2 reasons to do something you wouldn’t usually do

No matter the kind of life that you live, I think it is important to regularly switch up your routine.

Spend a day or even just a few hours doing something you wouldn’t usually do.

The first reason is just to keep things fresh. It’s good to switch things up and experiment with how you spend your time and structure your days.

But the second reason is to check in with how you’re currently living.

Sometimes it takes time away from your usual routine for you to realise that you are unsatisfied with your present life circumstances.

Does more choice make us happier?

A lot of people regularly find themselves overwhelmed.

The possibilites in every area of life are growing more and more each day.

There was a point in time where what you ate was limited to what you could kill and what you could grow at that time of year.

On one hand having more choice gives us the possibility of a richer life with more freedom. And let’s not forget, the increase in choice is the result of innovation that has has resulted in more options than humans once thought was possible.

However, having more choice can also make things harder, having 100 options instead of 10 can end up causing unnecessary stress. This in turn can reduce your overall happiness.

I think the important thing to remember is that no matter how much or how little choice you have, there is always room for innovation.

But we can’t ignore the unhelpful side effects of increased choice and so the important thing to remember is that when you know what you want you’re less likely to be overwhelmed.

From one dream to the next

A dream life or even dream job doesn’t have to be a single fixed thing for your entire life.

The life you aspired to have at 15 years old is likely to change once you reach your mid-twenties, if not years before.

You might realise you’re no longer interested in the life you used to want. But perhaps you followed that path, had a great few years and have decided that you want to move on to another dream.

It can be challenging to move on from something you spent years working towards. If it didn’t work out you might feel like you failed and if it was going swimmingly, moving on might feel too risky.

However, sometimes when things are going well, we stick around for too long and end up unhappy. The reason behind this is, having a life of many dreams actualised is rarely encouraged. Instead we’re told to pick one thing and stick with it.

And so when we start to think about moving on to a new dream, we hesitate. We close ourselves off to the possibilities of life and settle for less.

But dreams aren’t rigid, restricted or confined. Don’t be afraid to dream a new dream.

What makes you happy?

How often do you take the time to stop and think about what makes you happy?

I don’t mean in relation to acheiveing goals, I mean just in life overall.

Most of the time we over-estimate what brings us real joy, thinking that we need something grand or something that is difficult to obtain.

In reality, it is often the smallest moments that make us feel the happiest.

Things like dancing to your favourite song, picking fruit from the garden or laughter with an old friend.

The possibility of everything

We’ve all heard the phrases like the grass is greener or the popular song Somewhere over the rainbow.

There is often a feeling of desire for the things you don’t have and the places you think you’d rather be. Sometimes, you simply desire to obtain the things you know you’ll get eventually but you don’t have the patience to wait.

That feeling of desire creates a feeling of discontent for the present moment because you’re always looking elsewhere instead of actually being in the present moment.

Often, it’s not that you’re even unhappy with where you’re at. Instead the issue is that you’re so enticed by the possibility of everything that, you don’t have that you allow it to distract you from being present.

Overcoming stuff

Life is full of stuff.

Stuff we get caught up in because we think it matters.

Social media expectations of the way that things should be.

But at the end of the day all that stuff is often a distraction from what really matters.

And so you have to learn to overcome it. No matter how important it might seem to uphold these expectations, it’ll rarely make you happier.

In fact, more often than not it just makes you miserable because it leaves little room for you to be yourself.

Exciting possibilities

When it comes to the exciting possibilities of life, how often do you allow yourself to experience them.

Often we end up looking from afar and think about how great it would be if it happened to us. The truth is in many cases we’re actually not ready for the good stuff to happen.

It’s much easier to stick with what you know.

The thing is even if what you know is great, it doesn’t mean that their isn’t more great stuff out there for you to experience.

There isn’t a cap on how much excitement you can have in your life, you just have to be open to it.

Too late to start over

Most of us have at some point looked back on our life and perhaps not wished but thought about what would have happened if we took a different path.

If you applied for that job in another city.

If you moved out of your family home sooner or maybe done it later.

If you started that project when you first had the idea instead of sitting on it for months.

If you didn’t settle for what the people around you told you to do for a career.

If you hadn’t been willing to accept so little from the people around you.

When you’re not happy with where you’re at, looking back on the choices you’ve made will rarely make you happier. But you do it because you feel like it’s too late to start over.

It might not be true but that’s how it often feels.

When you’ve set yourself up on a particular path, starting over and changing the course of your life feels too risky. It feels like all that came before was time wasted.

But if you want to give yourself the opportunity to be happier and more fulfilled, then perhaps starting over might be one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Self-deception and the power of checking in

Sometimes we trick ourselves into accepting things that we don’t want. We make excuses and convince ourselves that we’re so totally content with our current circumstances.

This happens for a variety of reasons but a major factor is our core beliefs. If you don’t think there is something better out there for you then will always settle even if that means being perpetually unhappy.

The wake up call that you’re not as happy as you think will come when you least expect it. Perhaps you will encounter someone or something that represents what you really want. Then suddenly you find yourself wondering how you could have ever thought that you were happy with what you had accepted.

It’s like clearing the colour from your rose tinted classes and finally seeing things as they are.

A great way to stop yourself accepting less is to check in with yourself regularly. When you’re not where you should be you can end up getting so used to the anxiety that you don’t even realise that it’ there until you leave

Make a note of what you want in different areas of your life and think about how it would feel.

Lets say you moved into a tiny apartment in a neighbourhood you don’t like but you tell yourself you’re happy because you’re saving money and you don’t even spend much time at home anyway. That’s you convincing yourself that you’re okay with not feeling comfortable in your local area and that you don’t want to spend time at home.

But if the notes you make on what you want from your home and how you want to feel don’t align with your reality then you might want to make some changes. That might mean paying a little more to be in an area, in a bigger apartment or both.

That’s the power of checking in, it allows you to identify whether the life you’re creating is the life you actually want.

In spite of everything

Looking back on the past couple of months, what have been your highlights?

What has brought you joy?

How have you been spending your time?

For some there’s a chance that they have been blossoming into a more truer version of themselves. Becoming someone who is considerate about how they spend their time.

It’s not that you didn’t give it much thought before, it’s that it’s suddenly become much easier to be choosy.

You’re no longer making the best of small fragments of free time, you’re making the best of your time overall.

As a result (in spite of everything going on in the world), you might feel the happiest you’ve felt in a while.