Ways To Live A Happier Life!
Recently I’ve been reading and listening to various books / podcasts etc that look deeply at our existence, what drives us to pursue the things we do, the modern human animal and so on. This lead me to think more, to meditate on certain things that really stuck a chord with me…and eventually lead me to writing this weekly feature on my blog.
Many of us have our days consumed by a human constructed way of living, and we can call it whatever we like…the 9-5, the dead-end job, the dream career. And yes, I won’t argue that we need to make money in order to live in this modern world, but I believe it to be so important to slow down enough to recognise and to take responsibility for the fact that we are living in a self-created situation. In this current day and age, we the human race (well, a large percentage of us) are so far away from natural order it’s crazy!
Maybe you love what you do…but maybe you don’t.
Maybe you wake up every day eager to do whatever it is you’re about to do…or maybe you dread it.
Maybe all of the relationships you have fulfil you…or maybe they don’t.
Maybe your life is full of excitement, wonder, joy, and love…but maybe it is not.
Unfortunately, a high percentage of people I meet are very unhappy, or at the very least are dissatisfied with their lot in life.
I can say that prior to living the life I currently lead, that I was one of these people - and to be frank, despite the majority of the time feeling very fulfilled, grateful, happy, excited by life etc…I sometimes still find myself unnecessarily suffering and feeling dissatisfied with trivial stuff. Hence the regular check ins, meditation, self inquiry, self reflection, and ways of reminding myself whats truly important. It’s also a big contributing factor to why I’m writing this weekly feature!
So what can you Expect from this weekly feature?
Every Wednesday, I will offer a statement, a question / questions, suggestions, practices, or action steps that I have found useful to ponder upon or do when I’m feeling like life is getting a little over complicated, if I feel like i’ve lose perspective, if I find myself unsatisfied with my situation, or if I’ve lost touch with what is truly important to me.
Anyway…here it is - I’d like to offer you this weeks tip / tool for living a happier life. I hope it offers you some perspective, and that you find some positive enhancements in your life from this daily practice:
You are Dying.
Let that sit with you for just a minute…
BOOM! That got heavy quick didn’t it…are you thinking “Hey Dan, I thought this feature was about living a happier LIFE?!”
Okay - Sorry…ish, but it’s true for each and every one of us!
The moment we were born was the moment we started dying. It is the thing that many of us know deep down, but for whatever reason choose to play ignorant to until we get a stark reminder.
We are mortal. We have a sell by date. All that we are (or at least physically, belief dependent) will one day be gone. Our existence is Finite.
This, is sadly what often hinders many people in taking action or making the necessary changes they need to make in order to live their best lives! It manifests in our lives as FEAR - it stops us from TRULY LIVING the short life we have on this earth!
“What if this happens? Or that happens?” “Thats too Risky - what if this..” “ I can’t do that - it wouldn’t be possible for someone like me to do that..” “Not in this lifetime!” “You’re living a fantasy…you need to get a real job!” And so on..
Well - there is another way that through framing our mortality in the right way, we can bring huge amounts of joy, excitement, and positive change to our lives - we can use it as the ever growing reminder to LIVE. To truly LIVE and LOVE each and every day.
This practice was introduce to me by one of my mentors, an it is known as “Momento Mori.”
For those of you that haven’t heard this phrase before: “Momento Mori (Latin for Remember Death), the Medieval Latin Christian theory and practice of reflection on mortality, especially as a means of considering the vanity of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits.”
So I offer you these daily practices to slowly start incorporating this practice into your life:
Your Daily Reminder - Upon Waking, write the phrase “Moment Mori” in your journal. Now that you know what it means - it should get you thinking. If you don’t have a journal, here is one I recommend.
Cultivate an attitude of Gratitude - Write three things that you are grateful for in your life. Try to mix this up daily - don’t allow yourself of getting into the habit of writing the same stuff to tick the box.
Learn to Notice The Small Things - Decide on three things (to begin with these may seem or feel like trivial things) that you will focus on and consciously try to appreciate for the day (as if it were your last) - e.g Enjoying the weather - rain or shine, Smiling during your interactions with others, truly enjoying / tasting the flavour of your food, a hug with your loved ones, listening to your favourite song and dancing like no-one is watching. Learn to truly embrace and enjoy the seemingly small things in your life!