10 Things Things Should Be

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Think about the thing you love in this world more than anything else. Maybe that’s your parents or your S.O., or maybe it’s your job. Maybe you love playing online video games, or maybe you get your rocks off by climbing rocks. Whatever your thing is, think about it for a second. Think about how you feel when you’re doing that thing or talking to that person. Don’t think about one specific time or conversation, but of that thing as a whole. Wouldn’t it be great if everything were like that thing in your life? Wouldn’t it be magical if you woke up, and everything you did felt like that thing you love?

Why isn’t that the case? Why do we wake up angry that it’s Monday, or stay up late watching TV because we don’t want to go to work the next day? Why do we avoid phone calls from friends because you know it’s going to be drama?

This blog is about figuring out things in your life that are worthwhile and meaningful, and figuring out how to make everything else in your life more like those things. Your things shouldn’t be cumbersome or something you avoid, they should be the things that bring you happiness and allow you to be the kind of you you were meant to be.

Here is a list of ten things things should be:

  1. Useful – Usefulness doesn’t mean something is a tool. Things can be useful by bringing out different sides of your personality, or helping you make something else better. Useful things make us productive, either directly or indirectly. If something isn’t useful in your life, why do you keep it around?  Is it comfortable?
  2. Inspiring – Inspiring doesn’t mean that you have to have an Epiphany any time you have a conversation. Inspiring means something has to make you think and to make you see something in a different light every now and then.
  3. Beautiful – Beauty comes in many shapes and sizes, and applies to things other than people too (believe it or not)! Beauty isn’t just a painting or a cover girl or a sunset. Beauty is having something personal that fills you with happiness. Beauty is something meaningful and speaks to you unlike anything else.
  4. Engaging – If something doesn’t hold your attention then why do you care about it? Everything doesn’t have to always have your full attention, but if something NEVER has your full attention, you can probably do without it.
  5. Memorable – The most important things we will have at the ends of our lives are memories, and the things we hold nearest to our hearts should be memories we have with the things that mean the most to us.
  6. Unique – Your things should be unique. Life isn’t an Ikea store where everything can be compartmentalized and organized and made to fit into tiny boxes in your brain. Your things, your BEST things, should be as unique as you are and mean something different to you than anyone else.
  7. Timeless – Things shouldn’t have expiration dates unless they can be eaten. Things should continue to be long after they’re gone. Think about the conversations you have had with people that stick in your mind; good, bad, or ugly they stick with you and are powerful. Make every conversation, and every THING in your life stick with you even if you are doing something else.
  8. Valuable – Don’t think of value as something that has a dollar sign attached to it. Value in the marketplace is different than value in our lives. What is it that your things allow you to do or allow you to be? Value means something will be equally or more important tomorrow than it is today.
  9. Consistent – Things should be consistent, reliable, and we should be able to count on things to be as they are when we need them the most. Consistency allows you to lean on something when times get hard, and know that you will get the most out of it when each and every time.
  10. Original – You don’t always have to do things other people do, and your relationships don’t have to be the way other people think they are supposed to be. Don’t ever be afraid to push the envelope, whether it’s challenging your husband or choosing which color paint to make your bedroom.

I think most people would agree to these 10 things things should be. You might have a few other ideas about what things should be, and feel free to apply it to this next idea.

Think about the things in your life. Think about the friendships, relationships, stuff you’ve accumulated over the years and keep at your home. Think about your hobbies, your job, and your weekend plans. Think about your TV shows, your books, the emails you haven’t sent and your Amazon shopping cart. How would you rate the things in your life? Of the ten most recent things you’ve thought about, how many of those fit into all of the “things” in the list above? How many of those things fit into half of the things on that list?

Think about your job or your marriage; are those things engaging and valuable? Are they consistent and inspiring? If they aren’t then what keeps you invested in those things? Does a paycheck allow you to make for a better life or does it hold you in a position you hate being in? Does coming home to someone you feel contempt toward justify some kind of need to share rent together?

The last thought I will leave you with is this: pretend you’re having a conversation with your eight-year-old self. Pretend you know everything about yourself at that age, but he knows nothing of what you’ve become or where you’re at in your adult life. Pretend he asked you if you’re happy with yourself. What would you say if he asked about your job or your friends or what you liked to do when you had free time. Would you lie to him or would you inspire him? Just because you didn’t become an astronaut doesn’t mean you’d disappoint yourself, but if you have to lie about the most important things in your life, do something to change that.

 

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Why getting what you want matters

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Chances are, you are under the age of 35 if you’re reading this (unless we’re Facebook friends; Hi Mom!) and there is also a good chance you are still “trying to figure out what you want in life.” A lot of us have jobs we don’t love but allows us certain luxuries like car payments and the occasional pizza after a long night out. Chances are, there are a lot of things that you want that you can’t get with a bigger paycheck, and those are the things that really matter (and what this post is about!).

The first thing you have to do is ask yourself, “what do I want?” I hope your answer isn’t something like:

  1. Mansion
  2. Abs
  3. Parties with Jay & B

“Look, Beyonce. I don’t remember inviting you and it’s not that we don’t want to see you, but you’re over here ALL THE TIME.”

No, this is more of a things you should want out of life piece. This is more of a “how great would it be to wake up and make a cup of decent coffee before I got started getting ready for work?” kind of piece. This is more about personal freedoms and not being a slave to a paycheck and the ‘almighty dollar’ kind of piece.

Who is John Galt?

What you want matters. The biggest hurdle we have is believing those four little words. If you can accept this, then you’re ready for the second, and most important thing you’ll ever do for yourself.

Make it happen.

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My biggest hurdle (on more things than this TBH) was that I thought I needed a plan for everything before I could do something. There is no GPS in life. I thought I needed to hammer out exactly what I was going to do and how I was going to do it, but I never took my first step because I would be in a constant state of planning. One of the best things that I continue to learn from my wife is to just start something — just do something, and you realize that you’ll pick things up and figure them out along the way.

For the record, there are some times this doesn’t apply (furniture building, improv cooking, Insanity DVD buys), but for the most part, giving yourself a head start as you learn something along the way is a great motto in life.

What you want matters only if you’re determined enough to go and get it. Otherwise, wanting turns into wishing, and there’s a long line in the waiting room of people who are just hoping things fall to them. Be brave and go get what you want!