Keep exploring

There’s something quite wonderful about being a beginner, starting something new with fresh eyes, optimism, excitement and curiosity.

There are probably plenty of things that you’ve been doing for a long time to the point that they’re a regular part of your daily, weekly or monthly routine. It could be old hobbies from childhood or a job that you’re just so familiar with that the joy has been taken out of it.

It could even be what you want thought was your dream job but because you’re doing it all the time and you’re so used to it doesn’t really feel like a dream anymore. Now it’s actually just your reality.

Sometimes, we get the job that we want and maybe we’re even living in our ideal home in our ideal location. We feel settled in life so we stop exploring. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but if you’re putting aside your curiosity and yearning then maybe something needs to change. The feeling of wanting to explore life probably won’t just go without you tending to it.

The reason we don’t tend to it is often because we allow societal standards and ideas to restrict us. We end up feeling like it’s too late to try something new because we’re a certain age or it feels like it’ll be a step back. It’s no use holding on to those ideas if they just make you unhappy.

The desire to explore could be as small as reading a genre of fiction you wouldn’t usually be open to or joining a local volunteering group. It doesn’t have to be about quitting your job to start a business. selling all your belongings and travelling around Asia for 6 months.

Security over happiness

There’s a choice to be made that sometimes ends up being a sacrifice.

It’s possible to have security and happiness but people often make choices that prioritise one over the other.

They do this for reasons such as fear, a lack of self belief or because they have people relying on them.

It becomes difficult to choose to pursue something creative where you know you’ll go through a period of low finances and you have people to support. In cases like the choice is security because if you pick happiness the people that need you are now at risk.

Sometimes in life you do have to do things you might not want to do but it’s important that you do it for the right reasons. Choosing a path based on security because you have children to care for is very different from choosing security because you’re trying to appease your parents or impress other people.

Getting what you want

As much as you may say you want certain things, you might not want them as much as you think you do.

For example, wanting a dog but not wanting the extra responsibility required. It could be wanting a promotion but not the mentoring and leadership you’ll be required to give to colleagues once you’re higher up in the company.

It can actually end up being for the best to not get what you want because when you get it you won’t really want it. Sometimes we only realise this in hindsight. However, I like to believe that is the reason why certain things just don’t work out.

It might be frustrating in the moment but you’ll be much better off getting what you want instead of getting what you think you want.

Saying yes to what you want

The idea of saying yes to what you want is pretty simple yet somehow we often end up doing the opposite.

We end up saying yes to things that we don’t want.

We have this idea in our mind of what we want, what we’ll say yes to and what we’re willing to accept. Then, when the moment arises where we have the opportunity to show up truthfully, we crumble.

We say yes instead of no and we make allowances or excuses for other people. It’s like we intentionally draw the short straw. It could be about people pleasing, a fear of hurting other peoples feelings or maybe you’re just scared to say no.

What ever the reason, you’re the one that then ends up committing to something that doesn’t even align with what you really want.

And when this happens, it shows. You give less effort, show less enthusiasm and even if you don’t say it, you end up giving off a sort of ‘I don’t want to do this vibe’.

Essentially you just make things harder for yourself and you end up less happy than you could have been.

Time for a change

When you’re ready to change, you’ll feel it.

It could be a change of city, job, relationship, diet, hobby, hairstyle or routine.

Taking the example of work, perhaps you’re no longer passionate and motivated to achieve the things you once aspired to. Maybe in the past when you were stressed you had the motivation to get through it because it would be worth it in the end whereas now you feel the complete opposite.

Or with your morning routine, you may have had a set of 7 things you’d do every morning before starting your day. Then, all of a sudden that feels like a waste of time and you realise you’re happier to strip it back to just 3.

When you get the feeling that it’s time for change, it’s it’s important to go with it because it won’t go away.

It’s the old case of what you resist persists. And so if you don’t jump when you feel it’s time for a change, life will give you a push.

Enjoy your life

It could be considered strange that we know that life is finite yet we choose to focus so much on the things that bring us the least joy.

We spend our time doing things that take us further and further from our core selves and then wonder why there is so much emptiness within.

Often we choose to try and enjoy life from the perception of outsiders. We focus on doing things that will look good to other people rather than simply trying to please ourselves. And it’s not that you do things that make you miserable but that you place the perception of others above your own joy.

It could be choosing to do something because you know that other people will be impressed or even jealous. Meanwhile you’d have been much happier doing something else.

But all that stuff about other people doesn’t matter as much you might think it does. It feels important because you choose to make it so. When it comes to enjoying your life focus on you, the things that you like and the things that bring you joy.

On your own terms

If you don’t like the way things are or the way that other people tell you that things should be, you don’t have to accept it.

So often we find ourselves frustrated and feeling hopeless as if there is no other way. But we forget that we have other options available to us. You always have the option to do things on your own terms.

Do things in the way that makes you feel happy, brings you joy or simply just makes you feel good. Other people might not get it, they might even question it but it’s not something that you ever have to justify or explain.

The mindset for starting over

When your life isn’t quite going how you anticipated. You might have the thought to start over. Often this takes a while to actually begin.

Starting over goes from being something scary that you choose to avoid (because you’d rather be unhappy with what you know than risk things being any worse if you try something new) to being something that is worth the risk.

The mindset goes from I’d rather stick with what I know and be miserable than venture out into the unknown to I’d rather venture out into the unknown than stick with what I know and be miserable.

As time passes, the value we place on familiarity in situations when we’re unhappy often decreases. It’s no longer considered worth it to stay in your current circumstances because if you’re unhappy now, the worst case scenario is starting over and still being unhappy. However, often things turn out significantly better.

Enjoy the moment

If you spend too much time focusing on the wrong thing, you’ll miss out on the chance to enjoy the moment.

Of course you never want to push aside or dismiss problems that need to be solved or worries that feel important but they don’t have to always be a priority.

There will always be 101 things you can worry about but you don’t need to always worry.

As much as you make time for that, make time for the stuff that makes you feel good and just enjoy the moment.

Just be happy

You convince yourself that you have to work hard, overcome struggle and become something else in order to ‘make it’. Then once you make it you’ll be happy.

Perhaps it would be considered childish or silly but what if you could just enjoy life, right now.

Is it possible that you can be joyful without overcoming great hurdles or becoming successful in the eyes of the world.

It’s not that you should have no dreams or aspirations in life because those things are great. The issue is that we place our happiness in those things, in money, a big house and luxury items. We put conditions on our happiness.

We aspire to be happy instead of just being happy.