How to enjoy life in a way most people don’t

How to enjoy life in a way most people don't

Sep 30, 2020 · 4 min read

How to enjoy life in a way most people don't

Many of us assume that we need to make drastic changes to our habits, routines and/or bank balances to be happy. In reality, however, that’s not the case.

Often, we already have everything we need to enjoy life—it’s just a question of prioritizing what’s really important.

So, how to enjoy life in a way most people don’t?

Are simple ways you can enjoy your life more, starting today

Other people will always be on hand to offer up their opinions and advice. Ultimately, however, it’s we, and we alone, that have to live with the consequences of our decisions.

Making time to relax and reconnect with ourselves leaves us better equipped to deal with more challenging periods.

It’s all too easy to get sucked into public drama, online and offline. Trust that if something important happens, you’ll know about it. Otherwise, save yourself energy and spend your time on something more worthwhile.

Make time to nurture the positive relationships you have with friends and family. Identify the people who lift you up and focus your energy on them.

Community is one of the most important needs we have. Making a consistent effort to meet new people helps us fulfill that need and introduces us to new ideas and perspectives.

New places and cultures offer a different perspective on the world and add a healthy dose of inspiration and possibility to our lives.

Whenever you think of something you’d like to try, or a place you’d like to visit, write it down and keep a collection. It keeps the dream alive and stops it fizzling out as a forgotten thought.

Commit to trying a certain number of items from your wish list each year to make sure they don’t just stay as wishes.

Creating a routine of writing down three things we feel grateful for each day helps us focus more on what we’re grateful for in life. Starting a gratitude journal can help too.

It’s easy to get to the end of a day and wonder where all the time went, so track how you spend your time in an average week. When we’re conscious of how we’re spending our hours, we can make the most of the time we have on this planet.

We’ve never had so many opportunities to create a lifestyle that we truly love, yet many of us still live life on autopilot. Be deliberate in your life choices: remember that it’s your life and no-one else’s.

The more self-aware and self-accepting we are, the happier we are. Make time to read personal development books, journal, and focus on being compassionate towards yourself.

A key part of enjoying life is accepting that we’re not going to feel 100% happy 100% of the time. During the more challenging times, remember that life is one big cycle of ups and downs, and remember that all feelings pass.

In a goal-obsessed society, it’s easy to bounce from one milestone to the next without savoring our successes. Make time to celebrate your wins—no matter how small, and focus on enjoying the journey rather than the destination.

Many of us find it challenging to enjoy a calm, “normal” life. Give yourself permission to enjoy a drama-free existence and focus on finding pleasure in your daily experiences..

Noticing how we feel and what’s around us right now is an effective way of getting out of our heads, detaching from our worries, and returning to the experience of what it’s truly like to be alive: Meditation Can Change Your Life:

Feel the wind on your face, the sun on your skin, and enjoy a good dose of Vitamin D and fresh air.

When we hold back our thoughts, opinions, and desires out of fear of displeasing others, we’re not being true to ourselves. Speak up and feel uncomfortable in the short-term and you’ll enjoy life more in the long-term.

Take photos, journal, draw—whatever you need to do to record happy moments and memories.

Exercises releases endorphins, natural pain-relieving and stress-busting chemicals.

Find enjoyment through a sense of purpose and make time to explore subjects that interest you. After all, you never know where your interest might lead!

When we can feel compassion for ourselves and compassion for others, even difficult situations become rewarding and, ultimately, more enjoyable.

Spending time on activities that make a difference to others, through pursuits like volunteering, helps instill a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives. Even though some of the activities might not be that enjoyable or exciting, the simple act of giving back is a reward in itself.

Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans .

#Spread Love and positive vibes.

Go see all the beauty in the world. Learn. Grow. Discover .

Many of us assume that we need to make drastic changes to our habits, routines and/or bank balances to be happy. In reality, however, that’s not the case.

Often, we already have everything we need to enjoy life—it’s just a question of prioritizing what’s really important.

So, how to enjoy life in a way most people don’t?

Here are 25 simple ways you can enjoy your life more, starting today:

1. Focus on Yourself
Other people will always be on hand to offer up their opinions and advice. Ultimately, however, it’s we, and we alone, that have to live with the consequences of our decisions.

2. Make Time to Relax
Making time to relax and reconnect with ourselves leaves us better equipped to deal with more challenging periods.

3. Avoid the News
It’s all too easy to get sucked into public drama, online and offline. Trust that if something important happens, you’ll know about it. Otherwise, save yourself energy and spend your time on something more worthwhile.

4. Nurture Your Positive Relationships
Make time to nurture the positive relationships you have with friends and family. Identify the people who lift you up and focus your energy on them.

5. Meet New People
Community is one of the most important needs we have. Making a consistent effort to meet new people helps us fulfill that need and introduces us to new ideas and perspectives.

