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Joy Series - Getting the Most Out of Life: Enjoying Everyday Living





One of the most interesting discoveries that we make as we grow older is that life comes with setbacks. The older we become, the greater and more diverse the challenges we face. When we are younger, we have a better support system in our familial structure, whether it is the conventional nuclear family, or it is the mixed bag of grandparents, aunts, or foster families. Our reality then is that we have a cluster of people ready to solve our problems or at least point us in the right direction where we can find solutions. With maturity, however, handling setbacks become a more sole responsibility than a shared one. Through all the inevitable challenges, we need to take time to enjoy life, making the most of whatever realities come our way.


The reality.


You cannot choose or control challenges that come your way, but you can control how you respond to them.


It is important to know that you are responsible for how you respond to difficult or uncomfortable situations. It sounds intimidating, but it is the only thing you have within your control if you are to enjoy life. There will always be people who trigger the wrong reactions by their callous words or actions. People will always feel entitled to react in a certain way, disregarding how their actions will affect other people. You cannot control how those people will act, but you have control over how you respond to them.


There will always be situations out of your control such as the death of loved ones, the breakup of a relationship, retrenchment, and so on. You can live a miserable life, obsessing over what has gone wrong and getting worked up over the reason things happen the way they do. The only other option is acceptance of the unpleasant situation and trying to work around it to get your footing back. Living in misery sucks the energy out of you. That energy has better use in pursuing more fulfilling endeavors.


Enjoying everyday living.


The first step to enjoying life is getting to know yourself. Know your interests. Know your sources of joy. Know what makes you happy or what brings an element of fulfillment or satisfaction. A sure way of enjoying life every day is to live life by your own rules. Often, our misery comes by living life on someone else’s terms. We allow other people to define our existence. We then live life according to whatever those definitions are. We barely get to know what we are all about because the world outside is telling us what we should like, who we should strive to be with no meaningful input from us. While the world has some influence on how our lives go, we cannot allow it to dictate who we are. There is a need for boundaries, how far other people’s outlook on life determines who we are or who we become. We cannot live satisfactory lives while seeking only to please other people.


It is therefore important to know what brings you joy and satisfaction. After you know, guard that knowledge jealously. Try anything within your power to keep yourself in an environment that feeds into that joy. That will also entail knowing what inevitable things are likely to encroach on that joy. Protect your peace by avoiding things that could steal your joy. Know your triggers. Know from your angle the things that are likely to rub you up the wrong so you equip yourself to better handle them. What has the potential to disturb whatever serene environment you have built around yourself? If related to people, it might mean distancing yourself physically or making yourself unavailable to confrontation if you still have to be around them.


People try to find distinct ways to keep the aura of positivity around them. Other people swear by daily rituals such as meditation, prayer, and other relaxation techniques that can get you in tune with the core of who you are. Find your daily routine that fits into your belief system and schedule. Something that helps give you a sense of calm before you tackle the challenges of the day. Something that rids you of the internal conflicts and gets you prepped for what lies ahead by placing you at an advantage of positivity. Only then are you guaranteed a shot at enjoying life every day.

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