We all have our preferences for how we spend our time. We all have our preferences for whom we spend our time with.
How often do you consciously engineer your day so you spend time doing things you like to do with people you like to spend time with?
If you’re like most of us; not very often. Days and weeks can go by without seeing friends we love, and sometimes we forgot the things we loved to do because day to day life pushes them far from our routine.
Let’s spend a little time taking inventory on what we love to do. Take some time to think about what you have done that you love, it doesn’t have to be a loud, outgoing adventure although you should include those too. It could be browsing round a bookshop, and then taking that new book to a tea shop and indulging yourself for a while. It may be zip-lining across a ravine or parachuting, or playing soccer or cheering on your team.
I want you be aware of how many things give you pleasure and the different kinds of enjoyment you get from different activities and different people. What makes these good times so good?
Now think about the experiences you’ve had in life that were awful, the ones you never want to repeat, that you go out of your way to avoid. Why were they so bad? Explore what made these events and experiences horrible for you. What was it about them, was it the people you were with? What feelings did you have then, are they similar to the feelings you are having now as you remember?
Looking back over both good and bad, what do you see as the most significant things you’ve gained from all your experiences?
What do you think this all says about you, who you are as a person? Are you truly being you in the moment as you experience joy or awfulness? Or are you still wearing masks to try and fit in?
Reviewing all your experiences, what habits have you learned in life that have served you well?
And what habits do you have that undermine your efforts and stop you from growing and making changes you want in your life?
Next, think about the kind of person you want to be remembered as. Are you living a life that will create that legacy for you?
For our lives to flourish we need to make a little effort to build it well, starting with the character we want to have and the habits that will keep us grounded and healthy. We must know ourselves well, and use that knowledge to craft days and weeks and months that give us joy and happiness and a sense of achievement. We must be bold and put our health and happiness first.
This is not selfish, if you are happy and healthy, you will be better able to take care of your loved ones and they will be happier because you are. Its good to feel good and its contagious.