Just dug out an unpublished 2008 blog post! Enjoy!
Have you ever gone outside and taken a walk; and just walked? I’m not talking about walking to work, class, or to the grocery store, I am talking about just walking with no destination, time-contraints, or agenda. I think everyone, especially in today’s world should try it. Throw away your deadlines, others’ expectations, your contraints, your “what-ifs”, and your “should-be’s”. Just walk outside, take a deep breathe of air for as long as you want to, and just walk. I always hear people, my friends too, on vacation saying with a sigh, “This is the life.” I began to think about what makes a “vacation” so much more satisifying than daily life. What if we looked forward to tomorrow as much as we do a vacation? What if we lived everyday with the same excitement we get when we get off of a plane in a new place. What makes vacation so great is that our relaxation is active and not passive. We are IN THE MOMENT; on the beach, at a party, with family or friends. What typically lies passive in our “everyday” lives becomes active. In our passive lives (everyday lives) we listen to music on our headphones while writing reports. We talk to our friends while thinking about a task to be done. We even eat lunch, and think about the next meeting we have to go to. And for sure, we walk outside only as a function to go somewhere. What if we listened to music to listen to music, we ate lunch to enjoy food, we walked outside to enjoy the air, and we talked to other people to invest solely in them.
I am not advocating throwing away responsibilities of our vocations. What I am saying is that to make us better at what we do, we need to embrace the little things that make life so interesting every single day. The next time you are in a meeting, try focusing all of your attention on the contents of the meeting. How does it feel? The next time you eat a great sandwich, think onlyabout the different flavors in that sandwich. How does it feel?
What you describe as a mundane routine may suddenly turn into a beautiful life. So, go outside and take a walk with no direction, walk in the snow just to hear the crunch. Soon, I am sure, you will find freedom and happiness; even in your “everyday” life. Make the passive, active.