As kids, we all spent our time fantasizing about having exciting and adventurous lives that really stood out from the ordinary and seemed like something from a great film or story.
As a rule, no one spends their time imagining a mediocre and boring future where nothing really stands out from the ordinary, and where everything seems clearly mapped out in advance.
And yet, too many of us do ultimately find ourselves feeling like our lives are playing out that way.
If you feel like your life has been missing some of that spark of excitement and optimism that you had as a kid, or even if you are generally happy with the life you’re currently living, but still want to find ways to inject a bit more “magic” into things, finding ways to make powerful “moments” more a part of your everyday existence might be the key.
So without further ado, here are a few tips for filling your life with powerful moments.
Understand that powerful moments, themselves, can transform your life for the better
There’s a certain kind of common wisdom out there that tells us that it’s the stuff we do every day, consistently, that really makes the difference in how our lives play out – and not the specific large-scale “moments” at all.
There is definitely some truth to this. After all, the things we do day in, and day out are our key habits and form the framework for our futures.
All the same, though, it’s definitely the case that certain key “moments” can really transform the entire course of our lives in dramatic and completely disproportionate ways.
Just think about meeting your future husband or wife, for example. The original meeting might have just been a completely chance coincidence at a coffee shop that took five minutes, but with consequences that completely transform your life forever.
In the book, “The Power of Moments,” by Chip and Dan Heath, the authors make a compelling case that powerful moments in our lives can do everything from transforming our health to shaping which memories we will carry with us, to influencing our destinies in all sorts of other ways.
The first step to getting more powerful “moments” in your life, is to understand that powerful moments, themselves, are not just casual little things that you should be interested in only for “fun.” Instead, they are worth seriously pursuing, because your whole life can become better as a result.
If anything, that should be some pretty good motivation to be more proactive and spend less time on the sofa.
Let your own personality shine through during life milestones
During the key milestones and moments that occur in your life in general, you can really kick things up a notch by actively taking steps to allow your own personality to shine through.
This makes the moment more memorable in and of itself, but it also unlocks a lot of the hidden potential and power the moment contains.
When you’re planning your wedding, for example, don’t just go through the motions and do the same kind of ceremony that everyone else is doing – unless you find that genuinely meaningful and in line with your own preferences.
Instead, find ways to adjust the event so that enough of your own personality shines through so that it really feels personal to you.
When it comes to wedding planning, even just including things like customized save the date magnets in your invitations to your guests could go a long way, as well as choosing your playlist carefully, and an overarching theme that you might choose to go with.
Focus on taking action (whether you feel like it or not), and don’t listen to the negative voice inside your head
As a general rule of thumb; big, exciting, and uplifting moments only really come to people who live proactive and outgoing lives. It’s just not that likely that you will experience a lot of those moments if you spend most of your time firmly locked in your comfort zone, and staying at home all the time.
There’s a misconception that people who are always outgoing, active, and “getting things done,” are that way because they just don’t feel the same negativity, hangups, or self-doubt that other people feel.
When you actually look at what a lot of the most successful and outgoing people in the world have to say about things, though, you will notice that just about everyone talks about experiencing self-doubt, internal resistance, and having those days where all they want to do is stay in bed.
The key difference between the people who are constantly chasing and living life, and the rest of us, is that the really outgoing people take action even when they don’t feel like it – and they get pretty good at ignoring the negative voice inside their heads.
The more you can focus on taking action, instead of sitting around and overthinking all the time, the likelier you are to find yourself in situations that turn into powerful and uplifting moments. Make a list of the kinds of goals you would like to achieve at some point, and then look for opportunities to start taking action towards those goals today.
You will absolutely have those moments where all you want to do is stay in bed, and it’s pretty much inevitable that negative and self-defeating thoughts will crop up from time to time.
But the more you can get yourself used to just “doing things,” the more the world and its potential will unfold itself to you.
Get out into the world as much as possible – don’t just watch life through a screen
This definitely follows on from the last point – but there are a few important distinctions.
The previous point was about how important it is to take action, in general. This point is about how important it is to free yourself from the temptation to constantly experience the world through a screen – which is something that more and more of us today actually do end up doing.
With the rise of the Internet, the development of ever-faster smartphones, more affordable widescreen TVs, gaming consoles, and more, it’s not uncommon for many people these days to spend almost all of their waking hours staring at one screen or another – first at work, then at home.
In fact, there’s a good chance that you even spend a lot of your morning commute staring at a screen and constantly refreshing your social media feeds as your bus moves along.
The Internet is an amazing tool, and there are a lot of great things about digital technologies around us and what they can help us to achieve.
But, the sheer popularity of these gadgets also means that it’s now extremely easy to “watch life,” rather than actually “live life.”
It should go without saying that you can’t experience powerful, life-affirming, and meaningful moments in your own life if you are spending all of your free time and energy watching or reading about those kinds of moments in other people’s lives – or else are spending all your time watching funny videos and reading forum posts.
Put limits on your screen use – and make sure that the things you are reading, watching, and looking at online or on TV are kept in proper balance, and do some good for you rather than just acting as massive time sinks.
Those powerful moments you are looking for are offline and out there in the world. You’ve got to go get them.
Constantly try new things and adjust your ordinary routines
Psychologists have done some interesting experiments that seem to show at least one reason why time seems to race by, the older we get.
It turns out that the more we settle into defined routines, and do more or less the same things every day, the more our minds end up “filtering out” elements of our everyday experience. That’s why after several months of doing pretty much the same kinds of stuff at work, and enjoying pretty much the same kinds of activities at home, you can end up looking back and struggling to think of even one memorable event that happened during that time.
So, what’s the solution? Well, a big part of it seems to be to change things up, even just a little bit.
It turns out that changes to your everyday routine as small as putting your watch on the other wrist, or taking a different route to work, can make things memorable and interesting enough that you will be more aware of your surroundings, and be better able to recollect what actually happened.
That’s a potential plus, all by itself. But it’s also worth pointing out that making a habit of changing a few things up every day is a good way of opening yourself to new possibilities and opportunities, as well as increasing the odds that you might experience significant life moments that really help to move things forward in exciting and unpredictable ways.
Plus, by finding ways to make each day a little bit different from the one before it, you’ll be able to help reduce the sensation that time is passing you by.