So many of us make bad choices on a daily basis because we’re deluding ourselves that this moment is somehow not our real life.
We think of our life as something “over there” that we will get to experience one day and by that time we'll magically be healthier, wealthier, happier, more loving, more patient, proactive and living our dream life.
In the meantime, we sleep in and skip morning yoga, cut short our meditation because it's hard today, snap at our loved ones for something petty instead of looking for things to praise, eat the packet of chips (diet starts Monday), collapse in front of the television at night instead of working towards our goals and dreams (that starts Monday too), avoid reaching out to our friends, procrastinate on changing careers or moving overseas or going on dates because of fear disguised as practicality, and scroll through social media in bed so we're nice and wired before we sleep.
And then we’re surprised and kind of annoyed that our life isn’t the way we’d like it to be and we’re not very happy or fulfilled. Say what?
Beautiful soul, this is it. This thing happening right now is your life.
If you want to make positive changes, now is the time. If you want to be happier, healthier, wealthier, more peaceful, more loving, more grateful and more joyful, start today.
As Paulo Coelho once said, “One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Do it now.”
If you're not sure where to begin, here are 7 powerful ways to change your life today – not tomorrow or the next day or some time in the distant future.
1. Map out your dream life vision.
It sounds simple, but few people take the time to sit down, consult with their heart and soul, and get clear on what they really want from their precious life.
With just a few sheets of paper and a pen, you can map out what you desire and value in your life in all of your key life areas: career, love, finances, health, leisure, contribution and personal growth.
2. Get in touch with your inner spirit.
Your inner spirit is the unchanging part of you, beneath all of your changing titles, roles and appearances like mother, son, sister, uncle, employee, writer, runner, single or married.
It's important to build a relationship with your inner spirit because it can tell you your truest dreams and desires. It's also an infinite source of strength, wisdom and love.
You can get to know your spirit through meditation, soul journalling, reading, dancing, spending time in nature, and getting lost in the flow of the activities you love the most.
3. Become more present.
Most of us only experience a fraction of our lives, because we are too busy living in our minds.
We are preoccupied with memories of the past, circling thoughts and worries about the future, and we miss out on the vibrancy and beauty of the world around us. This leaves us feeling busy yet unfulfilled; overwhelmed and yet empty.
When you learn to touch base with the present moment more throughout the day, you begin to notice more magic, beauty and opportunity in your life. You also begin to feel more calm, centered and in control. It feels like time has slowed down and every day is a whole lifetime.
Start with simple steps like meditating in the morning, feeling the sunshine or rain on your skin, feeling the breeze on your face or the texture of your clothing against your body, really tasting and enjoying your food, and listening attentively to others when they speak to you.
4. Take self-care seriously.
When we get busy, self-care practices like meditating, eating nourishing foods, getting enough sleep, drinking water, moving our body, connecting with friends and loved ones, and spending time on things that make us feel passionate and alive are often the first to drop off our to-do list.
We're forgetting that when we don't take care of our body, mind and spirit, we don't have the energy, wisdom or inspiration to accomplish all of the things we want to do.
Make self-care practices a non-negotiable part of your daily and weekly routine, and suddenly you will begin achieving more success with much less effort, because you have put supportive foundations in place.
5. Value your happiness.
The Dalai Lama has said the purpose of our life is to be happy, and happiness is most often the true underlying goal behind any of our external goals like love, money or success.
Yet many of us are very quick to let small, insignificant events in our day steal our happiness and inner peace – like another person saying something we don't like, there being too much traffic on the journey home, or the local supermarket running out of something we need.
Your happiness is priceless – it cannot be bought for any amount of money. Start valuing it by choosing not to let events in your day disturb your inner peace. When something happens and it angers or irritates you, take a moment to observe your reaction, take a few deep breaths, and let the feeling subside. Keep your heart open and go about your day.
6. Take small steps daily.
Making a huge life transformation or going after a major dream is hard – but taking one step in the right direction each day is easy, and before you know it, you will end up where you are aiming to be.
You don't need to know every step of the journey in advance before going after your goals and dreams. In fact, it's impossible – you simply cannot predict all of the twists, turns, opportunities, circumstances and ideas that will come into your life along the way.
You just need to have your vision in mind, and commit to taking small steps in the general direction of that vision on a daily basis.
There is a proverb that says: "Within each step, you will find the next step." It means that when you take a small step forward, then you will be in a better position to see what to do next. With each step forward, you will learn what needs to happen next.
Steve Jobs understood this secret. He explained it like this:
"You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."
7. Start living your dreams today.
Instead of seeing your dreams as a destination in your future, start brainstorming ways to bring the things you desire and value most into your current reality.
You will begin to shift your energy to attract more of what you desire, and you will also avoid the trap of putting your happiness and enjoyment of life on hold until a later date. This is your life happening right now, and every moment should be cherished and lived to the fullest.
If you dream of being wealthy and abundant, you could declutter your home to remove anything that weighs you down emotionally and energetically; buy your friend a coffee (it doesn't cost much but it makes you feel financially abundant); or carry around a $100 note in your wallet.
If you want to feel creative, buy a canvas and paint set and set aside an afternoon on the weekend to paint; look up free art gallery exhibition openings in your local area; or take up a new hobby like calligraphy.
If you dream of meeting your soulmate, take yourself on a solo date; wear matching underwear; get a luxurious massage; or write a list of everything you love and appreciate about yourself.
When you're clear on your values and desires, it's easy to bring more of them into your reality today.
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