I learned at an early age that the old adage “life is short” wasn’t just a saying - it was real life. Rather than letting life's challenges get the best of me, I focused on being grateful for all the positive things and living each day to the fullest. I try to be intentional in my every day by loving the person in front of me as best as I can by caring for them in both big ways and small - doing something nice for a loved one just because, complimenting a barista, setting my phone aside when sharing a meal with a friend to give them my undivided attention, donating money to a cause close to my heart, and so on. Every single day is a gift, and it’s up to each of us to make the most of the present.
We are often paralyzed by the road in front of us, but until you place one foot forward to start the exploration, you'll miss out on the joy, excitement and passion you may find from connecting with your soul and with others. Over a decade ago, I left a comfortable corporate job to start my own photography business with my wife. It was a scary decision, but one I have never regretted to this day since it allowed me to explore my passion for photography and meet great people along the way. Every day ask yourself, "Am I living life to the fullest?" If you find yourself hesitating, start with small steps towards making changes. Those small steps may eventually turn into a sprint that will help you go forth and conquer your world.
If you've ever watched a track meet, you've seen the importance of starting well. So it is in life - getting a good start will help you get the most out of your day. Every day I try two things to stretch my mind and prepare myself for the race that is my day: 1) read or listen to something that inspires me to think and 2) do something challenging. I try to do this on weekday mornings by listening to audio books and articles during my commute, and tackling a difficult email or PowerPoint presentation as soon as I get to work. These can help stretch your mind and build your confidence to get you ready to seize your day.
Life's too short to take too seriously. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t end the day with a hearty laugh or at least a short burst of air out the nostrils. I try to find humor throughout my day - whether I'm discovering a ridiculous ad on my way to work, or playing an innocent prank on a loved one. Humor can be found just about anywhere you look. Put on your funny glasses and see that seemingly normal things in your life (even serious situations) can have funny sides. Misplaced your set of funny glasses? Borrow one from a friend and they'll surely lend you theirs. Laughs are best shared with others anyway!
It's easy lose yourself in the repetition of everyday life. Wake up, go to work, come home, go to bed. Rinse, repeat. I try to remember to break the pattern and seize the day by taking a random day off from work to spend some meaningful time with loved ones. A little while ago, my husband and I did a date day in Seattle and went kayaking. More recently, we took our son on his first trip to the zoo. Many of us spend most of our waking hours away from our family and friends, so it's important to dedicate time to connecting with people who matter to you most. You'll come away with truly memorable experiences and fulfillment in your heart.