An old family friend once told me, “dear, if you’re waiting until everything is perfect, you’re going to be waiting ’till your dead”. What he said really resonated with me, and I decided I wanted to make a better effort of being ok where I was, while also striving to be somewhere else in the future. I’m sure the end result for all of us will be beautiful, but chances are if we take the opportunity to enjoy it as it happens, the journey is going to be even more beautiful.
Take things day by day
My senior year of high school was one of the toughest years of my life. I had a lot of really heavy things thrown at me all at one time. When I would sit there and think to myself “I have alllll year at this school yet.” I would cringe at the thought. Instead I started thinking to myself, “I just need to get through today, do the best I can today and we can go from there”. I didn’t realize what a small re-frame of my thoughts could do. Honestly, the year was over before I knew it.
I am very good at looking at the big picture, which is a good skill set, but in all honesty when it comes to contentment, the easiest way to achieve it is to not look too far into the future and to realize that the best way to get where you want is by doing the best you can day by day.
Make daily rituals that you enjoy
Even if you’re on your way to some thing/place bigger and better, it’s important to make time for daily rituals that you enjoy right now. Even if they are stupid little things, if they lighten your mood, they are important. One of the things that really calms me down and brings me peace and contentment, is getting up early, sipping a cup of coffee, and reading my bible. Without fail, this always puts me in a grateful mood ready to take on the day, and grateful for the beautiful struggle that is life.
Realize this moment/situation/time, once it’s over, may never come back, and at some point you will probably miss it.
By my sophomore year in college I was completely over the college lifestyle. When I finally figured out what I wanted to do with my life, I just wanted to get on with it, get a job, and start my career. I remember so many nights calling my mom and telling her bored I was with school, and how I was so ready to be in the professional world.
I’ve been in that professional world for almost 4 years now. I’m married and have 2 (fur) children. I love my life so much now, but there are many times I think about how awesome those simple college days actually were! Being single and hanging with my girls, drinking and going out on a random Wednesday night, complaining about class and studying and papers and all that other stuff that at the time I was “soooo over”. It’s not possible to go back in time, and there’s a good chance you’re going to miss it when it’s gone. Do your best to enjoy it as it’s happening.
Have a support system
I used to be the kind of person who wanted to handle everything myself. Going to other people for help or guidance made me feel weak and needy. While it’s a noble idea that we can take on the world by ourselves, it’s incredibly unrealistic. Life is hard, and it’s not meant to be done alone. Do yourself a favor and let people in. Confide in people you trust, break down to people who will help build you back up and always tell them how important they are to you.
Get comfortable being uncomfortable
During my junior year of college I drove down to Nashville to take part in a huge job fair. The day before the job fair we had a panel of GM’s speak to us, give us advice, and open up the floor for any questions we had. One of the GMs was asked what his one most important piece of advice would be us. He chuckled a little to himself and then said, “get comfortable being uncomfortable.” As soon as the words left his mouth I thought: that’s genius. Life is about growth, and growth is about stepping outside of your comfort zone. You might not be where you want to be right now, but get comfortable in this stage, because your going to spend more of your life en route to your destination than you are actually at your destination.
Everyones faith system is different. Having faith in something is incredibly important. For me it’s my faith in Jesus Christ, his love for me, and my purpose to glorify him through how I live my life. Maybe for you it’s something similar, or maybe it’s karma, buddha, mother nature, etc,. Having faith in something that is bigger than ourselves will help keep all those little annoyances and daily struggles in check. Recognize that not everything is going to make perfect sense at the present moment and be ok with it.