk to the people who are really close to us and mean a lot to us, then that small conversation would refill our energy levels.
4. Act now and stop procrastinating:
Most of us get stuck at the planning stage only. We want to wait for the right moment to go for that ideal vacation, buy that furniture or even have that special dinner with family. During this waiting process, we forget that time keeps flying away snatching many more precious moments from us. Only when we start acting, those moments will start belonging to us. We need not have to wait for the next big thing to happen, we can start celebrating even small stuff. In fact, just being together in itself can be a celebration if we think about it.
5. One small step at a time:
Earlier, I used to always tell myself that I will start acting on this resolution from tomorrow, next Monday, or next month. That day will come and go but my resolution used to stay the same there itself, without me taking any action on it. Only after reading the “Tiny Habits” from BJ Fogg, did I realize that the problem just doesn’t lie in my procrastination, but it also lies in the lofty goals that I set for myself. Once I started breaking them into tiny actionable steps, I started implementing them right away without much further ado. So taking those tiny steps really matter, if we want to convert our lives from mere existence into living life to the full.
All these steps might overwhelm you if you start thinking of them as a whole. But implementing them as tiny habits will help you have a healthy routine. Always, remember that “Rome was not built in a single day” and we can’t go from living a life of mere existence to living the life to the full in a single day. It takes time and effort to make these changes happen.
QOTD: What is that one tiny habit/step that you would start implementing in order to make more memories and start living life to its fullest?
I am a Kids and Parent’s Emotional, Mindset Coach, Storyteller, and a Podcaster. I am blogging about Gentle Parenting since 2012 and you can read about my journey here.
I am also an author of “Practical Tips for Kids Mental Health” which is available on Amazon.
You can join my fortnightly newsletter which talks about Parenting, and the activities that I do with my Kids and also provides a few tips about the Emotional Health of the children.