Reliving February 05, 2016 of midnight at James Armstrong Richardson International Airport: My life is about to change, again.
After 23 long hours of travel, I finally arrived in Manitoba, Canada. It was winter -18 but feels like -30 plus the wind chill. It was a tad different from where I used to live before (Dubai, UAE), where the weather feels +40 and worst could be +50 plus the sand storm. Nevertheless, I only have two things in mind. I don’t know what to expect and I am sick excited!
Fast forward to Present: February 05, 2017.
My first year has taught me a lot of things. I learned to find the optimism for change, for a better life, for a better me. And that’s a wonderful thing. I also learned to love less. When you focus on enjoying less, you focus on full enjoyment. You learn to be content with little, and when you do that, a life of happiness is at your disposal. The only limit to your happiness, then, is how much you can learn to enjoy less.
It’s amazing how big a difference a little thing can make. Starting your day mindfully with a meditation, for example, can change your entire day. A smile from a loved one can mean the world. And when these little things are repeated daily, and formed into habits, their benefits increase not just by multiples but also by exponents.
The little habits can be life changing.
My Little Habits:
1. Let go. Many times we are held back by the tangled web of previous failures, commitments, emotions, and barriers. We cannot change careers because we’re used to what we’re doing and it’s too hard to change. We cannot find time to get healthy and fit because we have all these other things to do. We cannot find time for our loved ones because we have too many commitments.
This is all old baggage. A fresh start demands a clean slate. Let everything from the past go (easier said than done, I know). Clear your plate and your palate.
Let go of attachments to what you’ve been doing for the past year, or years. Let go of failures. Let go of fears you’ve built up. Let go of reluctance. Let go of your ideas about what your life has to be like, because that’s the way it’s evolved so far. Let go of long-held beliefs and habits.
2. Clear away distractions and focus. Clear away email and Facebook and Instagram and your favorite blogs and news websites and social forums, clear away the iPhone or Blackberry or Android or cell phone, clear away all the little nagging work and chores and errands that pull at your attention, clear away the clutter that surrounds you (sweep it off to the side to deal with later).
3. Find happiness now. Don’t look at happiness as something that will come when you’re done with this goal, or when you’ve attained a certain accomplishment or certain amount of wealth or material goods. Don’t look at happiness as a destination, something that you’ll get later.
Happiness is possible right now. Always remember that. When you push it back until later, it’ll never come. When you learn to be happy now, it’ll always be here.
When you’re doing whatever you’re passionate about, whatever matters most, whatever you decide is worthy of your time and heart and focus, be happy! You’re doing what you love. And that is truly a gift.
4. Take a walk & reflect. Taking a short walk is such a simple thing to do — you can do it during your lunch break, or take a break when you’ve been working for a couple hours straight. It only needs to be 10-20 minutes. Not only does the walk relieve stress and clear your head, it gives you an opportunity to reflect on what you’ve been doing, and reflection is one of the most important tools for changing your life.
5. Breathe. When I get stressed, I just simply breathe.