It’s About Time To Stop Existing And Start Living

We get so swept away by life and its responsibilities to the extent that we forget to actually embrace the little wonderful things that we have in it. We get so busy that we forget to live the life we hoped to have for so long and this is why we look for different ways to escape the reality of our life, without realizing that our escapism is the actual life we wanted to live. We get so busy with our day-to-day work that we leave no time for ourselves to enjoy the opportunities that we have and others don’t. Yet, even worse, these day-to-day necessities become routine-like activities that we eventually lose interest in because of its repetitive nature.

How many people out there have actually discovered their purpose in life? Those doctors, engineers, journalists and authors out there, are they working for the sake of earning money and make a living or do they admire what they do? Dr. Jean Houston, a scholar, writer and philosopher answers these questions in simple terms referring to our current social and cultural system (Eastern and Western) being the reason behind the assurance of our basic survival and not nurturing our true aspiration. It seems that our educational system ensures creating good machine-like workers that can function well enough for just basic survival.

The overwhelming changes that continuously occur in our world, makes us prefer confining ourselves within a small story. In other words, people feel they aren’t good enough or they fail to see their purpose in life and thus, they’re unable to live the life they want. Moreover, we carry what we were taught at home to our practical lives. In our personal community, many of us were not encouraged to cherish their gifted abilities such as sketching, dancing, acting, making accessories etc. but we were rather guided towards having an education that leads us to earn a high salary and a good identity. “We simply haven’t been trained to bring the possible future into the present” concluded Dr. Houston.

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Considering the latter, what can be done to start living the live we want?

First

Every member of the society needs to alter their false beliefs (misconceptions) about themselves. Ask yourself introductory questions like who am I?, why do I exist? What do I like to do in my leisure time?

Second

Do not constrict yourself to one activity. We are born as creatures who can multitask. Therefore, do not put yourself inside an atmosphere where only one thing can be done for good. Consider the list of things that you enjoy doing, choose one of them as your life time occupation and finally use the others as leisure activities whenever possible.

Third

Many people might complain that there is no time to do all what we want. However, looking at it from another perspective, we only live once and if you don’t integrate what you enjoy now in your day-to-day life you will never get the opportunity to integrate it later.

Fourth

Make it a habit. Remember that the habits that you build as you grow stay with you forever. Therefore, keep what you embrace in the list of things you do daily or weekly. And keep in mind that “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, and your values become your destiny.” Said Mahatama Ghandi.

Fifth

Enjoy every fine detail in your life. You can look at the empty half of the cup, but embrace and reflect the full half as well. Cherish small things like making someone else happy, having a home to live in and an occupation to live from. Compare yourself to those who have nothing of what you have and how they are still satisfied but at the same time, learn from the mistakes and accomplishments of those who are higher and older than you.

To conclude, you can break free from that system that keeps you working in a vicious cycle. Do what you love in order to love what you do and remember that in the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away. Therefore, now is the time for us to stop existing and to start living!

Mai Elsayed

A Mass Communication alumna from the American University of Sharjah. Loves writing about human related stories and factors that affect our psychological well being such as relationships, love and family.

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