You pick up a self-help book, enthusiastically about to take in every word, but as you read you start to wonder: What does that writer hope for, exactly? Does he really believe those things? If so, does he think it’s going to get better?
Because I know a lot of us feel this way. Like that underpaid friend who wistfully repeats, “When I win the lottery…” and your single friend who’s always going on failed dates and jokes, “Man I can’t wait for my life to begin… where is he?”
Well, your life’s begun, my friend. Whether you realize it or not (or like it or not). Here are some ideas on how to like your life more, just as it is:
1. Focus on what’s going right.
Even if you just got fired or ghosted (and the date went so well!), do you still have the funniest BFF on the planet? Do you still have the comfiest chair in your living room? Are you spending the holidays with a parent or two who did their very best for you? As Wayne Dyer said, “When you change how you look at things, the things you look at change.” Which five things are going right for you right now? List them. And look around. Not everyone is as lucky as you, are they?
2. Count your years and average out what’s left.
I’m 40. If I’m mega lucky and live till 105, I’ve lived over 1/3 of my years. That’s 65 summers left, 65 more Christmases with my partner (if we’re both lucky), and 65 more springs blossoming to life. Think of all the things you want to do with your life—what are you waiting for? Today is the youngest you’ll ever be.
3. Decide it’s the best time of your life.
Say it aloud. “Now is the best time of my life.” Say it in the mirror. Repeat it 3-4 times. What comes up for you? Probably the thing that’s been holding you in a negative pattern for some time—your weight, your belief you’re not smart or attractive enough, or your deep fear that maybe other people are just better or more normal than you are.
Guess what? We all feel that way: uncertain, lonely, scared sometimes, a bit of a fraud. It doesn’t stop the clock from ticking or your life from passing. Say to yourself, “I’m willing to release the belief that…..” and share with your reflection what’s holding you back from fully enjoying your life.
Just know that whatever’s closed was once open. And you can always go back.