Living versus Existing?
Are you living or are you just existing?! Are you at the end of your rope and wondering what is going on with you?
Made You Smile Back is proud to present this article on this important subject, especially in light of the current continuation of this 2020 Covid pandemic. Especially now when we find most of ourselves stuck in our houses and experiencing week after week of lockdown and being mindful of social distancing. (It’s quite annoying, right!...)
In fact, how many of you are at the breaking point of just saying ‘I just don’t care anymore and find yourself just simply ‘existing’ day to day to just get by? You CAN enjoy life again. Let’s discover how.
But first, let’s examine what living versus existing really is. According to Paul McGregor, who is a mental health blogger himself, states:
“Living is taking life as it comes, embracing it and doing as much as you can to feel fulfilled. Existing is a long survival. Living is choosing happiness, it's choosing to live. Existing is you being here physically, but doing what you have to do to get through the day.” - Paul McGregor
Does any of this resonate with you? I have to admit, it definitely is easy to see why many of us are struggling right now because of this insidious pandemic. It appears to me maybe, just maybe, many of us are actually experiencing a little bit of both! We are doing what we have to do to get through the day, right?
Have You Temporarily Lost Your Sparkle?
But let me re-ask the question…
Are you living, or are you merely existing?
Ponder this for a moment or two.
Do you feel you are currently living a life of fulfillment and happiness? Or perhaps you feel you are but now, it’s more of a passive experience rather than feeling that enthusiasm, passion and engagement of your life you once had.
Existing is a trap we easily fall into with the same ole, same ole daily routine of going through our day.
Uncertainty about the future definitely puts a ‘spin’ which gives everything else a sort of pointless edge.
Anhedonia - Reduced Ability to Feel Pleasure...
Would it surprise you that there is a medical term associated with this feeling of just ‘existing’?! Anhedonia is an inability or reduced ability to feel pleasure, enjoyment, and engagement with life. It also includes reduced motivation to do things plus that all too familiar attitude of just not caring about anything. Nothing feels good or brings you fulfillment.
But here’s the deal… Life is not just about being alive. There’s a big difference. It’s not merely breathing and going through the ‘motion’ of daily activities and chores.
To live doesn’t mean you're alive. We’re all born and gifted with life. But all too often we get caught up in false expectations. We truly forget how to live our lives with freedom and passion.
To live life to the fullest means waking up every morning with purpose… not rolling out of bed simply because you have to!
Living life is chasing and fulfilling your dreams and doing whatever it takes to achieve them. Not giving up on them because of excuses.
Living life is also about being grateful for everything you have. And not to have feelings of unworthiness or trying to find what you haven’t got.
And finally, living life is about embracing change and growth. To fully enjoy every moment in our life as it comes to us.
Are You In Control of Your Life?
Have you ever wondered how much control you have over your life? It all starts with you! Yes you have to know the difference of those things or situations that you cannot control (like the pandemic).
Think about it. Are you controlled instead by your emotions being ‘all over the place’? Or are you controlled by your ego, by your job title or by the opinions of others? Or the big one -- are you controlled by fear?
Existing is fruitless and it just passes the survival of time. Let me tell you something…
It only takes a moment to change the course of your life. A moment… Do you know how significant this statement is?
“It only takes a moment to change the course of your life.”
Living is choosing happiness, it’s choosing to live.
Let’s take a step further… I want you to repeat this next statement OUT LOUD to yourself and as many times as you need to. Say it. Say it again louder. Say it until you believe it!
“It only takes a moment to change the course of MY LIFE."
Feels good, doesn’t it? Are you ready to stop ‘existing’ and start living the life you’re meant to live?
I wrote a recent blog entitled, “Finally Take Charge of Your Life & Start Believing in Yourself Again!”
Please feel free to re-read this and start believing in yourself again… let me remind you… it’s your birthright!
How You Can Reboot and Start
Living Life Again
You’re all are familiar with the term, ‘reboot’, right? Rebooting is a computer technical troubleshooting method. Basically, when your computer is giving you trouble—for example, a program locks up or is simply not responding–you shut it down and restart it.
Likewise, when we find ourselves just ‘existing’ and/or lost our direction in pursuing our passions and enjoying all life’s precious moments, we need to do a ‘reboot’, shut down and restart.
Are You Living Life to the Fullest Yet?
Regardless of where you're coming from, you can get a fresh start on your life by figuring out where you want to go. Take a look at these four steps detailed below and see how many you can include in your life.
1. Gain a Fresh Perspective
You’ve got to take a step back and gain a fresh perspective on just where you are and determine where you want to go. Being able to control how you look at things is the key to learning how to start over and creating a fresh start.
In fact, shaping your perception is so powerful that just a small change in perspective can completely change everything, from your motivation and outlook, to your self-esteem and confidence.
2. Define your Personal Values or your Moral Compass
If you have a desire to reboot your life, it may be because you don't feel like you are living according to your principles. Personal values are the beliefs, opinions, and ideas that drive your decision-making and serve as a foundation for your life. To many people, this includes our devout religious beliefs.
3. Envision the Best Version of Yourself
A visualization is a powerful tool you can use to clarify our desires and move us closer to what we really want from our life. Envision your best possible self.. Spend some time imagining who you would like to be in 5, 10, or 15 years.
4. Get Motivated and Plan Out Your Goals
Even if you have a good plan, it won’t work unless you develop motivation and positive habits that will keep you on track. These habits can include goal setting, daily reflections, and perseverance.
So, let me make it simple for you. When you’re ready to pull the trigger… to take that moment to change the trajectory of your life… the sequence is as follows:
1) That magical moment - when you take control of your life and seize the moment to change your life and start living again your hopes and dreams.
2) Shut down and forgive yourself for the past… When you shut down, you’re clearing out all the ‘clutter’ in your past to move forward. To start with a clean slate.
3) Restart living life again! This is that indescribable moment of feeling immediate joy and happiness KNOWING you’re not only back on the right path, but KNOWING that you’re in total control of what you want from your life, the choices in front of you to become the best person you can become!
So I again ask you… Are you living or are you just existing!