6. Explore New Places
New places and cultures offer a different perspective on the world and add a healthy dose of inspiration and possibility to our lives.

7. Keep a Wish List
Whenever you think of something you’d like to try, or a place you’d like to visit, write it down and keep a collection. It keeps the dream alive and stops it fizzling out as a forgotten thought.

8. Try New Things
Commit to trying a certain number of items from your wish list each year to make sure they don’t just stay as wishes.

9. Spend Money on Experiences, Not Possessions
It’s experiences, not possessions, that create memories and meaning.

10. Cut down Your Junk
Physical clutter equals mental clutter. And so, reducing the amount of stuff around us fosters a calmer mental state, too.

11. Make Time for Gratitude and Appreciation
Creating a routine of writing down three things we feel grateful for each day helps us focus more on what we’re grateful for in life. Starting a gratitude journal can help too.

12. Track How You’re Spending Your Time
It’s easy to get to the end of a day and wonder where all the time went, so track how you spend your time in an average week. When we’re conscious of how we’re spending our hours, we can make the most of the time we have on this planet.

13. Be Deliberate in Your Choices
We’ve never had so many opportunities to create a lifestyle that we truly love, yet many of us still live life on autopilot. Be deliberate in your life choices: remember that it’s your life and no-one else’s.

14. Invest in Yourself
The more self-aware and self-accepting we are, the happier we are. Make time to read personal development books, journal, and focus on being compassionate towards yourself. Here’re also 3 Valuable Ways to Invest in Yourself

15. Remember That All Feelings Pass
A key part of enjoying life is accepting that we’re not going to feel 100% happy 100% of the time. During the more challenging times, remember that life is one big cycle of ups and downs, and remember that all feelings pass.

16. Celebrate Small Wins
In a goal-obsessed society, it’s easy to bounce from one milestone to the next without savoring our successes. Make time to celebrate your wins—no matter how small, and focus on enjoying the journey rather than the destination.

17. Allow Yourself to Feel Happy
Many of us find it challenging to enjoy a calm, “normal” life. Give yourself permission to enjoy a drama-free existence and focus on finding pleasure in your daily experiences.

18. Practice Mindfulness
Noticing how we feel and what’s around us right now is an effective way of getting out of our heads, detaching from our worries, and returning to the experience of what it’s truly like to be alive. Get inspired by this article about mindfulness: Meditation Can Change Your Life: The Power of Mindfulness

19. Get Outside
Feel the wind on your face, the sun on your skin, and enjoy a good dose of Vitamin D and fresh air.

20. Speak Your Mind
When we hold back our thoughts, opinions, and desires out of fear of displeasing others, we’re not being true to ourselves. Speak up and feel uncomfortable in the short-term and you’ll enjoy life more in the long-term.

21. Record Happy Moments
Take photos, journal, draw—whatever you need to do to record happy moments and memories.

22. Get Active
Exercises releases endorphins, natural pain-relieving and stress-busting chemicals.

23. Keep Learning
Find enjoyment through a sense of purpose and make time to explore subjects that interest you. After all, you never know where your interest might lead!

24. Practice Compassion
When we can feel compassion for ourselves and compassion for others, even difficult situations become rewarding and, ultimately, more enjoyable.

25. Give Back
Spending time on activities that make a difference to others, through pursuits like volunteering, helps instill a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives. Even though some of the activities might not be that enjoyable or exciting, the simple act of giving back is a reward in itself.

The key to enjoying the present lies in controlling our attention.

According to Nichiren Buddhism, the reason we’re all here is to enjoy ourselves, to be “happy and at ease.” Though this may sound like a license for lasciviousness and hedonism, in reality it’s far from it: Enjoying ourselves, as most of us know from experience, is far harder than it sounds. To develop lives in which we can freely enjoy each moment requires far more work—far more self-development—than many would believe. Just what, then, does it actually take?

Freedom From Worry

If we’re constantly worrying about the future, how can we possibly enjoy the present? The answer is we can’t. How, then, can we free ourselves from worry? Unfortunately, that answer is a bit more complicated.

First, people whose lives are filled to the brim with anxiety—who seem to feel it for no clear reason or for reasons that most others don’t—may very well be suffering from a full-blown anxiety disorder, one that may require professional treatment, whether therapy, medication, or both. Luckily, however, this group actually constitutes the minority of people: it turns out the majority of us don’t spend the majority of our lives awash in worry. But the majority of us do experience spikes of anxiety when thinking about certain aspects of the future that can easily obstruct our ability to enjoy the present. Part of the problem, according to psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow, is that to be fully immersed in the present moment is to be not thinking at all—only experiencing. But Homo sapiens, we now know, evolved to think—and not just about anything, but specifically about the future (being able to think about the future and plan for it provides us an almost unparalleled survival advantage). To learn to enjoy ourselves, then, we don’t want to stop thinking entirely and live only in the moment but rather to think about the future only when it serves us to do so, not when it doesn’t. But how can we learn to do that?

