I was on my way to visit a friend, when the train made a short stop at a remote station. A billboard ad came into sight which caught my eye immediately: two pictures, one of which showing the tiny feet of a newborn hidden under a white blanket, whereas the other portrayed a grayish pair of adult feet with a tag wrapped around one of the big toes. In big letters it read:When are you going to start living?
It made me think the rest of my four-hour train ride. It is a simple fact of life, but one that we tend to push away, right into the back of our mind: your lifetime is limited.
Yet, we’re wasting our time by worrying about things that don’t matter or can’t be changed instead of living the life we long for. We postpone our dreams and aspirations to a later date, because “life” always gets in the way somehow. We find excuses why we can’t start working on a life that matters to us. We spend our time procrastinating things instead of doing them. We are stressed out and, well, tomorrow’s another day.
Rethink Your Priorities
You have the potential to start over and follow your path at any stage of life, but it all comes down to how much you really want it. To get to live a full life is a piece of work. You have to be willing to do something for it and not let yourself get distracted. When it comes to our very own dreams and wishes we tend to be quite careless, however. There’s always something else that seems to need your attention first.
It’s too simple to blame the daily grind for not being able to live a better life than now. You are not a victim of circumstances unless you let yourself be. Most of the things that stress you out or scare you are about fulfilling the expectations of others.
How about your needs? How can you find the time to take charge of what’s important to you? Often, it doesn’t need much. Sometimes, a simple “no” would do, but it is essential to regain control of your day and, as a consequence, your life.
When you start to spend your time worrying and finding excuses, you might use this time to think about solutions that can help you to find your way to a fearless and fulfilled life, instead.
- Grab a piece of paper whenever you are getting scared or doubting your way
- Note down what you’re afraid of and what measures you could take in order to change your situation in the long run
Get creative, don’t censor your mind. At first, some ideas might seem totally crazy and unrealistic, still, they might spark your motivation. One of those thoughts might have the seed in it that you need.
Attentiveness Is Key For Happiness
Happiness does not happen to us by chance. It’s not going to wait at your doorstep for you to open up finally. It needs to be found and invited in. You have to be willing to let it happen. Allowing yourself to be happy is an act of being fearless and attentive. Many of us tend to chase an ideal that doesn’t exist. It would be easier to look for what’s already there. We are so busy with our life and our fears that we miss the possibility to meet happiness. How can we achieve a better life if we’re not even able to notice the little moments of joy that could make a difference and brighten the dullness of everyday life in an instant?
- we are oblivious to the rays of sunlight that break through the cloudy sky at lunch time,
- we are oblivious to the smell of fresh snow while hastily scraping ice from the windshield,
- we are oblivious to the birds singing while talking on the phone,
- we are oblivious to the smile of the sales lady because didn’t we dare to look at her while she handed us the bread,
- we are oblivious to the bus driver waiting for us in the pouring rain because we are scolding ourself for not getting up earlier,
- we are oblivious to the chances offered to us.
And, worst of all, we miss out on the best life we could have.
Try to notice the small gifts life is offering to you every day. A good start could be to sit down with a diary and to put everything on paper at the end of your day. If you can’t think of at least three nice things that came across your way, it’s not because your life is so miserable, it’s usually because you don’t see them.
With time, you will have sharpened your attentiveness.
Believe me, it’s going to make you grateful for what you actually have in your life – and make you aware of what’s possible when you pay attention to the things that matter.
Care for Others
Leading a fearless life does not only mean to lead a life on your own terms but also, to maintain empathy for the needs of others. Random acts of kindness can make you and others happy immediately.
All it requires is a little effort from your side. You have to want to do it and to pay attention to your environment.
Open the door for a mother pushing a stroller, carry the grocery bags for the little old lady that lives in your street, run after the woman who has just lost her hat without noticing or just give a smile to a sad looking stranger on the train.
Caring for our environment makes us part of a community we might never even have noticed before.
Also, try to be a good friend. Lending your ear to someone close who needs advice while enjoying dinner together is worth so much more than spending another night behind your desk (it’s not going to boost your efficiency anyway). It could be so simple, but we tend to overlook what’s going on around us all the same.
Saying no to the disturbances in life and saying yes to the things and people that truly matter, that’s what it’s all about.
There is No Better Time to Start than Now
If you truly want to start living a fearless life, start today. Right now. There’s always something you can do in this very moment. Even if it is just to sit down for a couple of minutes and think about your day, your week, the past year, even your life. What would you like to change, what’s already there, what’s missing? The first step is to make yourself aware of the things that are good and the ones that need a little overhaul.
I am convinced that the way to a content and full life is the one that challenges you. How much do you value products that come at a very cheap price? You don’t expect much. Cheap and easy won’t do it.
You have to ooze sweat. You need a sense of accomplishment in order to be able to cherish it. Worries and doubts, on the other hand, you can have for free in abundance. Whatever it is you’re dreaming of, give it a try, no matter what. Don’t let any more precious time go to waste.
“You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true. You may have to work for it, however.”
Richard David Bach
So, what is it that you could do right now to stop worrying and start living a fearless life? Please feel free to post your comment below.