Our generation has a growing obsession with living in the moment.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been told that my 20s are for making bad choices. That the best memories come from mistakes. That if we’re not all running at the world full-speed ahead with both arms open, yelling “YES IS MY ANSWER TO EVERYTHING,” we are all going to end up miserable old shells of the people we could have been.
And that, in my opinion, is ridiculous.
We are not all the live fast, die young type. But that doesn’t mean that our lives can’t be meaningful and memorable. As a shameless, full-fledged overthinker, here are a few ticks I’ve come up with on how to carpe diem a little more reasonably.
1. Identify where your energy comes from.
Not everyone harnesses energy from going to wild parties and making irresponsible choices. Some people are energized through writing. Or running. Or painting. Or going to a yoga class. Making the most of every day means we are consciously choosing to participate in activities that make us feel inspired and rejuvenated. These are the activities that fuel us to do our best work and make the most of the time we have.
2. Turn your thoughts into actions.
The great thing about us overthinkers is that we have a lot of great ideas. The not-so-great thing is that very few of those ideas become a reality. If we’re going to take full advantage of our lives, we have to stop waiting to turn our pipe dreams into realities. It can be as big as quitting your job and booking that round-the-world trip. It can be as tiny as writing the first sentence of that novel. Any action we take to turn our thoughts into tangible accomplishments counts for something. We did something tangible with our day, and therefore seized it.
3. Say no to activities that drain you.
Ironically, we all spend a decent amount of energy participating in activities that we think will help us ‘be in the moment’ — even though they never seem to help. Put down FOMO for a second. Check in with yourself. Do you really want to go to the club with the $20 cover, or would you rather invest that $20 in a class you’ve been meaning to take? The more we recognize which habits hold us back, the more we are able to put the saved money, time and energy into something considerably more valuable.
4. Determine exactly what you want out of each day.
“Making the most of each day” is a vague, un-accomplishable goal — its no wonder we are constantly falling short of it. We can’t expect each day to be a flurry of passion and accomplishment but we can put realistic titles on what we are able to get done each day — and maximize our productivity as a result. The best way to seize the day is most likely to decide what we are reaching for in the first place.
5. Figure out what make you lose track of time.
And then do that thing every day.
It can be as huge as composing a symphony or as minuscule as dancing to a pop song in your underwear. Anything that drowns out the world for a little while counts. It’s when we’re forgetting all about the present moment that we’re doing our best job of seizing it — nNo matter what that means to us each individually.