The Ability to Consciously Direct Our Attention

Our brains are machines in perpetual motion. We don’t ever really stop thinking, even when we’re fully immersed in the present moment. But whether or not we’re experiencing flow depends on whether we’re attending to our thoughts about the present moment or to the experience of that moment. (The “I” that can choose between attending to our thoughts and our experience is separate from both.) That is, we can’t really stop ourselves from having thoughts, but we can stop ourselves from paying attention to those thoughts.

The best way to stop paying attention to thoughts that generate anxiety, however, isn’t by forcibly trying to resist them (studies show this quite reliably and paradoxically magnifies them). Rather, we need to distract ourselves from them. How? With other thoughts that are equally, if not more, attractive. Ideally, whatever activity in which we’re engaging in the present would be distracting enough, but this is clearly often not the case. If we’re repeatedly being distracted by an obsession with a future event or situation that consistently draws out attention away from the present moment, we need to find an alternative thought that distracts us away from that obsession. The alternative thought needs to be both pleasurable and non-anxiety producing. And we can’t just go searching for it when obsessive worry suddenly appears. We need to have it ready. In the same way in the movie Hook that Robin Williams’ grown-up Peter Pan found his best “happy thought”—the one that enabled him to remember how to fly—in a thought about his son, we need to have our own “happy thoughts” at the ready to pull us away from obsessive rumination about the future so that we can enjoy the present.

Freedom From Distraction

Though we needn’t experience full-blown flow to be able to enjoy the present moment, enjoying the present moment paradoxically also requires freedom from the “happy thoughts” we use to pull ourselves away from worry about the future. For though we clearly can use the tool of distraction to our advantage to stop ruminating about the future, most of the time we become distracted unconsciously, out of habit. That is, interesting and attractive (or painful) thoughts continually occur to us and draw our attention without our realizing it. But just as we would train ourselves to stop biting our nails by noticing when we do and making ourselves stop, we only need to consciously recognize we’ve been distracted from experiencing the present moment to return our attention to it. Of course, if part of us is consciously on the lookout for moments in which we become distracted, that part of us will also retard our ability to become fully immersed in and thus enjoy the present moment. Perhaps the best way out of this paradox is to spend just some of our time learning to recognize when our attention has been pulled away from the present moment and to practice gently returning it—because the more we practice this, the more likely we’ll be able to do so out of habit without having to consciously monitor ourselves to see if it’s happened.

Enjoying our present moments may seem like something that should happen naturally and require no effort, but in fact it’s often quite difficult. People who meditate know that practice focusing on the present can improve the ability to do it—as well that it’s practice worth doing. Though much joy can be had in contemplating our future, too much rumination about it can compromise our ability to enjoy the life we actually live.

My new book, The Undefeated Mind: On the Science of Constructing an Indestructible Self, is available on Amazon.

Conquer social pressure, or it will conquer you.

How to enjoy life in a way most people don't

Do you sometimes feel like you don’t love your life? Like, deep inside, something is missing?

That’s because we are living someone else’s life. We allowed other people to influence or determine our choices—we are trying to please their expectations.

Social pressure is deceiving—we all become prey without noticing it. Before we realize we lost control of our lives, we end up envying how other people live. We can only see the greener grass—ours is never good enough.

To regain that passion for the life you want, you must recover ownership of your choices.

The Illusion of Others

You are not alone. Expectations are hard to overcome. With my experience coaching executives and their teams, I’m used to dealing with expectations—everyone is susceptible to the illusion of others.

Pleasing others is like chasing a moving target. People will have multiple hopes for you. Social pressure fluctuates—others’ expectations will continually change.

By trying to please everyone, we end up pleasing no one—ourselves included. Expectations are an illusion. That’s why most people don’t live the life they want. They feel frustrated and disappointed.

When we expect, we stop accepting reality. Anticipation is annoying—even when things go as expected, you can’t enjoy unsurprising events. Even when we get what we wished for, we can’t be happy either. That’s the problem with anticipation—we fall in love with the expectations. If what we anticipated doesn’t come true, life seems unfair. If it does, the lack of surprise makes the actual experience less exciting.

The same thing happens with people. They get frustrated when you don’t behave as they expect. That’s key to understand—it’s their problem, not yours.

Why People Expect You to Be Different

“Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

Many people bear resentment when the outcome of an event is less than they imagined it would be, even if their expectation was based on unreasonable assumptions.

Frustration is the gap between what people expect from you and who you are.

To bridge that void, you must reframe your relationship with people’s expectations. Expectations create a social contract—it’s an implicit agreement between others and you. If you don’t push back, people will assume you are okay with it.

Speak up. Or people will continue invading you. If you don’t resist, not only do you legitimize the agreement, it becomes a social practice. Soon, you’ll start doing the same to others—when you let other people define your life, you want to prescribe theirs, too.

