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What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it

June 4, 2012

I was very inspired by Lise today, who had written beautifully in Norwegian about 14 ways to live.
Life can often become routine, which can be both comfortable and easy, but a life without living is not a fully lived life, in my opinion. My boyfriend and I have often pondered about how we want to live our lives, and one thing that is very clear to both of us is that we don’t want to take the usual bus-route. You know, where you just go from one stop to the next, starting with a job, a house, then a dog, a minivan, kids, and all the other traditional things that are often socially expected of you.

Eventually I too would like to have kids and a dog, and these things can definitely make life worth living, but as of right now my priorities are to develop myself and stake out a future where I actually live, not just exist.

Looking back at life I want to be able to say I grabbed the opportunities that came by, explored the world, helped people, and was creative and able to see something beautiful in every day. If you want to do the same, I hope the following can be your inspiration..

Love. Fall in love if you are not already in love. Let your heart break, dare to love. Love your family, friends, whoever you want – it does not necessarily have to be a romantic love. Pursue the love around you. Love is the most beautiful thing of all.

Experience. Walk outside. In pouring rain or sunlight. Take a walk on the beach. Run through the forest. Swim in the beautiful ocean. Walk barefoot through the grass. Feel the sun kiss your skin and watch a ladybug climb a leaf.

Food. Don’t just eat – enjoy it! Feel the pleasure from all the delicious different tastes. Dare yourself to try something new. Visit a local or foreign restaurant or store. Try new spices and fruits.

Moring routine. Set your timer to the early hour. Give yourself plenty of time before you actually need to get up. Avoid the stress, and just lie in bed and feel your existence. Watch the sun rise. Drink a hot cup of tea or newly brewed coffee. Take a morning run. Think that this day won’t go to waste. This will be a good day.

Try something new. Ask yourself ”what new can I do this week?” Send someone a letter? Call a long lost friend? Tell someone you care about them. Sometimes you have no idea how much of a difference that can make to somebody.

Cry. Let it be a much needed relief. Cry to sad movies, funerals, when you are hurt, or when someone you care about is hurt.

Live in the moment. Don’t think of all the things you need to do. Focus on what you are doing right now. Is this what you want? Do you feel happy? Touch your skin. Experience your own breath. Listen to the sounds around you. Smile.

Laugh until you cry. Nothing in the world feels as good as genuine laughter. Share stories and memories, watch comedies, laugh at your own stupidity or mistakes, share it with someone and give someone else a laugh. My mom is great at this one. Not only does she have the most contagious and wonderful laugh there is, she is also incredibly forgetful when it comes to remembering what our car looks like (except the color), so you can imagine all the fantastic stories about how my mom got into the wrong car after visiting the supermarket.. A good Norwegian quote says “a good laugh prolongs life”.

Talk to old people. You might never find someone as wise and with as much experience as those who have almost lived a whole life. Everyone has a story, and who doesn’t want to be heard? You can get the greatest stories and best advices.

Help others. Help out a neighbor. Carry someone’s groceries. Become a sponsor for an organization. Deliver clothes to the Salvation Army. Volunteer. Adopt a pet or a child. Helping someone who needs it can make a huge difference to someone else, and also to yourself.

 Play with children. Your own or someone else’s. Children are curious and eager to learn. They are creative and adventurous. Adults should sometimes look to their children to learn how to live in the moment.

Kiss in the rain. Or buy plenty of his/her favorite candy and place it in his/her mailbox. Seize the moment and be romantic.

Take a chance. Don’t let your fear of consequences keep you from living. Be brave, and make decisions you do not really dare. Invite your crush over for a movie, move abroad to study or work. Take that dance class you didn’t sign up for.  What do you have to lose?

Be adventurous. Find things in life that make you excited, and follow them. Be passionate and express yourself. Make your life an exciting adventure with ups and downs, calms and storms.

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