Becoming chronically ill had made me stop to ponder much more often than I used to when I was still rushing through my ever busy life.
“On the last day of our lives, what will we hope we decided to do on this one?” – Greg McKeown
This quote had got me thinking even more, and it made me decide to start living my life a little differently from then on. Yes, life does sometimes get in the way by trying to pull me back into my old habits, but I’m really working towards not letting that happen, and I can definitely say that I’ve become a much happier person by following these few rules:
Always find time for the people who matter most, including yourself.
I love spending time with family and friends, and I like to think that I’ve always made time for them. But at times, I’d over-commit and wouldn’t leave any margin for myself. I now realise that making time for myself has made me more able to handle my commitments and to enjoy quality time with my loved ones more.
Stop worrying about tomorrow and start truly enjoying today.
I’m a born worrier and in the past, I’ve been definitely guilty of not enjoying the present moment simply because I’d be fretting over something. I still struggle a bit with this, but I do try to worry less and it’s really helped me appreciate the small but essential things in life.
Choose happiness whenever you can.
I’ve also realised that to some extent, happiness is a choice. This isn’t to say that there aren’t moments in our lives which are overwhelmingly sad, and I do think it’s important in those moments to take the time to grieve and allow yourself to heal emotionally. But there are times when happiness is a choice. Life is full of ups and downs, and on any given day, if you choose to focus on the negative aspects, it’s easy for the positive ones to pass you by.
This was a hard one for me. I tend to be my own worst critic, and I often feel that I should’ve done things better. But I’m trying to learn to let go and to remember that I’ve always done my best in any situation. Perhaps a decision turned out not to be the best one in the end, but there were reasons behind that decision. Therefore, we’ve got to learn to accept that and forgive ourselves when things don’t turn out right. We just simply have to hope for a brighter tomorrow.
Chase your dreams.
I wouldn’t say that I didn’t chase my dreams before, but there were some things I’d put off because I thought the time wasn’t right or I wasn’t good enough. Now I’ve learned that life is short and that there’s no better time than the present to seek goals. Of course it’s not always possible to take up every challenge, but I do try to analyse what’s most important to me and at least plan what I can do today to get one step closer to achieving my objectives, whatever they may be.
After a year of being chronically ill, I feel so lucky to have been given a second chance at life. I’m definitely going to make the most of this second chance. By adopting the above rules, I now go to sleep happier every day, even on the more challenging days.