- When we think about our life, we usually think about it in a form of a story. (slow music) First we were born and then we did some things and made some memories and now we're here and we work at our job or whatever. But in the future we plan on doing more things, seeing the world maybe and saving up enough money for a enjoyable retirement. We all tend to view our lives in a sort of narrative structure like this, with the beginning, a middle and an eventual end. Which kinda makes sense because by reflecting on the past, it helps us make sense of where we are now and by having hopes and dreams for the future, it gives us something to look forward to, something to plan towards and if we currently don't like our present situation, we can place our pains and frustrations on the hope of a better tomorrow. But if you think about what it feels like to actually live life, like what it feels like on a day to day basis, it feels completely different. We kinda just wake up, we feel kinda groggy, we stumble downstairs, get the coffee, hop in the shower, you get dressed before getting in the car to get that bread. And after you get that bread, you get more bread at McDonald's because you have an addiction and then you come home, usually pretty tired and you veg out and watch Netflix or whatever you do until you go to bed. This is what living life usually feels like to most people most of the time. Life in general is usually pretty normal. You do the things that you do everyday, you kinda have a routine or a pattern you stick to and life usually isn't super inspiring or mind-blowing, it's just sort of the day to day experience. But is there anything wrong with that? I mean, social media has us thinking that everyone's hanging out on yachts all the time, going on crazy adventures, trying out the 2,000 different bananas in southeast Asia and everyone's getting married to the person of their dreams, popping out the most beautiful babies. But that's not life, that's a highlight reel. And these highlights that we constantly absorb by the people we follow on Instagram or the movies we watch on Netflix, these highlights start to really influence the story we tell ourselves about our own lives. We start viewing our lives, at least our lives lived to it's fullest potential as a life with as many of these highlights in it as possible, so the days when these awesome, crazy things aren't happening, we view that as somehow suboptimal. Our amazing days become the expectation and our normal days become boring, like we're wasting our potential, we're wasting our lives away. But this story we tell ourselves, this adventure life, no one's life is like this, not Dwayne Johnson, not Elon Musk. Sure, these guys are doing some really cool, important things more often than we are but still the majority of their lives, they just sort of wake up, they do a bunch of things they don't wanna do, they're grinding it out, they're working hard, they're often really frustrated or stressed out. They still poop, they still have to eat. Most of their lives exist in this sort of day to day monotony. They're experiencing life in the exact same way that you are, except when Elon Musk is fantasizing about escaping the day to day grind and taking a vacation, instead of the Bahamas, he's thinking Mars. Assuming you get eight hours of sleep every night, which I'm sure you do, you only have about 16 hours to live because you only experience life one day at a time. That little section of time between lifting your head off the pillow and putting it back down again and all that stuff in between that seems kind of normal and kinda inconsequential, that's all life is, it's just that thing over and over and over again. And this can sound super depressing or super inspiring, depending on how you look at it. It can be depressing, obviously if you don't like those 16 hours, usually, a lot of us are slaves to our bad habits. We do things we don't want to do. We work jobs we don't really like and we're put in certain financial or social situations that we really don't like being in. So every single day, day after day is something we generally don't like doing. Which is why we fantasize about the future so much. We're still waiting to live our real lives and if this is all there is, then that's obviously super depressing. But there's a silver lining because changing your entire life isn't as big of a feat as you might think it is. Since life is lived in these little 16 hour little mini episodes, that's a very manageable amount of time to perfect. We can start to build habits that we actually enjoy doing and that are good for us and we can train ourselves to make choices that are actually aligned with our values and will help us be the person we want to be every single day. Because a good life is just a serious of good days, not necessarily days where everything went our way and nothing was difficult or stressful but days where our system was running.
We gave life a good shot, we made choices that are aligned with our values and we did the little things that make us happy. Maybe that's having a good conversation with a friend or putting a little extra effort into cooking, so you eat something kinda memorable and that you're proud of, maybe that's developing one positive habit at a time so that the things that keep you grounded and happy and your mood elevated, start to become things that you do automatically. Viewing life on a micro scale like this also adds clarity to the little choices we make throughout the day. If you've always wanted to be a more social person, then that means saying yes to beers with the boys today, when you get the invitation. And if you're constantly fantasizing about being a more fit person, that means going to the gym today. Because your life is today, that's all it is. It's just today repeated. A big thank you to Skillshare for sponsoring this article. One problem you might encounter when trying to start a new habit is that when you try to go from something like reading YouTube articles obsessively every single day to trying to replace that habit with reading a book, you're going from something that's super stimulating to something that's a lot slower paced and harder to do. So the transition can be pretty jarring and you might quit right away, unfortunately. A great way to counteract this problem is to take smaller steps, so go from something super stimulating, like reading articles to reading just better articles.Yeah, other than that, thank you for reading and we'll catch you in the next article.