Life can sometimes feel like it’s all about getting more, doing more, being more, or having more. But where does it end and what’s the point of it all?
When tragedy strikes, when your life takes a turn for the worse, and when you find yourself going through a dark night of the soul, you question everything.
As I find myself going through a dark night of the soul following the passing of my youngest brother, here are the only things in life that I’ve come to realize are truly worth getting more of.
Quality Time With Loved Ones
When someone we love passes away or transitions, we always wish we had more time with them. We look back at all the missed opportunities to spend time with them, to show them we cared, to talk to them. Perhaps you regret the times when you chose to do other things, or when you weren’t so kind to them, or even when you didn’t give 100% of yourslf when you were with them.
Spending more time with people you care about is something that you’ll never regret. And while it might seem hard to find the time sometimes, remember, when things are important to us, we make time for them.
Which leads me onto the second item on the list that’s truly worth getting more of. Time.
Time is something that many of us struggle with. There are always more things to be done than hours in the day. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Yet some peoplecano achieve 10x more than others. How is this?
One thing that I’ve learned from analyzing those who accomplish a lot versus those who don’t is that the difference lies in how they spend their time.
Those who accomplish the things they want, and more, never forget that time is our most valuable asset. And they treat it as such. They’re selctive about what they give their time to and only spend their valuable time on things that give them a long-term return.
While this return might be a return on investment, monetarily, there are plenty of non monetary long-term returns that are highly valuable.
Put it this way, anything you want to do will demand your time. Whether you want to learn a new skill to change careers, or you want to start a side business, you will need time. Whether you want to get fitter, or even if you want to incorporate more fun activities into your life, you will need time.
With all this in mind, start getting more time back in your life by spending your time wisely. Don’t let time lip away. Get clear on the things you want in life and then spend your time on activities that will get you there.
While all this might sound obvious, the truth is, the majority of people feel like they don’t have the time to do the things they want. When in reality, they’re spending their time on other things. And that’s fine, as long as you know where your time is going, and you don’t end up asking, “where did all the time go?”
Audit how you spend your time so you can cut things out where necessary, and get more time back in your life to spend on what matters to you most.
One of the things that everyone seeks is more happiness. However, I think what we truly desire is more joy.
A wonderful explanation of the difference between the two is that joy comes when you make peace with who you are, why you are, and how you are, whereas happiness tends to be externally triggered and is based on other people, things, places, thoughts, and events.
As a wise woman once told me, happiness is in the happenings.
This is an important difference because it means that joy is not something that can easily shift from day to day, or be taken away from you. It’s cultivated from within at the deepest level. Having more joy, will make for a much more content and peaceful life.
Of course, this doesn’t mean to say that there isn’t a place for happiness. But the problem is that most of us are so disconnected from ourselves, therefore we don’t experience joy, and as such, we spend a lot of our time seeking short-lived pleasures. From partying, to alcohol, to losing ourselves in tv. These things are only a distraction because when you stop, the fun is over and you’re back feeling the way you felt before the activity, seeking something else to make you “happy”
So how on earth do you experience more joy?
One of the critical factors when it comes to getting more joy in your life is to live in alignment with who you truly are. Which is why I believe that getting into more alignment definitely worth it.
This means doing things that align with your values and who you truly are are deep down, spending time on activities that align with what you want to accomplish long term, and listening to and honoring that inner voice.
We live in a world where it’s very easy to live out of alignment. We spend a lot of time doing things because someone, has told us, or shown us that it’s what we should do. This can be family, friends, or society.
We’re afraid of being true to ourselves because it might make us stand out, or be judged, or we might upset someone.
So we toe an invisible line, afraid of ever being too “odd”, “out there”, “different” or “too much”
But this is not the path to joy. Every time we deny our true nature and go with everyone else, we feel a little bit more lost. A little bit worse. Until one day we wake up and think, “ What on earth am I doing with my life, and who even am I?”
So, start living in alignment. You’re bound to experience more joy from it in the long term.
Another thing worth getting more of is clarity.
Before getting more in alignment you must have clarity. The areas that you need clarity on are:
- Who you are
- What you want
- What your values are / what’s most important to you
- Why do you want the things you want?
These are the core areas where you need to get clarity.
Without clarity you end up floating from this to that, never quite feeling like anything fits.
There’s no surprise that those whocano create the lives they want are always very clear on what they want.
This doesn’t mean you have to have clarity on every step it takes to get there, but you must know your destination.
Not to mention, the more clarity you have, the easier it becomes to spend your time wisely, because when faced with a decision about whether to do something or not, you know whether or not it will help or hinder you long-term.
Having clarity on your values will also help you know what cause of action to take when faced with a dilemma, since the best choice for you will be the one that is in alignment with your values. You’ll be able to live with it.
Getting clarity will impact every aspect of your life which is why it’s definitely worth getting more of.
