Do you feel as if you are existing rather than living?
Maybe you feel that something is missing but are afraid to connect with your truth?
With constantly and rapidly advancing technology, our lives seem to revolve around time, schedules and the internet and it has never been easier to have a near life experience.
Connected to the world via our computers and phones it’s never been easier to disconnect with ourselves.
We convince ourselves that we are living in the best possible way, by surrounding ourselves with others that do the same.
Having a near life experience we are not attached to our truth.
We may live lives based on the opinions of others.
We don’t love what we do but fear change so continue to exist.
We prioritise material possessions over experiences.
We wait for the ‘right time’ to travel, explore or change our career.
We believe that “life is about working hard to pay the bills”.
We live to work, not work to live.
Yearly events such as birthdays and the New Year give clues to our existence as we notice uncomfortable feelings.
Time passing gives rise to our truth.
We briefly acknowledge that we need to change but choose to bury our feelings opting for what we deem to be ‘the easy life’.
What we are really experiencing is an easy existence.
Bronnie Ware, an Australian palliative nurse spent many years caring for patients in the last 12 years of their lives. As a result, she learnt that patients gain great clarity in the last few weeks of their lives and she decided to write about their wisdom.
She questioned the patients and asked if they had any regrets and discovered re-occurring themes which became the theme of her book The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying.
She discovered that the top 5 regrets were:
1. I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life that others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish I’d let myself be happier.
If you choose to have nothing but a near life experience, then it’s likely that one day you will be sharing these words too.
You, however, can choose to change.
All we need to do is to choose to change.
Many fear change because it seems too overwhelming or ‘too big’.
Change, however, doesn’t have to be an enormous scary step, but a succession of small steps that gradually take us towards that life that we really want.
Here are my 7 top tips to do just that so that you avoid a near life experience:
Make time to stop. Be aware that being super busy is often an avoidance technique.
Are you constantly ‘on the go and barely find time to breathe? Stop and create time for solitary thought. Find some outdoor space, turn off your phone and sit in silence. To help you discover your truth (and avoid a near life experience) ask yourself these 4 questions:
Know your core values. Knowing our core values helps us make the right decisions about our life and our future.
If we don’t live life by our values, we don’t live but exist. We conform to the values of others and shrink ourselves to fit.
Knowing what is important to you will ensure that you live the life that you want.
If something doesn’t feel right for you, then it’s probably because it isn’t aligned with your values.
Identify your values and live your life by them.
Prioritise leisure time.
For 2 weeks, keep a record of hours you spend at work, and the hours you spend enjoying your time.
After this time, look at this record. What do you notice?
What small actions could you take on a weekly basis to avoid a near life experience?
Be a time hacker.
Work out ways that you could save time to gain time to really live. (I highly recommend the book Slipstream Time which shares strategies to help you with this)
Limit your time on social media.
Deal with all emails at a specific time once a day.
Find ways to limit time spent on household chores.
Taking the washing off the line and putting it away immediately limits ironing time.
Doing a weekly shop knowing which meals are planned in advance could save you 30 mins a day in a supermarket.
And do what needs to be done, not what you think needs to be done.
Identify habits that you could change to give you more time for fun, smiles and laughter.
I also highly recommend reading the book Slipstream Time Hacking which shares strategies to help you “cheat time”!
Identify beliefs that you have that may be limiting your life.
“Life is about working hard to pay the bills” is a belief.
You were not born with this belief. It was ‘projected onto you’ by another, likely to be a parent or a peer. You started to see the world as they saw the world and started to live your life accordingly.
To help you abolish these beliefs, look for people who ‘truly live’.
What do you think they believe about life? What do they prioritise? How do they live?
When you have identified their possible beliefs, just try living your life as if you had the very same belief for 7 days.
You may notice that you make different decisions with a different belief. It’s very possible that you will like the results that you get when you make decisions based on this tried belief.
You may choose to keep this belief for longer!
Practise living in the moment. Maximise every experience that you have.
If you walk to work, notice the beauty that surrounds you.
Having just walked my dog prior to writing this blog I decided to count the bees and the butterflies along the way. I saw 15 beautiful butterflies and 7 bees collecting pollen.
It makes me wonder how many times we all walk past such tiny beautiful things without being aware of their presence.
Try yourself noticing small details that you would normally be unaware of.
Notice how many different ‘greens’ are within the leaves of the trees.
Admire the architecture and the shapes that surround you every day.
Avoid a working lunch and instead focus on a ‘living’ lunch.
Sit and eat outside and enjoy the environment.
Know what excites you and do those things.
Book them into your diary with a highlighter pen to remind you of their importance. Write the words “live, live, live” around them!
This will definitely help you to avoid a near life experience!
To help you identify the things that excite you, ask yourself:
Following these 7 tips could take you from an unfulfilled existence to a fulfilling life. Can you afford not to take note?
Finally, I’m reminded of one of my favourite quotes which perfectly reflects my thoughts:
“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, “Wow what a ride!” (Hunter S. Thompson)
(3 of the links within this blog are Amazon affiliate links which means that the author will receive a small commission for products sold. This does not affect you in any way and simply supports this website and it’s mission to make the world a happier place).
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