The older I get (the half century mark is approaching very fast and that older looking man in the mirror won’t leave me alone), the more I realize just how much “stuff” I tend to hold on to that really negatively impacts my quality of life. In fact, I am starting to feel more and more like Rocky in his last movie. Did you see it? I think it was called “Rocky 18”. Not really. It was “Rocky Balboa”.
In it, an aging Balboa is drawn back into the ring, as he puts it, “To get the ‘junk’ out of his gut.” You see Rocky had been holding on to some stuff in his life– cares and concerns that were dragging him down. And these cares were preventing him from moving forward and truly enjoying life.
I find the same thing happens to me if I am not careful. Here are 5 strategies I have learned to help me live with fewer cares and be more carefree:
- Free your mind from worry. When we worry, we borrow cares and concerns from tomorrow and we drag them into today. Once we get them here, they just ruin our present.
- Free your heart from hatred. This one is very similar to the first strategy only in the opposite direction. When we harbor anger, resentment, and bitterness toward someone for something that happened in our past, it is like handcuffing ourselves to them and pulling them around with us all the time so they can continue to ruin our present.
- Free you life from complexity. Simplify. Look for things that can be pruned out of your life. Are you so busy doing all those “good things” that you are killing yourself? Cut some out.
- Free yourself from greed. Many people tend to get caught up in two twin syndromes: the “get as much as I can” syndrome and the “hold on to it as long as I can” syndrome. When I fall prey to these two, I find myself going through life clutching tightly to all “my stuff “and worrying about it. Giving is a wonderful antidote to battle greed. It helps us take our eyes off ourselves and focus on helping others.
- Free yourself from expecting perfection. To put it more simply, expect less. No one is perfect. People are going to mess up—including you. My bride is going to disappoint me…so are my kids…so are my colleagues at work…so is the gate agent at the airport and the kid washing my car. When we expect perfection, we can only be disappointed (or neutral at best). But when we don’t expect it and we get it…it’s GREAT!
Implement these strategies and set yourself up to live a life full of pleasant surprises…it is way more fun.