Inside: What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? Stop waiting for tomorrow or until life is perfect. This is how you can choose to live like every day is your favorite.
This day is my favorite.
Yesterday was my favorite.
And tomorrow, if it comes for me, I’ll embrace that day fully too.
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?Mary Oliver
As I inch my way toward the age at which my mom died, I am ever conscious of how life is fleeting. This motivates me to cut through the noise and live every day like I mean it.
I’m not afraid of failure or not having enough time to live my dreams – I’m living my dreams today. I thoughtfully care for my mind-body health but health is simply a tool; it’s not my utmost concern. I’m not afraid of physical death though I don’t welcome suffering, nor do I believe that the number of my days is my business.
I am concerned with living on purpose.
I notice that when my anxiety heightens or I feel angry or weary it is often because I’ve lost sight of what really matters. I’ve tipped into comparing or resisting what is, into perfectionism to try and make life feel orderly and safe, into judging others or worrying about what tomorrow may hold.
(Anxiety and depression are not always rooted in what we can control but there are often steps we can take to help.)
Or when I feel overwhelmed by the sorrow and suffering in the world what I find is that I need to pull my wandering heart and meandering mind back to this present moment and to the truth that I don’t control all but I do have some choice over what to do with the time I’ve been gifted.
I don’t wait for life to be perfect, or for me to be perfect, to live like every day is my favorite.
HOW TO LIVE LIKE EVERY DAY IS YOUR FAVORITE
1. Cut through the noise
To cut through the noise you need to sift through your own competing tensions and desires so you can stop chasing what others are up to and get clear on the truth of who you are and the life you actually want to lead. It means rewriting the stories about who you should be, what you should look like and be like, what actually makes you happy and the relationships that matter, so you can redefine success for your life and get clear on where your value lies.
Pause and consider for a moment all the wasted hours and years spent worrying about having an imperfect body, a stuffed bank account, or having all the right stuff. None of this is necessary for a meaningful life.
To cut through the noise means accepting that no matter how hard you run or how long, if you aren’t actually clear about who you are, what you want, and WHY you want it – why any of it matters – you’ll never find what you’re looking for. It’s all just noise.
2. Identify your WHY
Knowing your why – or ikigai – your reasons for getting up in the morning and your place of contribution allows you to live like every day is your favorite. Why matters.
Whether you’re a homeschooling parent or CEO of a bustling business, whether you’re well beyond middle-age or just getting started in adult life – you can do the work to identify your why for this season of life so you show up each day on purpose. One of the most powerful predictors of health and happiness at any age is understanding that you have gifts to share and a circle of impact to serve.
It helps to understand your core values and primary beliefs about life and humanity. You could craft a personal or business vision statement or even simply identify how you want to feel in the world – or how you want to help build a world worth living in – and let this guide the way you spend your days. Not one day is wasted when we live with a clear and guiding sense of why.
3. Realize you get to choose
Today should be your favorite because it’s the only promise you have. You may not have tomorrow. And if you pause long enough to catch your breath, you might notice all the amazing people and good food and clean sheets and all of the small, simple pleasures that make up your very imperfect and beautiful life. You will likely see that today is, after all, a perfect day to be happy.
So many people forget to truly live while they are focused on attaining or measuring up, jumping through hoops or chasing success. But here is a potentially life-changing thought: if you stop running long enough, you might realize you already have 80 or 90% of what you long for but you didn’t even realize it. You were focused on what was lacking and forgot to live with gratitude for what already was. Stop waiting for perfect and enjoy what is. I’ll join you.
And if you’re walking through a season of challenge or you are yet far from living out your ideal vision, I encourage you to stop waiting for someday to enjoy life. Maybe you can pull tiny threads of your ideal vision into your imperfect life or maybe you can simply decide to show up joyfully anyway. It’s up to you to decide to live like today is your favorite. No magic. Simple as that.
(I’m speaking to people living in a measure of safety and opportunity.)
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
I wish I hadn’t worked so much.
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
I wish that I had let myself be happier.
My hope is that you will not wait until your final breath to get clear on what matters most to you.
The number one way to live like every day is your favorite? Realize that it’s up to you.