When I was in high school, I realized that if I wanted to live a great life, all I needed to do was to string together 40,000 cool fun things. Simple, right? I know, not exactly simple. There are ups and downs, highs and lows, and everything in between. There is always the unexpected that happens in life, but you do have the power to create something beyond your wildest dreams and a life that you’ll be proud of.
Stop for a second and think about your life. Are you happy with it? It’s been an art and a passion of mine for many years, to create a life I’m so happy with that I could die any day. Obviously, I don’t want that to happen, I have a wife, a beautiful new baby, a family I love and a job that never really seems like one. Living my life to the fullest has always been part of my plan, even though the cards were stacked against me.
The short story is that I come from a lower middle class family. My mom was a prescription drug addict and my dad an alcoholic and compulsive gambler. I’m not going to belabor you with all the horror stories, but I will say that I had to work my tail off to break the patterns that were so effortlessly handed down to me.
Regardless of where you are in your life, start thinking about what you like to do for fun. Think about what you enjoy doing. Think about what makes you feel so alive you could do it everyday and never get bored. There might be one thing, but most likely there will be many. And what you like today you may despise in 2 years from now, that’s perfect! The more you begin to find things that make you feel alive and confirm what you love, the more you’ll begin to discover other things you never thought you could reap benefits from. That’s when the magic begins to happen!
Is 40,000 too much? Not for me. I’m not keeping a list, though maybe I should. I do know that if you did 1 cool thing for 40,000 days you’d live about 109 years and 7 months. Not too shabby for a fulfilling life!
So here’s the 5 step plan:
Think about what you’re doing now. Take an inventory of sorts. Find at least 1 thing you enjoy doing. It can’t be that hard.
Find new things. You’re not going to like everything, that’s for sure. I’ve played tennis a bunch and while I do enjoy it, there are other activities I prefer much more. It doesn’t take much and it’s actually quite fun to try something new. Be okay as a beginner. No one was great as a beginner, but there is an innocence and a joy to trying things for the first time.
Mold your life around those things you enjoy. You must begin moving your chess pieces of life toward what you enjoy. I know, it seems so easy, yet we have so much suffering in the world. The best example comes from times I’ve visit developing nations. You really see children so happy with what they have, even though from our developed nation, that might seem like very little. That’s the point, right? You don’t need anything to be happy!
Don’t make excuses. Don’t let money, geography, accessibility, or creativity hold you back. Start with something as simple as, “I enjoy breathing fresh air first thing in the morning.” Then begin doing more of that and see how your life begins to change and expand.
Finally, you must stop and reflect. This is not a contest and the person who does more cool things doesn’t win. You win if you’re feel great. You win if you commit to making your life happy. If you’re able to develop these simple skills, I will almost guarantee that you will become happier and more fulfilled!
So don’t make this an achievement based exercise. It’s not about who has the most trophies or the most zeros in their bank account. It’s making a commitment to yourself to make everyday fulfilling. It’s not hard to do, it just takes a little effort. As always, I’m here for you when you need help. @teddymcdonald