Not expecting things from others is the first step to preventing people from dictating how you live. Life is a two-way street—when you realize that no one owes you anything, you stop expecting people to owe you anything either.

No one knows yourself better than you do. No one but yourself can choose how you live.

Fall In Love With Your Life (Again)

1. Put on your oxygen mask first.

The first step to getting rid of expectations is to treat yourself kindly. To take care of others, you have to put on your oxygen mask first—you can’t truly love other people if you don’t love yourself first. Accepting ourselves fully (flaws included) is the foundation for a long-term friendship. When we accept who we are, there’s no room for other’s expectations.

Being self-compassionate is like fresh oxygen to your mind.

Research by Kristin Neff shows that compassionate acts towards ourselves release the “feel-good” hormones. Increased levels of oxytocin make us feel comforted, calm, and connected.

2. Adjust the way you think.

You cannot control what others think about you, but you can choose how you talk to yourself. Your inner-talk can help or harm you, as I wrote here. Learn to choose your words wisely. Your expectations can put you in a box—you are the only one who can set yourself free.

You are the best person you can talk to.

Pay attention to your inner-dialogue—are you being kind to yourself or adding more pressure? Does your conversation focus on who you are and what you want to be? Or is it full of expectations of who you should be? Your dialogue should be yours, not shaped by other people’s thoughts.

3. Speak up.

People need limits—some because they are acting without noticing, others because they tend to impose their desires. Speak up. Don’t let them dictate who you are and what you should do.

People will assume the social contract is active unless you explicitly break it.

Learn to draw a line. You don’t need to be harsh, though. Just let others know when they are out of bounds—not everyone realizes when they are trying to define how you live.

4. Free yourself and free others.

When you remove your own preconceptions and expectations, you can do the same for others. Living the life you love is liberating—you don’t feel the pressure to please others. Similarly, you won’t need to impose your will on others either.

When you take ownership of your life, other people feel empowered to follow suit.

Expectations are an illusion—they add useless pressure to everyone. Let’s recover the joy of living. Remember when you were a kid. You probably didn’t have time for expectations—you were busy enjoying life one minute at a time.

5. Stop judging, stop expecting.

Expectations derive from being judgmental—when someone can’t accept how you behave, they expect you to change. By learning to be more compassionate toward yourself, not only will you ease your own expectations, but you also won’t feel the need to judge others.

Life is not perfect—removing expectations will let you appreciate your life as is.

Judgment adds frustration and negativity—perfectionists are never happy. When you let go of expectations, you create space to enjoy the here and now. Your life is not what should happen, but what is actually happening as you read these words.

Learning to accept reality is hard, but it’s a significant step towards finding calm and peace. Removing expectations doesn’t mean lowering your bar, but rather letting go of the unnecessary pressure. Only when we are relaxed can we give our best.

Any moment is a turning point if you decide to make the most of it. You are in charge. Love your life. Accept the worst and hope for the best.

You know how you’re always talking about how you hate everyone? The thing is, the older you get, the more real this is.

True story: I don’t really have friends anymore. I’m super close with my family; my siblings and two of my cousins are my best friends. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you may be wondering why the older you get, the more you hate everyone (or, rather, why more people get on your nerves). I’m here to tell you a personal tale.

I used to have a ton of friends. I confided important things in a couple of people I considered to be my best friends. I felt like they knew my soul through and through; they could see me; they would never go anywhere. In my mind, I thought they would be in my wedding party, we’d have kids around the same time, and we’d raise our kids as best friends.

But as time went on, I graduated from school and got a “real job.” I matured, grew up, and things changed. All of those friendships I thought I couldn’t live without fizzled out.

I want to make it clear that I in no way entirely blame other people for my lack of friends. I played a critical role in the deterioration of those friendships. But at first, I felt really horrible about the whole thing. I felt like I was putting in a lot more effort and giving a lot more of myself than I was getting back.

As soon as I stopped giving each relationship my all, the friendships started to decline. Neither of us put in the work to fix what was broken. Instead, we walked away.

That’s the thing about some people: They might walk in and out of your life. I’ve come to the conclusion that the older you get, the harder it is to make friends because you start to realize you’re done with drama and don’t have time for nonsense. And the most important takeaway of all is that it’s really OK, because this is your life to live.

The older you get, the less you’re willing to put up with.

When you’re young, you may have wanted to be friends with everyone. As you get more mature, the less you’re willing to deal with anything that’s not worth your time and energy. For me, if someone wants to be a shady, they have no place in my life. If someone isn’t going to put the work in to make our friendship sustainable, it can feel disappointing, but I don’t have time for the nonsense anymore. If that means losing friends I had and not making any new ones, I’d rather spend my time alone than with someone who makes me feel alone.

The older you get, you might not care about making new friends.

