At one point in my late teens I knew that it was time for me to grow up. I needed to become more serious, take on more responsibility and behave more mature.
In the beginning, adulthood felt exciting. I took on different tasks with enthusiasm as I viewed them as assignments that awarded me grown-up-points.
I remember being 18, smiling to myself at the bank while thinking, “here I am, taking care of my finances like an adult”. After moving to my own apartment I strolled to the grocery store in the spirit of “going shopping and filling the fridge like an adult”.
At one point however, things changed. I was no longer playing the role of an adult; I had become fully identified with being one.
I had become an adult who did things out of necessity, lived for the weekends and complained that vacations were too short. The spirit of play was lost and being an adult had become a serious business.
To put it simply:
Childhood was all about: play, play, play, disappointment over having to stop playing because an adult said so, sulk for a while, then play, play, play.
Adulthood is more like: work, work, work, chores, play, work, work, chores, play.
Growing up, adults like to give you advice on how to live life. What I have come to discover is that many of these advices are what is keeping us stuck in limiting beliefs about life and away from living life to the fullest.
Let me tell you what they are.
1. You need to focus on your future
The future. Something we invest a lot of time talking about. The future is this mysterious place in time that we keep aiming for, but never actually get to.
Why? Because it does not exist. If it would, someone would have found it by now, no?
When focusing on the future we forget the most important thing there is: the present. Life only happens in the present moment. Our focus should be on what makes us happy today, not in 10 years, while having a vision for where we want to be heading.
Think about your past, did you ever have to worry? Didn’t everything always work out in one-way or another?
Like the word itself indicates, the present is a precious gift that we are being given. Present-moment awareness is light-years more important for living a happy life, than planning for a future that never will arrive.
2. You need to stop playing
How good wasn’t life when it was all just play?
Yes, you might say. But then we couldn’t live like that, could we? If we were like kids, just playing all the times, how would we get anything done?
Let’s take a step back for a moment. If you think that kids aren’t doing anything ‘useful’, think about what they are creating. They make houses out of chairs and blankets; turn themselves into princesses and warriors with magical weapons.
Kids create out of inspired action. Take the inspiration away and a task becomes boring and dull.
I remember being a kid and ‘playing house’ with my friends. We would each take on a role in a family and together we would cook and do house chores.
It isn’t that different from cooking and doing house chores as an adult, but it’s far from the feeling I had when I was a kid.
Kids don’t have to play; they do it for the joy of doing it. It is a spontaneous process that happens by itself. There are no musts, orders or obligations involved.
Einstein said, “Play is the highest form of research”. When we play, we become fully present and intensely focused on the activity. This makes us to see the possibilities instead of obstacles.
3. You need to work hard
Don’t get me wrong here; I believe that if you want something in life you need to work for it. But, there is a difference in working for something when feeling inspired to do it and pushing yourself to achieve it.
When we push ourselves, we work in resistance. It’s like paddling a river upstream. Resistance is negative emotions, which is being introduced when we have desires but don’t believe we can achieve them.
When we believe that the only way to reach our desires is by hard work and struggle, we tied our happiness to what we want to accomplish. Our happiness then becomes conditional.
So what do you do? Let go of the oars of the boat. Enjoy the rid and let yourself be guided towards inspired action.
You are here to be fully engaged in the present moment, follow what gets you excited and allow life to unfold in ways you never even could have imagined. This is when we let life come into our lives.
Like this Article? Subscribe to Our Feed!
Author: Maria Stenvinkel
A while back, my sister and I decided to re-arrange our lives to make happiness our number one priority in life. Get our free read “7 Life Changing Insights” here http://totakealeap.com/insights