Want to change your life, in both big ways and minute ones, day to day as well as over the big picture?? A rather resonating and powerful way to live your life daily, even moment to moment, is to keep this line of thinking ever at the forefront of your mind...
Live your life with the end result in mind.
How do you want to be remembered by the people who are very special to you? What do you want to have experienced, done, seen, learned, said, when your time here on Earth comes to a close? Who do you want to be while you are here in the world? What do you want to have spent the bulk of your life focusing on? Cultivating? Growing? Building? Doing? Saying?
These are questions that most of us ponder for a few moments every once in a while, and then promptly forget about. Allowing them to be buried under a sea of other "to dos" in every day life, most of which probably aren't especially important at all in the big picture.
Too many of us, in fact I would venture most (including myself), tend to get caught in the mostly mindless autopilot of daily routine. What do we need to do on this or that day, what to make for dinner, or where to grab lunch. Why our idiot of a co-worker just did or said that. How tired we are. That we need to call this friend back and will soon. Yes, a couple of these are important. Key phrase in there being "a couple." Most though are just mundane distraction, not at all important in the big painting of our lives, and tend towards serving at taking our attention away from the big, awesome, opportunity laden, wide sweeping picture of all that is life.
Then suddenly, we look up and its a year, five years, or even ten years later. And still, our lives consist of routinized, generally monotonous, comfortable pictures. The same relationships for years and years, whether each of those (romantic, platonic, even familial) are actually good, healthy fits for us any longer of not. Likely the same job, whether it alights ones heart or not. Probably hanging out with most of the same people, and in many of the same places again and again in ones free time.
While this is a comfortable way to live...its far from living up to our fullest and most awesome potential. Far from living a life of all that is possible, of all that can and even should be. Its far from reveling in the short time that each of us has here, alive in this world, with all of the awe, whimsy, joy, and romance that we could. Its far from living life with the end result in mind.
And when we forget or fail to do this, our lives tend to become void of so much of the beauty, thrill, sense of personal purpose, as well as personal fulfillment, of which they could be filled with.
When you operate and think, daily, with the end result of your life in mind, it can help cut through the clutter of your heart, thoughts, and jumbled "to do" list, to what really matters. Asking yourself, day to day, even moment to moment, "the end will come. In fact, its coming closer with each passing day. What do I really want to do? Who do I really love, and do I show them this often via my words and actions? What do I want to experience and see? What makes my heart truly sing? How do I want to be remembered by the core people I cherish and adore?
Living with such a mindset at the forefront of your mind can also majorly impact your day to day choices, as well as major life decisions. When you consider that time is ticking, life is short, that you only have so much time left on this Earth and then guess what? Its all going black, baby. This can help you get serious and crystal clear, real fast, with regards to what you want to be doing, with whom you want to be doing it with, on what you choose to focus, etc.
Instead though, when we forget this crucial mindset and let it fall to the wayside, this tends to result in growing complacent. Letting each day slide, unmemorable, into the next. Life becoming a blur of days that look much the same. And while there is nothing inherently wrong with or bad about this, its a major case of settling for all that one could actually do and experience, if they lived with far more bravery, intent, direction, and mindfulness. This can also absolutely result (and often does) in ever-yearned-for-yet-never-met dreams, goals, and life longings.
When we forget to live our lives with the end result in mind, we forget to live.
Want to change your life drastically? Decide to live with this knowledge at the forefront, front row, center stage, of your mind every single day, and throughout each day.
You are likely to find yourself as a result, changing much of your behaviors and responses to other aspects of life. For instance, some imagined examples might be things like:
---Someone on the bus or train home annoys you. Normally, this would piss you off. Instead, take out your book and revel in the time home to enjoy another chapter, or instead, to read an article online you've been dying to read.
---Debating to stay at the gym 20 minutes longer or catch the next bus home instead to see whomever wonderful person is waiting for you? When imagining the end result of life in mind, does that extra 20 minutes at the gym really make a difference? Or, having the extra time with someone you love. Occasionally, the gym may win out, if you haven't exercised in ages and really need/want to. But in general...the person should.
---A dilemma: stay late at work for the 4th night in a row-feeling as though you "should" even though you don't want to, nor is it an emergency, or, go home to your partner whom you really long to spend time with, and whom you love deeply. Living with the mindset of the end result in mind? I imagine most would choose the latter. However, just living with the routine of day to day and with the mindset of "Ill just get to it tomorrow, Ill do it another day," one might stay work late again and vow to "spend time with their partner sometime soon," assuming their partner will always be there as they are together and that is that. Dangerous thinking when it becomes regular thinking. This is how we take people majorly for granted.
---Scared to go for your dream? Whether quitting your job and traveling the world for a year, publishing a controversial piece of art (a book, an article, showcasing a painting, a poem, etc), opening your own business, or having a child? The list of potential life dreams going on and on.
Scared that it "wont work out"? That everything will go wrong and you will be left in a trash heap of regret. Guess what. All of life is an experiment. All of it. And we cannot possibly know for sure how anything will go until we do it. Thus, the more experiments you make, the better. At worst, it doesn't go awesome and as a result, you learn and grow in some way. All the better for it. At its best, the "experiment" changes and completely pivots your whole direction and life in some poignant, awesome way(s).
However, from what I have both witnessed and experienced...life has a funny way of tending to work out when you are 1. a kind and good person and 2. bravely, despite the fear, move in the direction of your wildest dreams.