I’ve gotten to the point in my life where making new friends isn’t even on my list of priorities. I’m still a friendly person. I chat it up with people and I hang out with people, but I don’t really let them in. I don’t tell them secrets. I don’t become vulnerable.

I’m past the point of making a new best friend. I have my family, and I’m completely OK with that. When you get to a certain age, making new friends stops being something that’s on the top of your to-do list.

The older you get, you may be less trusting of people.

When you’re a kid, you may expect people have your best interest at heart. You trust them with your whole heart. When you grow up more, you learn that people can disappoint and hurt you. It was astonishing to see so many close friends walk away, but luckily, that made walking away myself much simpler. I toughened up because I had to.

The older you get, the less you choose to put anyone before yourself.

I’ve learned that when you put yourself first, that’s when things really change for the better. A switch flips somewhere along the road between early adulthood and real adulthood.

You start doing things to please yourself rather than other people. The older you get, the less you stop looking for a ride-or-die friend. Instead, you start improving yourself. Friends may walk in and out of your life, but you will never leave you.

This post was originally published on Mar. 15, 2016. It was updated on Aug. 29, 2019.

How to enjoy life in a way most people don't

According to Hollywood rom-coms, you should want to get hot and heavy with your partner every chance you get. But for some women, sex isn’t all that.

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There are many reasons you might not be into it, says women’s health specialist Pelin Batur, MD. Intercourse might hurt. You might have trouble reaching a climax. Or your libido might be taking an extended slumber.

Whatever the reason, you don’t have to grin and bear it. “Your sexual health is important, and you should know you have options,” Dr. Batur says.

Up-and-down sex drives

Sex drives exist on a spectrum from “More, please,” to “Meh.” And your own sex drive is likely to cycle up and down, depending on factors like hormones, stress, relationship issues, and whether you’re dating someone new or climbing into bed with your partner of 20 years.

“Sex drives have a gas pedal and a brake pedal, and the speed is going to vary throughout your life,” Dr. Batur says.

If you’re happy with the quality and quantity of your sex life, stop right there. You don’t need to get more action unless you want to. But if you want to? Here are some common problems that might be holding you back.

1. Stress

Stress can do a number on your libido, Dr. Batur says. If you’re being pulled in a million directions — or if a global pandemic has cranked your stress level to 10 — it’s no wonder a roll in the sheets isn’t at the top of your to-do list.

“Ask yourself how vacation sex would be,” she says. “If your sex life is great on vacation, then it’s probably stress, rather than a medical problem.” Finding ways to de-stress can help your sex life bounce back.

2. Pain

“Pain during sex is like a flashing neon sign telling you something’s wrong,” Dr. Batur says. Common causes of painful sex include:

  • Pelvic floor dysfunction: This common condition occurs when muscles in the base of the pelvis don’t relax normally. Women with pelvic dysfunction often have painful intercourse. Physical therapy and biofeedback treatment can help correct the problem.
  • Hormonal changes: Changing levels of estrogen and testosterone can lead to painful sex. Women who are breastfeeding or entering menopause may have hormonal changes that cause vaginal dryness and a burning sensation with intercourse. In some cases, hormonal treatments can correct the problem. A good lube can also come in handy.
  • Other medical causes: There are other possible causes of vaginal pain, including infections and endometriosis. “Depending on the problem, you might want to see a certified menopause specialist or a specialist in sexual health to get to the bottom of it,” Dr. Batur says.

3. Psychological causes

“Underlying anxiety or depression can get in the way of your sex drive,” Dr. Batur notes. Issues such as relationship troubles or a history of sexual trauma can also affect your interest in physical intimacy.

In such cases, a mental health professional can help you work through the underlying difficulties.

4. Low libido

Sometimes, a sluggish sex drive is a matter of mindset. “A lot of women have what’s known as responsive desire — you might not be that interested in initiating sex, but once you get into it, you realize, ‘Hey, this is fun,’” Dr. Batur says. “Sometimes, you just need to go with the flow and let your brain catch up.”

But sometimes, it’s not enough to fake it till you make it. Some women have a low sex drive in the absence of any other underlying problem. This is called hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). Another term that’s used is female sexual interest/arousal disorder. Your doctor can prescribe medications that can help put you in the mood.

5. Trouble with arousal and orgasm

If sex just doesn’t feel great, start with a refresher course in sex ed, Dr. Batur explains. “Lots of women think they should be able to climax with intercourse, but many — maybe even most — women need external stimulation to reach orgasm.”

Try shaking things up or adding some toys to your routine. Dr. Batur explains, “Lots of women bring vibrators into the bedroom. There’s no shame in that game.”

If that doesn’t work, there are treatments to help increase arousal, including prescription medications, hormones, and topical oils and creams.

Sexual health: Talk to your doctor

Low libido, arousal problems and painful sex are all-too-common problems. It might feel awkward to bring it up with your doctor, but she won’t even flinch, Dr. Batur says. “It may be a sensitive subject for you, but your Ob/Gyn or women’s health specialist has probably talked to four other women about it just this morning,” she adds.

