Every day we have the opportunity to be happy, make a difference, and live life to the fullest. It's really up to us to choose those things that make each day count. We all have a limited time to walk this earth, so how can we use it in a positive way that adds a little sunshine to this world? Here are some suggestions for how we can make each day worthwhile.
Being thankful for what we have, who we are, and all we do is the simple act of acknowledging all the good that's in our life. With our busy lives, we often forget to recognize our blessings. An attitude of gratitude shifts our focus away from our negative emotions, fears and daily irritations to thinking and feeling more positively. Sharing gratitude and appreciation with others is also a way to develop and enjoy meaningful and lasting relationships.
Everyone is creative. Time stands still when we get lost in the creative process, and like a mini-vacation, we find ourselves more relaxed and rejuvenated from the experience. We don't have to be a Picasso to be creative. There are so many ways to express creativity, including: music, planting flowers, art, fixing cars, writing or telling stories, etc. Allowing ourselves time to be creative gives us the opportunity to express ourselves with the activities we enjoy.
Beauty is everywhere! Outside in our backyard gardens, on our iPods with music that inspires us, in books with poetic phrases, and in the smiling faces of the people we love. When we make the intention to see beauty, we find it everywhere we look. One of the ways I like to enjoy beauty is taking a walk in my neighborhood and appreciating all the different plants, flowers and trees in my community. What's beautiful to you? Look for it, and you will find it.
Share a Little Kindness
Have you noticed how good it feels to offer someone a helping hand, sharing a smile with a complete stranger, or feeling like you said just the right words to make a friend feel better? These simple acts of kindness add richness and meaning to our lives as well as benefits to our physical and psychological health. Dr. Paul Pearsall wrote in his book, The Pleasure Prescription, "Modern research shows one of the most pleasurable of all human acts is also one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself and for others. Gentle, caring selflessness results in significant health benefits."
"The person who can bring laughter into a room is indeed blessed." -- Bennet Cerf
We all know how much joy laughter can bring, but it's also a gift to everyone around us. As children, we laughed with ease. As adults, we sometimes need reminders to let go and allow ourselves to be silly and see the humor in everyday situations. Laughter may also be good for our health. Some research shows that laughter may have even greater benefits beyond just tickling our funny bone, such as strengthening our immune system and reducing stress.
Learn Something New
Is there a subject you've always been curious about but feel like you don't have time to learn? Today, with the wealth of information available to us on the Web, we can discover and learn something new everyday! With an hour a week, we can easily surf the Internet to find out about that island we've always dreamed of visiting, go to the library to find books on Renaissance art, or rent that interesting documentary we heard about. You don't even have an hour? Check out "10 Sites to Learn Something New in 10 Minutes a Day," by Josh Catone.
As adults, we often forget the importance of making time to play. As human beings it's one the most natural forms of expression. Making time to play is a great way to connect with the child within us and find the joy in simple pleasures. It also helps us to use our imagination, inspire creative thinking and problem solving, which are all important tools we can use each day.
Do What You Love
Doing the things we love nourishes and inspires us. When we are passionate and engaged in the activities we love to do, we come alive, and we inspire others to do the same. For every person, the answer to what brings us joy will be unique. Whether we do what we love in our job, business or free time, making time to enjoy those things is what makes life more joyful and fulfilling.
Another way we can think about how to make each day count is to ask ourselves the questions, "If I only had a month left to live, what would I do?" and "Am I spending time doing what truly matters to me most?" We each have different things that are important to us, and engaging in those things we value the most will bring us more joy and happiness. When we choose to live a life we love, we will find ourselves in love with the life we're living.