I was sitting down last week with a friend for lemongrass and ginger teas — because that’s how we roll in Melbourne.
My friend was telling me his recent life challenges and why he’d stopped replying to everybody’s messages.
I’ll get to the point: he’d got stuck in the daily grind.
Your life is not this:
- Wake up
- Eat breakfast
- Go to work
- Have lunch
- Come home
- Ask your partner how their day was
- Play with kids (if you have them)
- Look forward to the weekend
- Go to bed
- Rinse and repeat
If this is how your life is, chances are you’re going to have challenges. Not because these daily activities are a problem but because there’s so much more to life.
When every day is the same, and you don’t know why, you become lost.
What do I mean by lost?
You go back to old ways. In my friend’s case, his mental health issues kicked in again. He started feeling sorry for himself. He lost his way.
For me, getting lost looks like going back to a state of negativity. A state where the world is against me and everything feels impossible.
Your life can be different if you choose it to be.
This is not hyperbole. Your life can be different.
By not getting stuck in the daily grind. The way you do this is by being present. Noticing right now instead of looking down at your phone.
You can also break your routine. Don’t do the same thing every day. Add some small twists and turns to how you do things.
Your life doesn’t have to be boring and full of routines. Habits are good to have as long as they don’t become 99.9% of your day. Having nothing but habits takes the variety out of your day.
You end up thinking the same way day in and day out. This stops you from seeing the endless opportunities that are available to you if you can only see them.
There has to be meaning.
No matter how big or how small, meaning gives you a reason to wake up outside of just following some pre-defined routine.
My friend that was going through issues last week didn’t have a meaning. He’d forgotten why he came to work. To shake up his reality, I told him about the day before where I’d volunteered at the local homeless shelter.
He asked me why I did it.
I told him “It gets you out of your head. It makes you think and feel completely different. You stop feeling sorry for yourself. It reminds you of what it’s like to have a meaning.”
We make the mistake of thinking everyone’s life is perfect except ours.
“I get this all the time. People think I live some rockstar blogging lifestyle full of free lunches, endless high-fives, smiles and opportunities. The reality couldn’t be further from this fake idea”
I have the same battles and challenges.
I get stuck in routines too.
I sometimes chase productivity over meaning as well.
No one has a straight flush of perfect days where all their hopes and dreams come true. Rejection, punches to the face, and disappointment affect us all.
The way you choose the good life is to acknowledge and push through the difficult parts of life.
As hard as I try, some days just suck. Some days I don’t feel like writing or my career is in the dumps.
The only difference is what you choose.
For me, I choose to keep moving forward. I choose optimism even when nothing makes sense and all the chips are stacked against me.
There’s no secret hack other than choosing to not settle for a life of routine and one that contains no variety.
You get to make that choice. That’s the difference.
The life you want is your choice. It’s not made for you.
Choose to change things up.