Don’t expect to solve the problem in a few minutes during your annual exam, though. You might need to schedule a dedicated appointment to discuss your sexual health history and figure out the problem. Depending on the issue, your doctor may refer you to a specialist. But any initial awkwardness will be worth the effort, Dr. Batur says. “Sex is an important part of your life, and you deserve good sexual health.”

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Overconsumption is the norm — and so is dissatisfaction

How to enjoy life in a way most people don't

Jun 28, 2017 · 5 min read

How to enjoy life in a way most people don't

Shop Owner: Sorry, mister, but I’m afraid that’s all [your money] will buy ya.

Shoryu: Excuse me. Have some of mine.

Shoryu: I insist the true joy of sake comes only when one is slightly tipsy. But I’ve had a little too much to drink tonight. Go ahead.

The above is a simple representation of the two types of people in the world.

Those who know how to truly enjoy life, and those who turn a good thing into a bad thing by overindulgence.

I was speaking with a friend of mine this morning, and we were discussing whether or not, if given the choice, we would spend all our days watching TV, playing video games, and relaxing.

That’s the common consensus, right? That’s the goal: to be so rich, you can finally relax all day in front of the TV.

No more job. No more hard work. No more obligations or responsibilities.

The rabid desire for this lifestyle is part of why trying to win the lottery is still so popular. This is an integral core of the mass-driven definition of success: money, fame, and the ability to sip mojitos on a white, sandy beach all day.

But this overindulged relaxation isn’t what life should be like.

“The goal of life is not to relax on the beach, sipping mojitos all day. The purpose is to find something you love that adds value to the world.”

Most people are too irresponsible to fully enjoy life and its pleasures.

One of the most important reasons why most people will never be successful is because they’re gluttons.

Most people take anything that gives pleasure — alcohol, drugs, sex, TV, sleeping in, watching TV, eating — and overdo it.

Through overindulgence, these gifts become a curse. What was meant to be enjoyed becomes harmful.

Most people think the benefits and positive feelings of pleasure will last despite overconsumption. The initial high must continue, despite consuming unhealthy amounts. Right?

In the iconic series The Twilight Zone, there’s an episode about a vain man who is obsessed with gaining money, gambling, and winning.

After a botched bank robbery, the man ends up in what he thinks is heaven. Everything is free — he can have all the money he wants. When he gambles, he always wins. Women flock to him in admiration.

But soon, the boredom of overconsumption begins to depress him. The man begs his guardian angel to take him away from heaven and go to “the other place” so he can actually experience a thrill.

His angel then informs him where he is isn’t heaven at all — it is “the other place.”

Most people sour good things into curses through overconsumption.

What was supposed to bring freedom actually becomes a prison.

“We need to learn to live ‘inside the box’ of our human limitations. The pleasure system is inside that box, and when we abuse it, when we over-stimulate it or tax it beyond its capabilities, we should not be surprised if we begin to have difficulty finding real joy in anything.” -Dr. Archibald Hart

The truth is, you are unable to derive pleasure and enjoyment if you overuse something meant to be experienced in moderation.

Watching an episode or two of your favorite show is fun and relaxing. But most people mistakenly think this feeling will last over ten episodes in one sitting. “ Wow, this feels great — imagine what watching 4 hours of TV will feel like!”

A little bit of social media is a great way to connect with friends and loved ones. But extended overuse of it can result in anxiety, depression, and self-loathing.

Studies show that drinking 2–3 drinks is about as much as someone can while still increasing their energy and thrill.

But people mistakenly think that simply drinking more = more enjoyment.

After your 2–3rd drink, alcohol begins to depress your system — you become slower, more lethargic, and tired. What at first energized you leaves you drained and depressed.

This is true for almost every pleasure in life:

What is good at first becomes bad through overconsumption.

Most people aren’t responsible enough to fully enjoy life. This requires discipline, moderation, and personal responsibility — rare traits in today’s world.

This is one of the key reasons why so many people experience sadness, depression, anxiety, and emptiness on a daily basis. They may blame these uncomfortable feelings on external factors, but overindulgence of good things becomes sour.

To quote the age-old adage:

You know the rest.

Most people are too irresponsible to enjoy the pleasures in life because they overdo it.

Overconsumption is the norm.

“Bingeing” (on anything — alcohol, TV, food, etc.) is common. Moderation and discipline are outcast as archaic, unpopular behaviors reserved for monks in faraway countries.

But just as overdoing these pleasures is the norm, so is the result — depression, anxiety, dissatisfaction, and emptiness.

All the things that make life wonderful and connect us with each other are best used in moderation. That is the “sweet spot.” Overdoing it just causes pain and a desire to numb more.

A life of relaxation and watching TV all day might be some people’s definition of success, but that life is unfulfilling and empty.

