Ways To Live A Better Life
What does that word even mean?
When people would tell me, “You just need to get perspective.” Who’s perspective? Which perspective? That’s way too broad. What the heck are you talking about?!
But now, I think I’ve gained some perspective. And now, I think I know what it means.
I recently celebrated 7 years of marriage, and we decided to grab dinner at our favorite burger joint in town…which happens to be 3 blocks from our house (which is dangerously close…for our bellies, anyway).
As we reflected on our last 7 years of adventuring together, I asked my wife, “What are your favorite 7 moments of the last 7 years?” We didn’t keep track, but we kept going back and forth sharing our favorite memories of being with each other.
From traveling all over the world together to becoming parents, to moving across the country twice, I now know what it means to have a perspective.
We’ve had a child and we’ve lost a child.
We’ve moved away from family and we’ve moved closer to the family.
We’ve had a lot and we’ve had a little.
We’ve been surrounded by many friends and we’ve felt completely isolated.
7 years isn’t that long, yet we’ve experienced a whole heck of a lot of life in that short time. And in that 7 year period, I’ve gained some perspective. And I want to share with you just a few things about life that I hope you’ll take seriously.
1. DON’T DO LIFE ALONE.
I’ve had the privilege of being married to my best friend for 7 years (I know I’ve said that several times already…get over it), but both spouses in a marriage should also have other friends. Friends that are couples (or singles) that you can do life with.
Living in community is hard. Like, REAL hard. But that’s exactly why we need it. Other people help shape who we are. Having good friends that are willing to tell you the truth even when it hurts is more valuable than gold. And having friends that are willing to drop everything to come to your side when you’re hurting…well that’s invaluable.
2. DON’T LET A LACK OF MONEY KEEP YOU FROM MAKING MEMORIES.
We’ve been in seasons of abundance and we’ve been in seasons of barely scraping by. But all along the way, we made memories. When we didn’t have money, we’d take a walk around the neighborhood and make up stories of the people living in the houses we passed. Or we’d go to a park and watch our dog play. Or we’d try to just spend time at a friend’s house.
When we had extra money, we’d try to travel, even if it was just to a nearby town we hadn’t been to. And my advice to you is, don’t spend all your money on possessions. Even when buying gifts! Try to gift experiences that will leave a lasting memory, rather than some ‘thing’ that will be forgotten within the month.
3. DO SOMETHING YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT.
If you can make a living doing something you love, please do that. You need it, but we also need it from you. And if you’re unable to make a career out of a passion, then make it a side project.
Many of you don’t have a problem with that. Some of you put heart and soul into gardening. Some of you love to run marathons. Some of you love to take photos or paint. Make sure you carve out time to pursue those passions. When you’re able to pursue something you’re passionate about, it makes you more alive. Which makes you a more enjoyable human to be around!
I know I’m a hot mess when I’m not pursuing something I’m passionate about. I tend to piddle and waste a lot of time…which annoys the heck out of my wife (as it should). But when I’m able to put my hands to something that I’m passionate about, however big or small it is, I act out of who I really am. I’m a much more enjoyable person when I enjoy the things I do in life.
There’s so much more to life than working a 9-to-5, putting food on the table and living for the weekend. Take advantage of every moment you can. Because moments are what makes up our lives. We live out our days, but we remember moments. Pursue memorable moments today, friend.
Written by Derek Harvey
Originally appeared on DerekHarvey.me