The unexamined life may not be a picnic, but the examined life, at least, has a chance at improving. Normally, we wait until we are broken-hearted, lonely, financially vulnerable, trapped in an unrewarding job before we take a cold, hard look at our choices and where they’ve gotten us. We’ve all been there. We’ve all found ourselves living a life that isn’t fulfilling, one that feels empty or overwhelming. We wonder how everyone else seems to have love, success and fulfillment. But, we don’t have to wait until we hit bottom before we start moving back up.
Bad times force us to hold up an unforgiving mirror. At those times, you can give up and drown in your sorrows. You can get angry. You can wallow in pessimism. Or, you can make a new start, adopt a new outlook and find your happiness. You can put the joy back in your life. You can have the life you dreamt of as a child. Even better, you can choose to hold up that mirror BEFORE times get bad. Checking in with your life map to see if you’re on the right road can prevent undue loss and suffering.
Each of us is born with certain traits, gifts and abilities. All too often, we lose track of ourselves as we struggle through day to day life. There are so many distractions, responsibilities and demands on our time that we often forget about the gifts who define what you were meant to be. You are unhappy because you are on the wrong life path. If you find yourself lost, ready to give up, then it is time to find yourself.
The steps to evaluating your life and moving forward in a positive direction are actually quite simple. It is only a matter of reconnecting with the True Self inside us all, the one that’s been shoved onto a back shelf and neglected. To begin, sit down someplace comfortable with a pad of paper and number your page, 1 through 10. Let your mind wander. As you sit there, write down ten things you love to do that you haven’t been doing.
It’s not as easy as it sounds. Did you love to be outside before life’s responsibilities corralled you into a cubicle? Did you write stories for yourself, just for the pleasure of writing? Did you revel in your ability to throw a good dinner party? What made you happy?
Life, society, accidents and issues draw us away from our true selves, isolating us from the joy we are meant to experience. Writing this list will take you hours, days, even weeks to complete. It will change. You will cross things out to replace them with others. Eventually, you will have a list of ten aspects of yourself that you have been neglecting.
Now, you must evaluate your list and look for career choices, relationship criteria and lifestyle changes that need to be made, based on your list. Get out into the world and make the necessary changes to bring your list to life, to bring yourself back to life. As you begin to realize your list, you will find yourself happier, calmer, more satisfied and better rewarded for being the person you were created to become.