It is actually the struggle — to practice discipline, to become a better version of yourself, to serve others — that is what defines fulfillment and success.

Don’t fall for the trap. Don’t just go along with how everyone else behaves.

Instead, experience true fulfillment and joy through operating under the rules everyone else just ignores — moderation, discipline, and acting rightly.

If you want to become extraordinary and become 10x more effective than you were before, check out my checklist.

How to enjoy life in a way most people don't

Many of us struggle with finding happiness in the day-to-day. We get up, go to work, and go to bed, and assume we’d be happier “if only” certain things were different. But the truth is there are ways to enjoy your life more, and all it requires is a change in perspective and a few adjustments to your routine.

And if you have trouble seeing the positives around you, you’re absolutely not alone. According to a study feature in Psychology Today, our brains actually have a negative-bias. This bias — the thing that causes us to worry, fear the worst, or focus on the bad — is actually what helped keep us alive as a species, since worrying about potential threats helped our ancestors survive.

So don’t get too down on yourself if you feel as though you have a tendency to focus on the negative or don’t always appreciate the good things in life. We’re all guilty of it to some degree. And the good news is there are effective ways to alter how we see the world around us and enjoy our lives more. We just have to be willing to really work on it.

If you’re looking for ways to enjoy life more and are striving for a more positive attitude overall, here are 11 tips that should help you retrain your brain to see the happy.

1. Take Discovery Walks

In a piece for Tiny Buddha, lifestyle and happiness writer Izmael Arkin highly recommended taking what he calls “discovery walks” a couple times a week. “It is important to remember that there is always something new to be discovered in our everyday environments. Go on a walk and commit to finding 10 new interesting things,” Arkin wrote.

2. Take A New Class

Arkin also recommended signing up for a class in something you’re interested or curious about. “Push yourself to try new activities, even if you think they aren’t for you,” he wrote, noting that he recently took a Japanese tea-making class where he connected with people he normally would have never even met.

3. Seek Out Laughter

In a piece for MindBodyGreen.com, yoga instructor Dani Marie Robinson noted the importance of seeking out laughter in your day, whether it be texting a friend who makes you laugh, or even just checking out your favorite comedian on YouTube. “It’s impossible to feel the crippling burden of negative emotions while engrossed in laughter,” Robinson wrote. “It gives the mind and body a much needed reset and forces us into the moment. It is uplifting, energizing and oddly calming at the same time.”

4. Hug Someone

Robinson also sited studies that show a long embrace boosts oxytocin in our brains, meaning they genuinely have the power to elevate our moods. So if you’re ever feeling a little down, don’t be afraid to get a little TLC and hug somebody close to you.

5. Quit Comparing Yourself To Others

In a piece for Forbes, former journalist and behavioral expert Kare Anderson stressed that we should avoid comparing ourselves to others whenever possible. “As soon as you notice that you are feeling “less than” or “better than” others step back a moment emotionally. Save yourself from the twin pangs of torment,” Anderson wrote.

6. Say No To More Things

This is a personal tip, and it goes a little against the usual advise of “always say yes!” I have always found that one of the fastest ways to feel weighed down and unhappy is by over-committing ourselves and letting too much pile up on our plate. Pretty soon we’re a big ball of stress going from one obligation to the next, without any time to actually look around and smell the flowers. If you’re feeling over-extended, try taking one or two things off your agenda, or say no to the next thing that comes your way in favor of a little decompression time. I promise your mood will improve.

7. Schedule Self-Indulgence Time

This is another personal tip that goes hand-in-hand with the last one. If you’re a hyper-busy person, schedule in some down time for yourself! Whether it be the gym, drinks with friends, or just vegging out and binge watching some TV, make sure you’re scheduling in time for your own enjoyment, whatever that may be.

8. Phone A Friend

A study featured on Science Daily out of the University of Michigan found that while time spent on social media, like Facebook and Twitter, generally made study participants less happy, talking to a friend on the phone made them more happy. So close that laptop and pick up the phone!

9. Listen To Upbeat Music

According to a study featured in the Journal of Positive Psychology, research has shown that listening to upbeat music can genuinely make us happier. However, the study’s author notes that we shouldn’t start listening with the mentality of “am I happy yet?” and instead just let the experience take its course.

10. Get More Sleep

According to Harvard Medical School, there is a strong link between sleep and mood, but it probably doesn’t take a scientific study to tell you that it can be extremely difficult to feel good when you’re sleep deprived. I personally find it that my coping mechanisms go out the window after several days of minimal sleep, and always feel like an entirely new person once I’ve given my body the rest it needs.

11. Get A Plant

A study featured in The Guardian found that employees were generally happier and 15 percent more productive when there were plants in their work space. So take a cue from the study and add some green to your life! It’s a super small change that could make a noticeable difference.

There’s no secret formula to enjoying life. It’s often just about recognizing what’s making us unhappy and making moves to change it. So incorporate some or all of the above tips and embrace the good that follows!

