By: Erica Statly
Do you know those moments in life where your head is thrown back, and you are laughing so hard your stomach hurts and you can’t catch your breath? You can’t stop smiling like an idiot and your mouth hurts from smiling so much but you’re just so happy? It is in these moments we are truly living in the moment. And for me, it is at those moments I am my absolute happiest. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could experience that 24/7?
So how do all these inspirational leaders do it? They encourage us to “live in the moment”.
This is both the simplest and most complicated advice one could ever receive. How does one live in the moment? What about when you have to plan for next week’s work trip to Seattle? Or next years’ budget? Or finals week in December? Or where you’re going to go to college next year?
- Chill out. Life is only as serious as you make it. If you drop a huge stack of papers at work, or your lunch tray in the caf, or spill your Starbucks all over yourself, what are you going to do? Start crying about or laugh at yourself and move on? Crying will probably only humiliate you more in the moment and it’s really not worth it. Laugh it off, clean it up and move on with your life. Shit happens.
- Life is funny. Laugh at it. Laugh as much as possible. Try to avoid laughing “at” people but rather “with” people. I apply this technique to my daily life, and I’ve seen major changes. For example, one time at the gym, this guy totally biffed it on the treadmill. His headphones yanked out, taking his phone. He tried to catch it mid fall but instead, the phone, headphones and the guy himself fell and flew off the treadmill. He jumped up, embarrassed and we made eye contact. I started dying laughing and he did too. It’ll put you and others in a good mood. And if you’re the one falling off the treadmill? Shake it off, laugh it off and move on.
- Focus on one thing at once. Even when you’re multi-tasking. Firstly, set yourself up for success. Don’t schedule time to write two papers and study for a midterm all within a two-hour span. It’s not gonna happen. Don’t set your alarm at 7am, knowing you have to leave by 7:30am for work. Secondly, take your time. Apply your makeup deliberately. Make a nice breakfast in the morning. Eat and enjoy it. Sometimes, multi tasking is necessary. Maybe you’re making your budget for the next year while trying to make dinner for your family. Work on dinner, let it cook (or simmer, boil, cool, etc) and examine the budget closer. Have one of your kids lend a helping hand. Or your roommate. Whoever it may be.
- Simplify your life. Cut the bullshit out of it. Do a quick life audit. I had to do this a couple weeks ago. I manage working 30 hours per week, running a blog and all that comes with it, being a full time student, getting decent grades, exercising daily and a social life. Where in the hell do I make cuts? You have to learn how to prioritize.
- Stop watching the clock, both literally and figuratively. I am extremely guilty of this. Watching the clock is a waste of your time. Try to force yourself to feel the moment and live in it constantly. Naturally, you need to plan ahead for some things. If you have class or work at 8am, you will want to set your alarm early to give yourself time. But when you’re at class and work, be in the moment. Strive to be the best version of yourself. Enjoy each second as it comes and goes.