[If you need more direction and clarity in your life, check out these resources]
A Sense of Purpose
Do you know what your purpose is? If not, then it might be time to get clear on your purpose. The benefits will astound you.
But what is purpose?
It’s important to note that your purpose isn’t your goals. Goals are things that can be accomplished, and completed. Whereas your purpose is your driver. Your sense of purpose could be to be the best mum you can be, to make a difference in someone’s life every day, or to leave a family legacy. Each of these things will mean different things to different people, and each will require different actions and goals.
Put simply purpose is:
1. The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.
2. A person’s sense of resolve or determination.
Having a sense of purpose significantly improves your experience of life. Notice that I didn’t say it significantly improves your life. That’s because having a deep sense of purpose doesn’t lead to a stress free life or a challenge free life, however, it does give you the psychological advantage when challenges arise because you’re better able to deal with them.
Research at Cornell University has shown that those who have a strong sense of purpose stay even-keel in negative situations and are not affected by other people’s opinions, whether good or bad.
According to Anthony L. Burrow, from the Human Development. College of Human Ecology, Cornell:
We are confronted with the ups and downs of life, but purpose is an active ingredient that helps us stay stable.”
This mental stability that having a sense of purpose brings means you won’t be as impacted by potentially stressful situations and will instead be able to remain calm.
Who doesn’t want less stress in their life?
What’s more, when the chips are down, the greater your sense of purpose, the more likely you’ll be to keep going.
New and challenging experiences
Another thing you might want to consider getting more of in your life, are new and challenging experiences. Studies have shown that contrary to previous thinking, the adult brain can grow new brain cells ( neurons), a process called neurogenesis. The great news is that there are activities that promote neurogenesis, including exposure to new complex environments and getting involved in challenging activities.
According to Paul Nussbaum, a clinical neuropsychologist at the University of Pittsburgh, the mental benefits of traveling are very clear.
“When you expose your brain to an environment that’s novel and complex or new and difficult, the brain literally reacts. Those new and challenging situations cause the brain to sprout dendrites (dangling extensions) which grow the brain’s capacity.”
The benefits of promoting neurogenesis include protecting or enhancing your long-term memory, improved spacial navigation, and emotional processing. Given that as we age, we lose neural pathways if you want to remain on point then getting more new and challenging experiences into your life is a must!
You will never know everything. There will always be more to learn. This is an obvious statement, but one worth remembering.
When it comes to things worth getting more of in your life, knowledge has to be on the list.
Our brains crave knowledge, we are naturally curious. Therefore continuous learning and development is a natural and necessary part of living a fulfilling life.
And the benefits of continued learning are as varied as the amount there is to learn.
Benefits of continued learning include:
Keeping your brain cells alive and creating new neural pathways.
Keeping your mind active since our bodies and our mind operate a use it or lose it system.
Staying relevant and protecting your career
Staying abreast of new technologies: Technology means that things change fast. There’s always a new or better way to do things, keeping abreast of advancements within your industry or profession will ensure you’re always prepared regardless of what happens to the economy.
Fun: As adults we can get bogged down with responsibilities, but getting more fun into your life is highly beneficial.
Learning can be fun. You can learn things just because, Whether it’s a new instrument, hand lettering, painting or something else. Knowledge is about learning, what you learn is up to you.
Enhancing your network and relationships: Through the new things you learn, you may meet new people through groups or classes you attend. What’s more, I’m not sure about you, but I love to spend time with people who know things I don’t know and conversations flow more easily when you can share knowledge and exchange ideas.
Therefore, being inquisitive and contineing to learn will likely make you a very interesting and engaging person when it comes time to meet new people.
Peace of Mind
Finally, on the list of things that are truly worth getting more of, there’s peace of mind.
Peace of mind or inner peace is spoken about in different ways. Some talk about having peace of mind, others about achieving peace of mind, and others want to find peace of mind. No matter how you view it, peace of mind matters.
Peace of mind is defined as a mental state of calmness and tranquility. This promotes better sleep, less worry and anxiety, and a sense of harmony.
There are many steps you can take when it comes to getting more peace of mind. Some of these include:
- Learning to let go
- Accepting others
- Forgiving yourself and others
- Focusing on the present
- Accepting things you can’t change
- Not being be too attached to outcomes
As you can see, this isn’t an easy list. Most of the things on this list require intention and conscious attention. They won’t happen o their own. This means if you want peace of mind, you need to first decide that is how you want to be and then work on living in alignment with this daily.
While it may take effort ( like all things worth having) the reward of having inner peace is priceless.
Some of the benefits of getting more inner peace include
- Freedom from stress and anxiety
- Improved mental health
- Better sleep
- You’ll become more compassionate
- Better focus
What’s more, more of life will feel like it flows rather than everything feeling like an uphill battle.
What did you think of this list? What would be on your list of the only things in life worth getting more of?