Overconsumption is the norm — and so is dissatisfaction

How to enjoy life in a way most people don't

Jun 28, 2017 · 5 min read

How to enjoy life in a way most people don't

Shop Owner: Sorry, mister, but I’m afraid that’s all [your money] will buy ya.

Shoryu: Excuse me. Have some of mine.

Shoryu: I insist the true joy of sake comes only when one is slightly tipsy. But I’ve had a little too much to drink tonight. Go ahead.

The above is a simple representation of the two types of people in the world.

Those who know how to truly enjoy life, and those who turn a good thing into a bad thing by overindulgence.

I was speaking with a friend of mine this morning, and we were discussing whether or not, if given the choice, we would spend all our days watching TV, playing video games, and relaxing.

That’s the common consensus, right? That’s the goal: to be so rich, you can finally relax all day in front of the TV.

No more job. No more hard work. No more obligations or responsibilities.

The rabid desire for this lifestyle is part of why trying to win the lottery is still so popular. This is an integral core of the mass-driven definition of success: money, fame, and the ability to sip mojitos on a white, sandy beach all day.

But this overindulged relaxation isn’t what life should be like.

“The goal of life is not to relax on the beach, sipping mojitos all day. The purpose is to find something you love that adds value to the world.”

Most people are too irresponsible to fully enjoy life and its pleasures.

One of the most important reasons why most people will never be successful is because they’re gluttons.

Most people take anything that gives pleasure — alcohol, drugs, sex, TV, sleeping in, watching TV, eating — and overdo it.

Through overindulgence, these gifts become a curse. What was meant to be enjoyed becomes harmful.

Most people think the benefits and positive feelings of pleasure will last despite overconsumption. The initial high must continue, despite consuming unhealthy amounts. Right?

In the iconic series The Twilight Zone, there’s an episode about a vain man who is obsessed with gaining money, gambling, and winning.

After a botched bank robbery, the man ends up in what he thinks is heaven. Everything is free — he can have all the money he wants. When he gambles, he always wins. Women flock to him in admiration.

But soon, the boredom of overconsumption begins to depress him. The man begs his guardian angel to take him away from heaven and go to “the other place” so he can actually experience a thrill.

His angel then informs him where he is isn’t heaven at all — it is “the other place.”

Most people sour good things into curses through overconsumption.

What was supposed to bring freedom actually becomes a prison.

“We need to learn to live ‘inside the box’ of our human limitations. The pleasure system is inside that box, and when we abuse it, when we over-stimulate it or tax it beyond its capabilities, we should not be surprised if we begin to have difficulty finding real joy in anything.” -Dr. Archibald Hart

The truth is, you are unable to derive pleasure and enjoyment if you overuse something meant to be experienced in moderation.

Watching an episode or two of your favorite show is fun and relaxing. But most people mistakenly think this feeling will last over ten episodes in one sitting. “ Wow, this feels great — imagine what watching 4 hours of TV will feel like!”

A little bit of social media is a great way to connect with friends and loved ones. But extended overuse of it can result in anxiety, depression, and self-loathing.

Studies show that drinking 2–3 drinks is about as much as someone can while still increasing their energy and thrill.

But people mistakenly think that simply drinking more = more enjoyment.

After your 2–3rd drink, alcohol begins to depress your system — you become slower, more lethargic, and tired. What at first energized you leaves you drained and depressed.

This is true for almost every pleasure in life:

What is good at first becomes bad through overconsumption.

Most people aren’t responsible enough to fully enjoy life. This requires discipline, moderation, and personal responsibility — rare traits in today’s world.

This is one of the key reasons why so many people experience sadness, depression, anxiety, and emptiness on a daily basis. They may blame these uncomfortable feelings on external factors, but overindulgence of good things becomes sour.

To quote the age-old adage:

You know the rest.

Most people are too irresponsible to enjoy the pleasures in life because they overdo it.

Overconsumption is the norm.

“Bingeing” (on anything — alcohol, TV, food, etc.) is common. Moderation and discipline are outcast as archaic, unpopular behaviors reserved for monks in faraway countries.

But just as overdoing these pleasures is the norm, so is the result — depression, anxiety, dissatisfaction, and emptiness.

All the things that make life wonderful and connect us with each other are best used in moderation. That is the “sweet spot.” Overdoing it just causes pain and a desire to numb more.

A life of relaxation and watching TV all day might be some people’s definition of success, but that life is unfulfilling and empty.

It is actually the struggle — to practice discipline, to become a better version of yourself, to serve others — that is what defines fulfillment and success.

Don’t fall for the trap. Don’t just go along with how everyone else behaves.

Instead, experience true fulfillment and joy through operating under the rules everyone else just ignores — moderation, discipline, and acting rightly.

If you want to become extraordinary and become 10x more effective than you were before, check out my checklist.