Wish that I can have this moment for life, cause in this moment I feel so alive. ~Nicki Minaj
Do you ever stop and wonder what series of events led you to a particular moment in time? Sometimes chance leads you down a path you would not normally consider and it’s result is surprisingly happy. Other times not a single thing can go right and every challenge is one hurdle after another. There was a point in my life where I literally thought, “I die a little every day that I’m in [name dreaded location].” Yes, highly dramatic and I thought this isn’t me, what happened to the adventure in life?! When I realized this, I created a couple of on-going experiments to feel more alive.
Experiment: Being Lucky
Try this for a week: Believe in your heart and mind that you are the luckiest person ever.
Each day you wake up and you have a choice to make the day amazing or it can be just another boring day. I naively believe I’m super lucky and this leads to amazing experiences. You’re probably thinking your life can never go that well, so for a week get rid of that voice in your head that pops up to ruin the moment and just roll with it. Over lunch, I told a friend, “You have to show up and you end up meeting the right people or get invited to cool places.” As an example, I mentioned going to an alumni breakfast, then at the end of of breakfast, I volunteered to help for future events. When I did that, I got invited to go to the SF Giant’s spring training game for that afternoon. Not only did I score two free tickets, my daughter and I were seated front row on the third baseline. My friend said, “You know you’re creating those opportunities, right? If you show up then sit in a corner, no one is going to hand you free tickets to anything.” Hmmm…good point maybe the lesson here is if you give without expectations of anything in return, then it all comes back to you, that leads to the next experiment.
Experiment: Be happy in the moment or change the moment
Try this for a month: Expect to have an amazing time.
During a meditation intensive, I learned the phrase, “Expectation kills the joy in life.” I thought how could this be? I EXPECT to have an adventure every time I step out of the house, I don’t know who I’ll meet or talk to who will inspire me or whom I can inspire. How could this possibly kill any happiness? Then I realized my expectation didn’t create room for disappointment. A lot of my friends in relationships hang their happiness on whether or not their significant other does something for them. Some single friends hang their happiness on whether or not the object of their obsession gives them attention. I don’t have time to think about that sort of stuff. I’m busy with my kids, working on my business/fitness, hanging out with people whose company I enjoy and having a blast! My expectation is to have fun so when I go somewhere, if the plans change to something unexpected it’s a pleasant surprise and I turn it into an adventure. I know this is hard, I thrive on having a very structured life with everything programmed into my calendar and if I can roll with it so can you. Put everything that needs to get done on the calendar, then one day a week, give yourself permission to be spontaneous. Open up a day to accept invitations to do something unexpected or just take a day to yourself.
Experiment: Help others create amazing experiences
Try this for month: At least 3x a week, help someone move forward with their goals.
I’m continually surprised and impressed with people around me. By their generosity, intellect, and thoughtfulness, all qualities I hope to emulate. I’m naturally selfish, I want to have fun and sometimes forget things if it’s not on my calendar. When I think of that phrase, “Expectation kills the joy in life,” I always hope I’m not disappointing my kids. As a mom, my goal is to create amazing life experiences for my kids because if I don’t expose them to that they’ll grow up with a very narrow view of the world. My oldest danced in the Nutcracker at the age of 7, as a mouse because she attended a ballet school associated with a professional ballet company. Not many people can put that as a claim to fame. I hope to help them create more circumstances like these in their lives. This idea has a broader application, you can help by introducing people to someone who can help them, forwarding an article you’ve read that is relevant to their goals, or help them brainstorm an idea. Whatever you do, speak up, something you say may make someone’s day!
The two experiments are on-going, and recently added being thoughtful to my list. If you try either of these experiments, let me know how it affected your life. Feel free to leave it in the comments or Tweet @cherylmarquez.