Often, we hear of young adults (as early as in their mid 30’s) who die from heart attacks due to work stress, money problems, societal expectations aka from keeping up with the rat race. Now, I understand that sometimes life happens and you wake up and realize that this is happening, without really understanding how you got here. But, there is always time to make necessary changes. Is it preventable? Absolutely. It starts with planning: planning your life!
Many people fail to stop and think about how they want to live their lives. They fail to understand themselves on a deeper level. They just go with the flow of the society or what culture expects of them. According to many societies, the idea of a successful life is to obtain education, get married, have kids, have a career, get paid well, buy a house and other life necessities/luxuries, etc. So, we just check these things off as we move along through life until one day we wake up and we are 60 years old and we realize that most things that took our years from us don’t matter at this point. Many of us take on jobs we don’t enjoy only because it pays well or because a certain position is prestigious to hold. We aim to earn more money so we can keep up with the society and buy things we don’t need just to impress others.
Life is already too short and natural causes will take us away at some point anyway, so it should be unacceptable for us to bring death onto ourselves by working and stressing ourselves to death! We basically volunteer for death to visit us earlier.
Here are some things you can do to ensure you don’t end up waking up and realizing you are miserable, tired, and your health is failing you:
- stop and think about what you want out of life. if that means you need to take a vacation alone and spend some time figuring things out, then do it. Everything else can wait. What is important to you in your life, is it money or being happy or living a simple life? Be honest with yourself. What kind of life do you envision for yourself and what will it take to get there? (hint: being rich or wealthy is probably not a healthy life goal, focus on the deeper goals, legacy and how you want to be remembered, etc.)
- write down your goals and a plan on how you will accomplish them. Check this list on daily or weekly basis to stay on track with your life plan and stay motivated. This will help you avoid burn out and stress because you will take it one step at at time/one day at a time and you will see progress.
- wake up grateful each day and be thankful for another day on Earth. Gratitude alone will make you happy.
- meditate and use relaxation techniques daily. Take on yoga and other exercises. This will help you stay on your life plan and help clear your mind of daily cluster of worries and to-do’s. Be mindful of everything and everyone around you. There are plenty of apps that can help you do just that. Make time for this!
- Check in with yourself from time time and assess where you are and how you are feeling. Did you go off your path? Do you need to make some adjustments in your life? Do you need to move to another location to live the life you want?
Most importantly, maintain happiness and peace. If you are not doing this in your life, then you are doing it wrong. Revisit your plan and adjust accordingly. Do you need more time off? Do you need to spend more time with those you love or relaxing? Nothing is worth sacrificing family or health for.
Don’t wait until you get sick to realize how short and precious life is, and don’t wait until old age to realize you did not live the life you actually hoped for. Take action today!
Life can be really simple if we want it to. It all boils down to one question, do you want to live life the way you want to or do you want society and cultural expectations to dictate the way you live your life?