To succeed in life, we need to feel comfortable physically and emotionally, but we don’t need to feel like we’re just treading water. We need good challenges that occupy our minds and bodies without causing us undue stress. It’s a tricky mix to get right, but there are a few steps you can take to try and find your equilibrium.
Get some rest
You can’t conquer the world if you’re groggy. Sleep is incredibly beneficial for our minds as well as bodies, but we neglect it. We sleep at the wrong times, or not at all. We pump ourselves full of caffeine and supplements in an effort to make up for it. But that’s like eating a bunch of carob and claiming it’s good as chocolate: You’ll know the difference, and so will your body.
The longer you go without sleep, the worse off you are. There’s evidence that going twenty-four hours without sleep makes you feel like a drunk person. Your thinking process gets muddled, and you’re a dangerous driver. That sense of fog and confusion can only be remedied by getting some rest. Some things preventing you from sleeping, such as a newborn baby or a bad cold, are situational and have to be waited out. But there are improvements you can make to your sleeping arrangements right now. If your lumpy old down pillow isn’t getting the job done, invest in a water pillow with more support for your head and neck. If it’s too hot, buy a fan. If it’s too cold, buy a heater. Too quiet? That’s why white noise machines were invented.
Sleep is the foundation for everything else you’ll accomplish or try to accomplish in life. Without a solid foundation, you’ll just sink into the ground.
Make some plans
So now that you’ve adjusted your sleep habits, it’s time to look at what you’re doing with your life during waking hours.What’s the last trip you took, and why? If you’re taking business trips instead of vacations, then you’re overdue for a travel experience that truly takes your breath away. You don’t have to spend a ton of money, either.
Look, we all get caught up buying things. From the new iPhone to the new tablet, things are how we measure our place in society. But there’s more to life than that. Look at your budget and do some tinkering. See if you can set aside less money for objects and more money for experiences you’ll remember forever. If you’re like most people, there are a few significant memories that are burned into your brain because of how truly alive you felt in those moments. Try to collect more of those.
Life is short, and it can often be brutal. Moments of utter heartbreak can co-exist with moments of pure bliss. There’s no guarantee you’ll ever be able to find a coherent pattern to the way life (and death) give and take. All you can do is try and position yourself to experience as much of the good stuff as possible before your number is called. Be open to all that life has to offer, and chances are you’ll find yourself in some truly unexpected places.