The Secret to a Content and Peaceful Life
Most of us live life in the fast lane. We fill up our days and compete to see who can get things done the fastest. Life is a journey – not a destination. Yet we seem to be obsessed about getting somewhere.
When we finally reach what we think is success, we say “I’ve arrived.” I’ve reached my goal. And then we realize that things aren’t very different from the way they were before.
We stress, we fret and we strive to reach our goals, forgetting that the destination is not what will bring us peace and contentment. We spend so much time reaching for “success” that we forget to do the things that we want to do; the things that make us happy.
Here’s the good news: Things don’t have to be this way. It is possible to live a simpler, more peaceful, more satisfying life. Here are some suggestions to steer you in the direction of a life of contentment.
Society has glorified the idea of being “busy.” If you’re not busy, you must be lazy or up to no good.
But when we fill our days up with things to do, we leave no time for relaxation. This leads to stress, sleep deprivation and a host of other issues.
Instead of packing your day, try narrowing your tasks down to just a few important ones. Give all of your attention and focus to these few things. Take your time. When you’re not in a rush, you do things the right way.
Do What’s Important
Take a step back and look at your commitments. Take a look at how you’re spending your time. What do you want to do with your life? What do you want to accomplish with your work? Who do you want to spend your time with?
Make a list of 3 things you want for your life, 3 things you want to accomplish with your work, and 3 people you want to spend your time with. Stay focused on these things and make them priorities.
Most of us take on so many commitments that it makes it difficult to focus on the things we want to do and are passionate about. Reexamine your commitments and see if there’s a way to trim these down.
Accept that you cannot possibly do everything on your own. That’s why our new aim is to focus on what’s most important.
Yes, it’s okay to rest. Avoid scheduling things back-to-back. Give yourself some time in between appointments and tasks.
If we don’t give ourselves that time cushion, we go through each day feeling stressed and rushed.
Things always take longer than planned. That’s the nature of life.
Allow yourself some time in between tasks and appointments to transition and take your time with each task.
Carry Out Tasks Slowly, Mindfully
Slow down. Enjoy what you’re doing. Be in the present. That’s what life is all about – not rushing from one thing to another.
- Eat slowly
- Drive slowly
- Walk slowly
- Live slowly
When we slow down, we give each task, each moment the attention it deserves. Suddenly, things become more enjoyable because we’re not just trying to rush through it just to get to the next one.
We tend to drive so fast that we don’t even see the world around us. We eat so fast, we don’t even taste our food.
Slow down, and enjoy the ride – or the feast.
Do One Thing at a Time
Multi-tasking does nothing to improve your productivity. In fact, it slows you down. We don’t mind taking it slow, but having to concentrate on multiple things at once will only cause more stress.
Do one thing at a time, and focus on doing it well.
Make Time for You
Create time for solitude; time where you can be alone. This time will allow you to let go of the stresses of the day.
You could spend this time sitting quietly, meditating, practicing yoga or just breathing. Do something you love. You will look forward to this time each day.
Give Yourself Permission to Do Nothing
A healthy and happy life is all about balance. When we talk about balance, we rarely think about the concept of doing nothing. Nothing is perceived as a negative way to spend your time.
But if we fill our lives with things to do and never truly have a rest (aside from sleep), we will find it hard to stay balanced mentally, emotionally and physically.