One of the goals I had for myself this year was to try to watch or listen to something educational, or that at least made me feel like I was being educated, at least once a week. I’ve learned not to shut myself in a box with these kinds of things, so these podcasts and videos could be in relation to anything from learning about a Young Living product to just a fun Ted talk. The main idea being to stimulate my brain. Let’s call it continuing education for life shall we?
Anyway, someone somewhere posted this Ted Talk and it struck a chord in me. Actually I think this particular chord has been struck for a while now, but this video just confirmed how I had been feeling. A meaningful life isn’t built on the things we acquire, or our status in this world, but rather the unforgettable moments that form the memories that make up the life we look back on.
In the video it’s revealed that 80% of millennials value experiences over having stuff.
I think this isn’t new news to anyone. We all know it’s the things you can’t buy that matter most. And that memories are the things in life that can’t be replaced, they are invaluable in a sense. But what I didn’t know, or think much about, was the act of pursuing those memories on a daily basis. It’s easy to think about making memories in regards to holidays and vacations, special events and milestones, but what about when you are getting dressed in the morning? Who would have thought that deciding to change things up and wear a pair of funky socks could actually make your life more engaging?
Some key points in the talk included addressing our “routine based life,” referring to our mundane day-to-days. We do the same things, in the same order, every day. In fact, 90% of our activities stay the same from day to day. The speaker, Dustin Garis, notes that this kind of lifestyle is mindless, leaving us on cognitive autopilot. It leads us to unhappiness, and causes us to disengage from our own lives.Those who live this lifestyle are 40% more likely to die early. They are literally being BORED TO DEATH!
The good news is, small changes make a difference. The better news still is, it’s not too late to change.
According to Garis, our new goal should be to maximize our “life profit.” Each experience, or memory, we create, has a value. Those that step outside our normal routines, the ones that stimulate us, have higher values. We can start by changing the way we wear our hair one day, reorder the procession of our normal daily tasks, or just wear some fun socks for a change. Even those small changes get the synapses going in our brains and breaks us free from the autopilot.
The idea is that even the “everyday” shouldn’t be lost in a sea of forgotten time. Every day has the potential to be meaningful and memorable if we make a little effort to make it so, and our brains will thank us.
This past year has been a year of extreme, huge “life profit” experiences. We’ve done a lot of traveling. And now that I’m settled, at least for the moment, in a somewhat mundane lifestyle, it’s been a challenge for me to stay engaged daily. It’s been like coming off of a high in a way. I’m not saying it isn’t a good thing. Aubrey and I were due for some rest and restoration. It’s just a matter of trying to find the balance, and create a lifestyle where we won’t get lost in forgotten days. I’m trying not to wish this time away, to appreciate it for what it is and what it offers during this season in my life. I’m trying to see the memorable value in a normal day-to-day lifestyle, instead of only focusing on the big trips and moments. It’s easy to waste weeks away waiting for weekends, and months waiting for your next vacation. So much life is missed in those downtimes. It’s not realistic for every day to be some grand experience, but each day is once in a lifetime if we think about it.
So this is another challenge I’m putting on my plate. Now to find some funky socks 🙂