Activate the Life You Love

by | May 18, 2022 | Issue 147, Issues, Lifestyle | 0 comments

We're only given one life, and it's up to each of us to make the most of it. This might be an obvious thing to say, but we should take...

We’re only given one life, and it’s up to each of us to make the most of it. This might be an obvious thing to say, but we should take a moment to consider it, especially those of us who are so busy that we don’t get a chance to sit back and reflect. What patterns of behavior or factors in your life are limiting you? Is your daily life made up of things you tolerate but don’t enjoy? Are there things you can do to change these conditions? These questions all deserve serious thought.

Are My Thoughts and Actions Limiting Me?

To make errors is human, so it doesn’t make sense for us to beat ourselves up for mistakes that we’ve made. However, we should still spend some time reflecting on what habits we’ve formed that are holding us back. 

One of the biggest limiting factors that many people can relate to is focusing too much on things they cannot control. Whether it’s decisions your boss has made, how your family members act or global news, spending too much time dwelling on these things is seldom a healthy idea. It would be one thing if you could control them, but you can’t! Instead, your attention is better used on your own decisions and behavior.

When it comes to decisions we can control, we often practice self-destructive behaviors. Whether it’s out of a serious sense of self-loathing or a preference for easier options, these behaviors need to be recognized and addressed to build enjoyable lives. It might be pleasant at the moment to indulge in fast food and avoidance of exercise, but these behaviors don’t fit into a long-term strategy for self-improvement. Physical and emotional health are major components of a life you’ll love, but fast food, lack of exercise and substance abuse will only get in the way.

What Other Factors Are Keeping Me from a Life I Will Love?

What about things outside of your immediate thoughts and actions? After a few moments of brainstorming the broader pieces that make up your life, you’ll probably come up with two major areas: your job and your relationships. 

If you don’t feel a sense of personal connection to your work, you shouldn’t be surprised that your job keeps you from making your life everything it should be. The simplest solution is to find a job that you do find meaningful, but such a significant change isn’t always available.

What we can do, even without changing jobs, is remind ourselves of the value that the work brings to our lives. Why did you take on the job in the first place? Even if the answer is as straightforward as “to support myself and the people I care for,” remembering your job’s purpose can profoundly impact your mindset. Even if it’s not your dream job, your current work has a place in the life you love.

For many of us, even more important is the nature of our relationships. Are they characterized by affection and peaceful interactions or by resentment and irritation? Difficult day-to-day interactions are a sign of necessary change. It might be a change within yourself or a change within the other person. The solution might be creating space between yourself and the loved one in question. 

While intense situations sometimes warrant the consultation of a professional counselor or therapist, many interpersonal relationships can be improved with an effort from the people involved. Develop the courage to have open and honest conversations with the people you’re in conflict with, and work to grow these relationships into the kind that fits into a life you enjoy.

What Should I Do?

We can improve our lives with some self-reflection and self-discipline. When we take the time to focus on what we can control, build healthy lifestyle habits and grow our relationships, we’re well on the way to creating meaningful and fulfilling lives!

Nathan Pipkin

Nathan Pipkin