To say that life is a rollercoaster is no understatement. Being alive involves riding the ups, downs, and curve-balls the universe throws at us. It is dynamic. It is fluid. It is equally terrifying and delightful. The best way to survive is to appreciate life.
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, think, enjoy, and love” (Marcus Aurelius)
What better time to be reminded of this than on 22 January – “Appreciation of Life Day”.
The Dos and Don’ts of Appreciating Life
To help get you started on appreciating more in your life, let’s examine the habits of those who have already mastered the art:
Those who appreciate life DON’T work in jobs they loathe. Considering that most of the world’s population will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime (over one third of their lives), your job had a profound impact on your quality of life. Choose wisely.
They DO choose the people they spend time with wisely. Keep people in your life that truly love you, motivate you, encourage you, inspire you, enhance you, and make you happy. If you share your time with people who do none of the above, let them go. And that includes who you choose to date.
They DO have their priorities in order because they recognise what’s important in life and what isn’t.
Those who appreciate life DON’T take the others for granted. While the ability to feel happier does not come from external circumstances, karma is a bitch! By treating others with respect, you are in turn showing your own worth to be treated respectfully.
They DON’T ever waste a single day. Not every day is super-productive, or sunshine and roses. However, every single day counts. Annie Dillard famously said, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
They DO look back occasionally, but they DON’T live in the past. Learning from past mistakes is an essential life tool. As is working towards a better future. The fact remains, though, that the point of power is in the present.
They DO remain curious, questioning the meaning of life and other fascinating questions.
They DO live both fast and slow. In other words, “Living fast and dying young sounds like fun. Until that last part. Living slow and meditating all day sounds peaceful. And boring. If you want to experience all that life has to offer then you have to live in both extremes, creating your very own balance.” (Paul Hudson)
Most importantly, those who appreciate life DO recognise the full worth of how amazing they are, that truly love themselves.
Simple Tips and Tricks to Use Now
Watch out for our upcoming posts on how to feel happier by appreciating the present moment. Here are a few small ways to help you appreciate yourself, your loved ones, and the world around you:
- Find beauty in the nature around you - a flower, leaf, twig, or fruit.
- Stop and pay attention. Are birds twittering? Hooters blasting? People chatting? Notice your world and the beauty that is right under your nose.
- Eat with intention. Put away your devices and pay complete attention to the tastes and textures of the food you are eating. Not only will you feel more relaxed, but you will improve your digestion too.
- Use deep breathing to slow down your thoughts, relax your nervous system, and become aware your own intuition.
If you are looking for a launchpad to an extraordinary year in 2018, look no further than Dux. Our reason for existing is to give you all the life support you need in order to thrive academically. Contact us today to get your ducks in a row.
“Dux dʌks noun
The top pupil in a school or class.”