---Feeling stuck in a job, or longstanding relationship, or any other life situation, in which you feel comfortable and safe but not especially satisfied or truly happy? Knowing in the back of your mind that really, it isn't the right thing for you any longer. That actually, it drains your joy, weighs on your soul, and that you could be far happier and healthier in another situation? But too scared of the unknown, too scared to pull the trigger? Comfortable in the safety and security of the known?
When you live life with the end result in mind...ask yourself, is this situation/relationship/place of being really in how I want to spend the rest of my fleeting time here on Earth? If this is all there is for the rest of my life, is that truly good enough? Don't I want to dare to be happier, to grow further, to experience more? To seek beyond? To pursue joy, growth, and health? Ask yourself, "What is it I deeply wish to do with my one wild and precious life?" If what you're doing isn't it? Change it. Now.
No one said it would be easy. No one said it wouldn't be scary. I can tell you personally, I've been absolutely terrified prior to doing most of the biggest things that have ended up changing my life in monumental ways. (To name a few: moving to a foreign country where I knew no one, didn't speak the language, had no job. Leaving someone I had been with romantically for nearly 10 years-despite loving him, knowing we were not a good fit, and finally having the guts to let him go. Standing up for myself and drawing a line in the sand with regards to certain heart wrenching, horrible past family situations. Letting go of a couple friends over the years and even a couple of family members who were no good for me, bringing much more pain and harm than good into my life. ALL of these scenarios absolutely terrified me, were some of the hardest things I have ever made myself do, and yet all of them have led to life riches I could not have imagined, personal growth, and magic later on down the road, as an indirect (or sometimes, direct) result of my having made those really tough decisions and leaps).
---Afraid to tell someone just how special they are to you, just how much you love them? Well, don't forget, live your life with the end result in mind. Do you want to regret all the things you didn't say? Wishing you had told them when you had the chance? Far more often, people regret things they didn't say and things they didn't do, as opposed to regretting things they did or said. Dare to be vulnerable. Dare to speak words of love and affection. You will warm hearts and change lives in ways you will not be aware of, as well as feel fulfilled and satisfied with yourself for having said what you wanted to.
---Sick of sitting in an office, day after day? Tired of waking up, doing the same thing (for the most part) every day, eating the same things week to week, seeing the same people, living in the same place for years and years, with little to no variation? Wondering, isn't there so much else out there? Feeling semi unfulfilled and hungering for more?
Living your life with the end result in mind will lead you more directly towards this answer. (Hint: yes, there absolutely is).
You can live a life of magic, romance, wonder, and awe.
You can experience, do, and feel wondrous, awesome things.
You can have emotionally deep, beautiful, heart rending connections with a handful of amazing people whom you choose to cultivate and build so with.
You can have a job that fills you with purpose and passion.
You can venture to jaw dropping locales and thrilling new places.
You can publish that book, or draw people towards loving your photographs, your poetry, your pottery. You can move people with your words and works.
You can love, deeply, wholly, soul-fillingly, if you so choose to do so.
You can host memorable, emotional, fantastic celebrations with people you love.
You can live in other countries, other parts of the world. And live out other miraculous chapters of your life in each different place.
You can stand up for yourself to people who are shitty, harmful, hurtful, when you need to-though it will be hard (especially when they are people you love...and yes, sometimes they will be). You can do this, and you will grow stronger, more self assured, happier and healthier for doing so. Your relationships will improve as a result too.
You can choose carefully (and should do so) the people you let into your life and heart.
You can sprint after the projects, passions, people, and pursuits, that set your heart on fire.
Are you living your life, every single day, considering carefully the end result???
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. Don't take too long to decide though, it'll be too late.
And then run like hell towards those people, experiences, goals, values, projects, and paths.
And then run like hell towards those people, experiences, goals, values, projects, and paths.
As a fun wrap to this entry, I am showcasing several blogs of people whom I see living lives to the max. Lives of adventure, passion, inspiration, and wonder. To remind you that you absolutely can choose to do this too. That's all you have to do: choose it.
In the meantime, for your further inspiration and fun perusing...
Bridges and Balloons: a blog featuring a nomadic couple (and their newborn baby) as they adventure across the globe, in love and in whimsy, one country at a time every some months. Awesome.
This Battered Suitcase: this blog is written by a witty, well read, brave, totally bad ass woman who has spent the last decade traveling the world solo and writing about it. Teaching her readers about all the wide open wonder we can experience and chase after ourselves, if only we are brave enough. She is such a fun writer to read, as well as majorly inspiring.
The Fearful Adventurer. I LOVE this. She travels the world, while admitting to being totally terrified of all it entails, using her blog to address such fears head on (hint: nearly all these fears are unrealized). The perfect blog for those who have the adventure bug, who want to bravely venture and live big, but who let those pesky fears get in their way.
Wandering Earl. This blog is all about a man, you guessed it, Earl, and his adventures traveling the world for the last few years. Love this article in particular on how he debunks one needing loads of cash to live this kind of life. Not at all.
And, check out this wow-worthy woman. One of my dearest friends, Lindsay Emery. We have been close since we were born, growing up living just 10 minutes from each other, going to the same schools, friends with many of the same people through our childhoods and teens, sleepovers every weekend at each others homes, and still are close to this day. We spent hours together nearly every day of our lives, from when we were born through to our late teens when she moved away to Virginia. Today, we consider ourselves akin to sisters.
She started out with a shop on Etsy. Now?? She has been featured in Southern Living, Better Homes and Garden, Food 52, and sells her pottery through Anthropologie.