I have been seeing this phrase all over. Social media, television, radio, advertising, it’s all about helping people to ‘live their best life.’
But what does that mean?
If you scroll through social media… it seems like ‘living your best life’ is a strange conglomeration of going to the gym, drinking green mystery smoothies, spending huge amounts of money on skin-care, and traveling to beautiful, exotic places in your spare time.
But when one tries to implement these various ideas into practice, it’s a confusing rabbit hole of Gymshark leggings, skinny teas, strange protein drinks, and always always ALWAYS involves buying something or spending money.
It’s crazy, seeing how much money the “wellness” industry is making these days.
And it’s happening in every single community. Weightlifting, yoga, vegan, travel, zero waste, WHAT-HAVE-YOU. These communities are now over-run with ‘influencers’ who seem to be ‘living their best lives,’ while also simultaneously promoting products, books, programs, etc…
It’s almost become this idea of; in order to ‘live your best life,’ you have to buy the things that they are selling you.
It’s the same sham that we’ve been fed for decades: “buy this, and you will be a happier and better person.”
The capitalistic fallacy.
You already have everything you need to ‘live your best life.’
Have you ever seen that poster, that says, “Everything I need to know in life, I learned in Kindergarden,”?
It’s a funny, ironic, and snarky little poster that at least one teacher in the average North American school would have had in their classrooms. It’s a short little poem filled with knowledge that you learn as a child that still rings true through your whole life.
But it’s true!
Think about it…
You reap what you sow.
Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
What goes around comes around.
If wishes were dollars, we would all be kings.
It is what you make of it.
This poster is funny, but lately, it’s been incredible how true all of the idioms end up being. It turns out, they are much more than some wise words, these are the original #lifehacks.
Karma is for real.
This is most recent lesson I have been learning.
By this saying ‘Karma is for real,” I actually mean that; what we think, the intentions we have, the promises we make to ourselves, and the energy we put into actions all contribute to an inevitable outcome.
In other words, within the past two years of my post-graduate life, Karma has proved herself to be as sturdy as the law of gravity.
This is ancient knowledge, that again, goes back to the old proverbs.
You make your bed to sleep in.
More and more people are starting to recognize the power our personal energy has. More and more advertisements, e-books, podcasts, and web-shows are being produced all about manifestation and ‘realizing your true power,’ are coming to the forefront of the internet.
There is no secret here. You get what you give. Simple as that.
- If you put in a lot of work, good energy, and are constantly pushing towards something, it will come back to you.
- If you are kind, compassionate, and speak and act with positive purposes, it will come back to you.
- If you don’t do anything, put in no work, and remain negative about yourself and your abilities, it will come back to you.
I used to chalk up whatever happened to me, for better or for worse, to luck. Now, I am starting to realize that everything that happens to me is a part of an ancient cosmic quest for balance.
It has only been recently that I have realized, that in order to receive something, you must exchange something else of equal value.
If I want huge change in my life, I have to put forth an equal amount of energy towards that change.
Life will move for you if you push it forward.
I recently read a poem that one of my old, childhood friends shared on social media. I doubt she thought very much about the impact it would have on her distant followers but it stuck with me so deeply, I decided to write it down for myself.
I will now share it with you.
“If we think defeat,
That is what we will get.
If we are undecided,
Then nothing will happen to us.
We must pick something great to do
And do it.
Never think of failure at all.
For as we think now,
That is what we get. “
-Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
This poem came to me in a time in my life where I have tons of drive, but not a lot of direction. I am bursting with passion, ideas, and inspiration, but have no direct outlet in which to channel them.
But I have seen, now more than ever, in my life that once you make a decision to move forward, life will provide you with every opportunity to shine. It doesn’t matter the direction, or if the path you chose is well visualized; a deep urge, or simply a location you’ve always felt drawn to is enough.
Just make a choice.
Give yourself a deadline.
If you move forward, life will work with you, instead of against you. If you remain undecided, life will happen around you, and the years will pass by like an afternoon.
In order to ‘live your best life’, you must live it.
There is no ‘faking it ’till you make it,’ with ‘living your best life.’
I took a psychology class in college. It was a Psych 101 class, and there were about 70 students and only one teacher, so I’m not trying to say that I’m a psych expert (that would be my mother).
I remember one particular class that really made an impact on me, however. It was the day my professor discussed the idea of the “ideal self,” the “perceived self,” and the “real self”.
The “real self,” is who I am, the “ideal self,” is who I want to be, and the “perceived self,” is what I believe others think of me -but we are going to discuss ‘perceived self’ in another blog post.
Basically, studies show that the farther apart people feel their ‘real self’ is from their ‘ideal self’; the higher likelihood of depression, anxiety, and stress.
The harder people work to align their ‘real self’ and their ‘ideal self,’ the happier they become.
‘Living your best life’ is a matter of serious dedication, work, and passion.
If for you, “living your best life means,” being able to do beautiful yoga positions, then you must actually do yoga. If to you, it means being healthy, then you need to stop eating pizza and fries every night and start eating more fruits and vegetables.
If there is a life that you want to live, live it.
- It’s not going to be easy. In fact, it’s incredibly difficult to start from the ground up and construct a whole new life.
- It’s going to take hard work, long hours, lots of working through self doubt.
- It’s going to require discipline; you will have to drink less alcohol, get more sleep, say no to long nights, wake up early, and probably start investing serious money into your dreams.
- It’s going to take a long time. Months, even years will pass by and you will still be working towards your goals. Don’t stop.
- No one is going to be able to tell you how to get there. There is no one who knows what you want, better than you. Follow your own compass.
- It’s going to require a lot of listening to yourself, believing in yourself, and moving forward despite the countless mistakes your are going to make.
But most of all, in order to “live your best life,” you need to live it today.
Not tomorrow, or next month, or when the next season rolls around.
Start today, and keep working on it tomorrow. Months from now, you’ll be glad you did.
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4 thoughts on “The secret behind ‘living your best life,’”
Some very wise words here.
Your essay contains a fair amount of humanistic psychology, perhaps acquired though latent learning. Writing a self-help book may be in your future. It is a gift to inspire others in the direction of self-actualization. Keep thinking deep thoughts.
It is so good to hear from you Richard! I have changed my email address, but please feel free to reach out via my new one! I hope you’re staying safe during these troubling times.
Your new music video on YouTube is a winner and I hope more are on the agenda. I don’t have your new email address but wanted to let you know that my new children’s book is now available on Amazon. It is titled “Barry Baskerville’s Christmas Mystery.” In fact, the book may inspire you to write your own children’s book dealing with sustainability and the environment. Characters could include Sally Solar and Willy Wind.
Yes, the pandemic is a pain – literally. Stay well and keep writing.