What would things look like if you could enjoy life like no one was watching? Like you were a kid again? Like you didn’t have 8,001 responsibilities?
I want you to stop and think about those questions for a minute.
I know that it might be easy to think about parts of your life you enjoy, like your family, or that recent trip you took, but when you think about your life overall, are you really having fun?
Are you doing what you want to do?
Are you excited by all of it?
If the answer is no, it’s time you took a look at what’s happening and make a decision:
That enjoying life is a priority for you.
That doesn’t mean you have to be reckless and give up on those responsibilities, but it means that maybe putting your own enjoyment a bit higher on this list could really shift how you feel about your life.
Are you with me?
Let’s take a look at what that might look like, but before we do. . .
Enjoying Life Quotes
There are lots of quotes out there to inspire you to enjoy your life to the fullest, but I’ve sprinkled a few of my favorites throughout the post. You can easily share them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. I hope they inspire you!
Enjoying Life By Adding Things
When you’re truly enjoying life, you’re having fun.
But you’re also doing things to work towards your goals, short and long term, because real life enjoyment has to be more than long binges of Netflix. (Sorry Netflix.)
I’m for fun as much as (or more than) the next girl.
In fact, I’ve said that it’s one of my highest values. Still, if you place a priority on fun alone, you’ll find yourself flitting from one shallow activity to another and pretty soon – though stimulated – you may find yourself under-challenged.
That’s why in order to really be enjoying life to the fullest you have to combine your fun with things you find both meaningful and just challenging enough.
Some examples could be doing a charity walk, coaching your kid’s sports team, getting really good at pencil sketches, playing a sport, gardening. . .
I could go on and on. It doesn’t matter what it is for you. It might be one thing. It might be 10.
I had a client once who would go to yard sales to find beautiful dishes she could take home to smash into tiny pieces and then create gorgeous mosaics with.
I had a client who made a point of taking his 80 year old dad to sports games.
I had a client who, in her 50’s, signed up to take a writing class at Harvard.
Enjoying Life By Taking Things Out
Another way to enjoy life is to eliminate the things you don’t like, the things you’re doing that are making you miserable.
There are probably two categories of those: the ones you feel trapped by, and the ones you didn’t even realize you could change.
Things you didn’t realize you could change
We fall into the traps of habit, obligation and people pleasing, and then we don’t even realize we have choices anymore, but the truth is we do.
First, look around and ask yourself, “Do I want to be doing that?” If the answer is no and you can easily stop, do.
You might think you don’t have any of these – that you have to do everything you’re doing – but I challenge you to think about all of those 8,001 aforementioned responsibilities and see if there are any you could give up.
Don’t want to be volunteering for that extra committee? Stop.
Don’t want to be the one who always has to be the punching bag for your “friend” who is the emotional vampire? Set a boundary.
Don’t want to always be the DD for your kid’s soccer team? Add some other parents to the rotation.
Don’t want to be the one always responsible for pulling together that meeting or report? Talk to your boss.
Things aren’t always perfect. Maybe there are things you’ll want to change that you’ll find you can’t (or at least right now). But over time you may be able to, and you’ll never know until you become aware and ask.
Staying stuck in a perpetual state of discomfort, not knowing why and feeling helpless to do anything about it doesn’t serve you.
Things you feel trapped by
There are the things that sneak up on us that we don’t realize are making us miserable until one day we do, and then there are the things that we spend hours thinking about and can’t figure out a way out of.
Being stuck in a job you don’t like is a perfect example of that.
You realize it’s damaging your happiness and maybe even your health, but you can’t just remove yourself from the situation.
You need a plan with more finesse than just jumping ship.
What can you do?
Instead of staying stuck, make a commitment to yourself that enjoying life and your overall happiness is worth it to do what it takes to figure it out.
Getting clear on what makes you tick, what you’re good at, where you thrive and what your goals are, are just some of the steps that I walk people through on their journey to career clarity.
(If you’d like to learn more about how to gain career clarity, go to my career coaching page here.)
The point is, even if you feel trapped by this or any other life situation, you are not trapped. There is always something you can do.
Sometimes you need some help figuring out what the most effective path is, what your real goals and values are, and to help you get past your fear of making a mistake.
Don’t stay stuck. There is more to enjoy in life on the other side.
Enjoying Everyday Life
I’m afraid we’ve all been lied to.
We’ve been told we have to do something epic with our lives in order to enjoy them.
If we’re not off running marathons, hiking Kilimanjaro, doing Ted talks, or curing cancer, we’re not really living, and therefore we should feel like we’re not doing enough.
But it’s not true.
Yes, you should live the biggest, most epic life YOU want to live. But that might have nothing to do with hiking mountains or giving Ted talks.
It’s about having a life that you enjoy every day.
Yours might be made up of fun, adventure, family, challenge, meaningful work, service or more, but you get to decide what would be enjoyable. There’s no magic formula.
You decide what you want that life to look like.
There are, however, some rules. Here they are below.
5 Rules For Enjoying Life
These are the 5 unbreakable rules for enjoying life. If you violate one of them, you’re jeopardizing your ability to get the maximum enjoyment from life.
1.Make your own choices
Remember that you are in charge of your own decisions, so putting too much emphasis on other people’s opinions, including when other people don’t support your career change or other dreams won’t bring happiness.
Being authentic in every aspect of your life (or striving to do so) will lead you towards ultimate enjoyment of your life, though admittedly getting there might lead you down a bumpy path or two. It’s hard to be truly authentic in a world that values fitting in very highly. But feeling inauthentic has a huge cost, and will put a ceiling on your life enjoyment.
2. Keep positivity in your life
Make a point of surrounding yourself with positive people – the ones you already know, and getting to know new ones. Let go of energy vampires, don’t watch the news, and don’t focus on the negativity in your life, including negative feelings and events. Try to find a way to let negativity pass. (Yes, I realize this is an endeavor by itself, but if it’s one you need to undertake for a happier life, do it!)
3. Don’t lose your sense of adventure
Doing something adventurous usually means doing something just a little (or a lot) outside of your comfort zone. Whatever that is for you, do some of it regularly, keep pushing yourself (or pretty soon you’ll be in your comfort zone) and keep mixing it up.
Keep it fun and light, so that it still feels enjoyable rather than like an uncomfortable growth experience (which also has its place). Spend your time focusing on experiences and relationships, not stuff, and you’ll enjoy life way more.
4. Consciously set goals
I’m a huge one for setting goals. I don’t think you have to set them and never change or re-visit them, actually you should revisit them regularly. But until you have a real life plan, you don’t really know what’s important to do on a day-to-day basis.
Yes, you’ll know what’s fun, but as much as I love fun, even fun gets boring after a while when it’s shallow. Make it deep and make it last by knowing your life goals.
5. Practice kindness
Kindness falls into two categories: Kindness to self and kindness to others.
When you’re being kind to yourself you’re taking care of your body, you’re practicing good boundaries, you’re taking care of your needs for calm and centeredness in your life, your self-talk is kind, you’re allowing good things to enter your life and you’re honoring your needs for growth as a person. If you are honest with yourself, you usually know when you’re not being kind to you.
When you’re kind to others you’re compassionate, giving back, emotionally generous and thoughtful. You’re also being kind when you practice good boundaries, hold people accountable and expect more from them.
Also, don’t underestimate the power of your own positivity on others or of sharing a smile. Research has shown that happiness is contagious!
The Purpose of Life?
Some might say the purpose of life is to enjoy it. There may be more complexity to your purpose, but I’d have to agree that if you’re not enjoying life, you’re kind of missing the point.
I hope this post challenges you to put your own life enjoyment on the top of your priority list!