Think Inside the Box

Don’t let it piss you off when you realize how easy it actually is to be happy in life. Around this time last year, I made one simple decision: make no resolutions. When you’re losing your mind, stressed about anything or everything, ask yourself: “Does it really even have to be this way?”

Most of us already have everything we need to lead a happy, stress free life. Before modern society, stress was good—necessary for basic survival instincts. Now, life has just become a list of demands and goals. Every time I sacrifice living life to study I ask, “Is this worth it?” I want to know the exact date in ancient history where civilization decided that life was about wanting more. To clarify, I love innovation. I would be saddened by any disruption to progress. However, happiness should not be the price we pay for change. We complicate life on our own. I also admire ambition but again, you have to consider its actual cost. If you spend a quarter of your life searching for your dream, the next half of your life achieving it, what was the point in the end?

Thinking and living inside the box is so underrated. Not once this past year did I feel “unhappy”. I accepted life. You don’t have to continuously feel grateful for your life to be happy either. Just know that achieving your ambitions is outside the box—not a matter to stress over. Unburden yourself to be happy.

1. Redefine “goals”

This year has been so cathartic because I finally stopped making rules. How “outside of the box” is it to know exactly where you’re headed all the time? If you don’t let your goals limit you, then you’ll probably end up achieving something everyday. Just do things that you’ll be happy about—it’s that simple.

Loopy?

2. Don’t bother having a personal “To-Do” list past #3 (or have a list at all).

Try to think of the last time you finished the first 3 things on your list and made it onto #4...Must have been a great day but no one can do that everyday. I used to create my own stress and disappointment by starting my day off with false expectations. As the days of feeling useless-ness piled up, the more daunting this list became. Everyday began with guilt from the previous days’ of un-accomplishment. I just got rid of it one day; I started living that day.

3. Stop Being Busy

This takes a lot of mental deconstruction. Do what’s truly important. Do less. Before you worry over what was pushed aside in the process, realize that it probably had no affect on anything. Think before you make commitments.Stop being busy and be still. The less you move the easier it will be to direct yourself to what’s necessary.

Very little in life demands risk so why isn’t everyone happy? Begin to accept that happiness doesn’t have to be an abstract concept or goal. Its difficult and ironically against our nature to live inside the box.

I have enjoyed every minute of the last 365 days. Forget making resolutions this year; just start living.