Do you ever just feel stuck? Stuck in your life situation until you finally get where you want to be?
We tell ourselves that life will be better when we graduate, or when we have a career, or when we have a house. When we get a promotion, or get married, or have kids, or when our kids grow up and finally leave, or when we can take a vacation, or when we retire, and the list goes on!
We’re always working to reach an ideal life situation. But the reality is, once we reach one ideal, there will always be another one. If we live this way, we will never be fully satisfied with life!
So what? Should we just give up on all of our goals? Should we all just quit our jobs, give up on school and run away from all of our responsibilities?
“My Life Is Miserable!”
I’ve had a bit of an awakening this week. For a while now, I’ve absolutely dreaded every single day! I have hated dragging myself out of bed, going out into the bitter cold, and going to school and work. I’ve allowed myself to get irritated with people and blame others for my unhappiness. And more than anything, I have been begging the universe to let me have more free time!
I felt imprisoned by school, work, and homework. Endless piles of deadlines, due dates, and tasks! Life was miserable! And it was going to be miserable until the semester ended and I finally got to take a vacation!
But then I realized something: no one was forcing me to go to school, work, or do homework. I was choosing to do those things with my free time.
The truth is, I have 24 hours of free time everyday, and I get to choose how I spend that time. I can choose misery, or I can choose to be happy!
Find Meaning Everyday
Last year, I learned a very important lesson in one of my psychology classes at BYUI. We read a book I cherish deeply called Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl which discusses how Frankl was able to find purpose in his life while living in a concentration camp during the holocaust. The Nazi’s had taken everything from him; his home, his possessions, his health, his career, even his identity!
But the one thing they couldn’t take away was his ability to choose. He could choose to find meaning in his life amid his suffering.
In a class discussion, my professor challenged us with this question: If you died tomorrow, would you have lived a meaningful life?
If the meaning of our lives is to graduate college, start a career, have large amounts of money, or any other future goal, and we died tomorrow we would have lived meaningless lives because we were unable to complete all of our goals on time.
But, if the meaning of our lives is to love people, to serve, to spread happiness, to learn, to be grateful, and to enjoy beauty around us, those are things we can do every single day. And if we do these things and die tomorrow, we would have lived richly meaningful lives. We would have fulfilled our purpose in life, even if we weren’t able to graduate, or cure cancer, or be wealthy enough to buy a boat, or whatever!
What gives our lives meaning and purpose is not our grand accomplishments, but the way we live our every day life.
You Can Do It Now!
Look, the point is, you don’t have to wait for all your dreams to come true to be happy! Your life has meaning now! You have something to contribute, you have a purpose, and you can do it while working towards your future goals.
I’ve been working on changing my mindset. When I think about it, school and work aren’t a burden, they’re a privilege. People aren’t irritants placed in my life to make me miserable, but they are special individuals who need to be loved. And there’s a billion good things everyday to be grateful for! Like beautiful sunsets, jokes with coworkers, and those golden moments with my adorable husband.
Life is good you guys. Life is good NOW! Please don’t miss it. Choose to have a meaningful life.