Life is moving so quickly these days. I feel like the moments are flying by and I’m not spending nearly enough time thinking about all of the things I’m doing and truly appreciating what I have. When I feel like I don’t have time to stop and be grateful, I remember back to when I was a kid driving in the car with my dad. He always wanted to go the long way to get anywhere, just so he could drive by the beach. Mr. Cape Cod we would call him. And he always said, “You won’t live at the beach forever, appreciate it while it’s here.” He would get so excited to see the water. It didn’t matter if the water was still and flat or rough and wavy, he would always have the same cheerful reaction just being there.
So, as a result of moving at the speed of light and never slowing down, I’ve been trying to spend more time each day focusing my energy in a few different areas. For starters, I’ve been not only setting goals, but actually physically writing them down and concentrating on how to see them through, so that I really have a sense of accomplishment at the end of every day. I am happier when I lay in bed at the end of the night and know I did something during the day that will get me one step closer to where I want to be.
The other thing I’ve been doing, which I wont lie has been a real struggle for me, is doing my best not to let the bullshit cloud my head. You know that line, “haters gonna hate?” Well, let them. But don’t let it control you. I just try to remind myself I can’t please everyone, and I can’t control anyone except myself. So rather than bitch and cry and get heart palpitations over tiny, insignificant things, I have been taking a moment to breathe, shake it off, and walk away.
What do you do to take a minute to stop and smell the roses? Do you stop to smell the roses? Are you truly happy? Well here are four small tips to get you on that track:
- Set an intention for the day
Just like most workout instructors tell you to do at the top of a workout, I do this at the top of my day when my eyes open: set an intention or a goal for the day. It can be as simple as making sure I call my family today, crossing things off my work to-do list, or smiling at every person I come in contact with throughout the day. It doesn’t matter what it is, but it’s important to get into a habit of setting intentions, writing them down, and seeing them through.
- Remember what you have and be grateful for it
I have so much to be grateful for. I have no idea how I got so lucky to be able to live the life I live, but I got it and I’m going to be damn sure to make the best of it. Try to take a moment and be grateful for the things you have and not always focus on the things you don’t.
- Put yourself in someone else’s shoes
I try to remind myself every time I get annoyed with the slow person walking across the street using up my green light time, or the new person at Starbucks training on the register, to just calm down and be patient. Why am I always in such a rush? I’ve been both of those people before! I have to remember to be nice to everyone, for they could be fighting a much harder battle than me. And when I turn my anger and impatience into being happy (because, I really do have so many things to be happy about), I find that I have a much better day anyway. And that extra minute at the crosswalk is an extra minute I can spend listening to Taylor Swift’s album. So, do something nice for someone else. Let someone cut you line at the grocery store, or put money in someone’s meter for them. It doesn’t have to be big, but it can go a long way.
I swear, it helps. Just keep smiling. Eventually even you will start to believe it’s real!
By Alex Devlin