It seems only fitting that with the start of the new year, we revisit the concept of living a joyful and strategic life. Yes, I know that is a touchy-feely concept but bear with me, for no matter how many tasks you add to your list of things to do if those things don’t bring peace, comfort, and happiness into your life, why bother?
Before sharing these eight steps, let me just say that no matter where you happen to be in life, living joyfully should be your goal. Yes, we all have chores that are distasteful and bills to pay. In addition, we have people in our lives who are going to be negative and try to bring us down to their level. The moment is now to step back and clear the slate. If you are doing something regularly and you simply hate it, start doing something else instead. The same applies to toxic relationships.
Life is too short not to be happy.
How to Live a Joyful and Strategic Life
1. Find inspiration and meaning in something, anything.
Whether it is a favorite hobby, a special meal, or just quiet time alone, find inspiration and meaning in something you do each and every day. Feed your soul with something you are passionate about and tell yourself you are worth it.
2. Make wellness a priority.
The concept of wellness covers so much more than good health. It includes intellectual stimulation, movement, and activity. Get out those puzzles, take a stroll or a hike with your favorite partner or pet, and stay busy. Couple that with eating real food and perhaps some essential oils in your diffuser and you will be ahead of the curve.
3. Challenge yourself.
Reach beyond your comfort zone to do something better than you have ever done it before. Compete with others or simply compete with yourself to be the best you can be. This will help you grow, stay motivated, and be excited to get up in the morning.
4. Embrace adventure.
Try something new every day and seek out a unique experience. Turn life into an adventure. Failure is okay as long as you can laugh about it after the fact. Explore, explore, and explore some more!
5. Be part of a family.
Be part of a community, large or small. Your family does not have to be blood-related because after all, not all family relationships are good ones. Pick your family of friends and build your own support group. Everyone needs someone to watch their back, no matter how strong-willed you might be. Cherish your connections!
6. Celebrate the happy moments.
Life has a habit of throwing up roadblocks. It happens even to the best of us. That makes it even more important to celebrate the good times and rejoice in those happy moments. When good things happen, laugh, talk, and share them with those who matter. And when good things happen to them? Listen without envy. Your turn will come.
7. Stay involved with the larger community.
Find a way to give back to society. Whether it involves volunteering at your local library, working at a food bank, or simply lending an ear to someone who is lonely, the experience will put a smile on your face. Me? I am part of a team that regularly performs at senior centers and nursing homes in our area. I always wrap up the performance with a happy feeling inside.
8. Be prepared for unexpected events that are out of your control.
It goes without saying the being prepared for events that can turn your world on its side is a very important aspect of living a strategic life. Even if nothing ever happens, it is good to know that you have food, supplies, skills, and the mental fortitude to get through a disaster or crisis, large or small.
Summing It All Up
These past six months have been a struggle for me personally as I try to forge a new path in life. Mostly, I felt I was too old to start something new. Does that sound familiar?
Then I read something rather profound. What I read said to think back to the years between 20 and 40 and all of your personal accomplishments during that period. Now add those twenty years to your current age. Voila! There is still time to live and to achieve. There is still time to make a difference.
Twenty years, or even ten, is a long time. Let us not waste it. Be well, be happy, and be prepared!