Human felicity is produced not so much by good pieces of good fortune that seldom happen, as by little advantages that occur every day. – Benjamin Franklin.
Someone once told me a few years ago that the best things in life don’t often cost money to have and as the years have glided by, I’ve eventually come to accept that. 10 years from now, the fond memories that you’ll be most excited about on how you enjoyed life today won’t really be about how much possessions you owned or the size of your monthly paycheck – those are too evanescent to have any lasting effect on us. No we have countless studies telling us that the memories we feel happiest about aren’t those about having excessive wealth beyond what we need to take care of our basic needs but the amazing experiences we could buy with our money. And this is why you should constantly seek out newer top experiences you can have and preserve for the future. While a handful of these top experiences can only be bought with money, the majority come at no cost and require little else than a willingness to make the most of the moment. So we’ve grouped these experiences into 10 for anyone who wants to light up their life and get their adrenaline rushing again.
(1) Smile, smile, smile and give someone a genuine compliment
I get it, all working people are paid to do their JOB, so that inclines us all to think that they don’t Need our compliment. But they are humans too, and crave for compliment deep down inside them if only to dispel the air of invisibility that drifts through the air each time someone passes by them and acts like they didn’t exist.
Next time you pass by the waiter or doorman, put on a duchenne smile and compliment them. Be someone’s hero, make someone’s day. Smiling also has medically proven benefits. According to research conducted by Calorie Count, WebMD, and Vanderbilt University, smiling for 10 to 15 minutes in a day burns 10 to 40 calories (sounds like a good alternative for those who hate going to the gym), and also provides a workout for the muscles in the abdomen, shoulders, diaphragm and back. I did it with my barber who is an unusually thoughtful and nice guy. When I complimented him for the care and attention he gives me whenever I come by to barb at his place and he just lit up. He came so close to sobbing too, telling me he had been acting the nice guy for nearly six years of barbing and no one had ever complimented him and it took me to do that. Ever since, he now gives me that extra attention to the point where I’m nearly embarrassed.
(2) Conquer A Fear.
There isn’t anyone on the face of the earth who doesn’t have their own “what ifs” and “can’ts” drumming through their heads every time they try to embark on the adventure of their life. So for one day, say a little “hello” to your fears. Your fears could be about the stage, heights, keeping you from living your dream of going skydiving, the fear of poverty which might keep you from launching your first start-up because you can’t stomach the risks. Wake up one day, feel the fear, ignore the “cant’s” and “what if’s” playing out in your head and take that first step towards whatever it is you want. If you can overcome step one, you can face the ninety-nine (to burrow a line a from Superchick’s Go One More). Once you conquer one fear in your life, it will mark a turning point for all of your other fears as you can use the same courage used in conquering the first fear to overcome every other fear in your life. It’s a liberating experience, believe me.
(3) Go On Adventure
Going on an adventure can help shoot the needed adrenaline back into your heart, restore your sense of wonder about the world, and be a bit more reflective away from the intrusions of the digital age. It’s also a good way to revitalize your life after being stuck in dreadfully ennuing modern day 9 to 5 work schedule. Don’t worry trying to rack your brains for a list of adventure things, we’ve got them in real abundance. You can visit the wilds on a safari, go on adventure travel, go scuba diving at exotic locations around the world or be involved in adventure sports like skydiving, para-gliding or skiing. The list goes on. But if you can’t afford any of these, any other inexpensive, less extreme outdoor sports will do. Maybe camping.
(4) Be Vulnerable
For all the talk about being mentally strong, there’s a certain price you can pay for being an emotionless stoic in this fragile world of devastations. If you go about playing Mr. or Mrs. Invincible or Van Damme, without giving people the chance to see your vulnerabilities, you might find yourself living in life’s outskirts away from the rest of us because you didn’t come across as the most relatable person to the rest of the world. For a man who is often regarded as the paragon of effortless oratory and inimitable aplomb, seeing President Obama sob during his speech on gun control was actually the most cringeworthy and yet endearing scenes I had ever seen on television. It showed us all that there was more to the man, than just his plain-sight gift of garb, overall he was truly human and vulnerable as we all are. Let people have a peek at your vulnerabilities, that’s one sure way you can build a following. So next time, be the first to “open up” in a conversation.
(5) Celebrate Your Victories.
It will amaze you to realize that you yearn for a measure of recognition and appreciation, not from others, but from your own self for your own efforts in your own success – call it self-love. Learning to “pat yourself on the back” after every success can be the perfect diet for serial success in any field of endeavor. It engenders positivity and boosts self-esteem when you learn never to take yourself for granted and love yourself more. So for every win you record in life, give yourself a treat, throw yourself a party and learn to give yourself the ultimate star treatment. Nothing beats that for motivation.
(6) Give To Others
It’s more blessed to give than to receive – Acts 20:35
Nothing compares to the feeling of satisfaction that can often come from sharing what we have with someone in genuine need. I’m a pleaser in the positive sense of the word because whenever I get to either give or help anyone, I feel truly fulfilled for having met a need. Show people random deeds of kindness, visit the orphanage, give for charity. Offer help in any form. Observe “a day for others” in your life.
(7) Fall Madly In Love
Since our needs are diverse, being in a relationship with someone whose needs might be incompatible with ours requires an awful lot of work and constant balancing for it to work out. There’ll always be the risk of a break-up if things don’t balance out but that’s a risk we should all be willing to take to experience life-altering unconditional love. By falling madly in love, you get to surrender to another while also experiencing the full gamut of human emotions plus intimacy without fear. This way, you also meet your soul mate.
(8) Travel Alone At Some Point
Travel far enough, you meet yourself. – David Mitchel.
Life is really about self-discovery and given how inherently intrusive urban life is today and its familiar distractions, you might never make that life-turning self-discovery unless you venture out alone. The loneliness can be just what you need to reflect and find the answers you seek in life. Pack your bags and head out for any destination of your choice without company. You’ll come back with memories and discover an exciting side to your personality.
(9) Have A Phone-off Period
Today we see our phones as actual extensions of ourselves, like body parts and given this every-minute attachment and the stupendous amount of time we spend on our mobile gadgets, we probably know more about our phones that we do About Ourselves. A lot of us are getting too addicted to our smart phones, social media and the likes to the point where this gets in the way of our normal lives and relationships. Nearly everyone now text during meals, conversations and at dinner parties (and maybe when in our bathrooms as well). So observing a phone-off period can be an amazing way to break this bizarre modern day technology stranglehold and have more time to yourself. It can be from just a few hours to an entire day. No status update, no, tweeting, no Instagram for only one day. You won’t die from this deprivation. That’s taking charge of your life!
(10) Live A Day On Empty Pockets.
We’ve all been hoodwinked into thinking we actually need more money to find true happiness. So we just keep wanting more, having more but never ever getting there. – What a tragedy! So to break free of this flawed mindset, try living a day or week only with a very limited amount of money for just feeding. It will amaze you at how happy you can become as a minimalist. Money is not life and life is not money, in fact life does exist without money.