I always liked Keanu Reeves’ movies (Matrix especially) but never knew much about him. Last week, my husband forwarded this article to me on Facebook – Keanu Reeves shares 5 Pieces of Wisdom on how to be happy in life. My first thought was “Really? Keanu Reeves? How deep can it be?”
I stand corrected. I was floored by what I read and wanted to share his advice #4 below.
“My friend’s mom has eaten healthy all her life. Never ever consumed alcohol or any “bad” food, exercised every day, very limber, very active, took all supplements suggested by her doctor, never went in the sun without sunscreen and when she did it was for as short a period as possible- so pretty much she protected her health with the utmost that anyone could. She is now 76 and has skin cancer, bone marrow cancer and extreme osteoporosis. My friend’s father eats bacon on top of bacon, butter on top of butter, fat on top of fat, never and I mean never exercised, was out in the sun burnt to a crisp every summer, he basically took the approach to live life to his fullest and not as others suggest. He is 81 and the doctors says his health is that of a young person.
People you cannot hide from your poison. It’s out there and it will find you so in the words of my friend’s still living mother: ‘If I would have known my life would end this way I would have lived it more to the fullest enjoying everything I was told not to!’
None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after thought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.“
I don’t know about you, but this one really spoke to me. I was raised very proper and Asian. I was an excellent student and up until 8 years ago, I did everything by the book.
- I went to the best schools, because it was the right things to do
- I worked in the most prestigious companies because it was good for my work brand
- I pushed myself until I was burnt out because I just had to achieve. That was supposed to make me happy.
It took me many years to realize that despite all the achievements and pedigree experience, I didn’t know how to be happy. My happiness was often dependent on me achieving something first. Even then, it was short-lived. I didn’t know what I truly wanted in life. I was afraid to take any risks. Everything I did was based on what my parents advised me or what society taught me to aspire to – “big title and salary!”
Did I learn how to be happy in life since this realization? Yes and No
- Yes, as I quit my big time partner-tracked consulting career and went into part time contracting to recover my sanity and health. I was able to find my soulmate in the most unlikely place (online), have two beautiful kids, and spend considerable time with them.
- No, because I am still learning how to be happy with myself. I have 30 years of conditioning to override.. My default thought is “I am not good enough yet.” I returned to full time work two years ago with all my old conditioning – competitive, a pleaser achiever, and caring too much about what other people think of me and my work.
It’s a process for me, but you know what? I am okay with it. I used to want to control and know everything. I accept now that I can’t and appreciate how exciting that feels. I used to take risks only if I knew I could win (so not much risk :-)). Now I don’t. I take risks for the experience of it. This is how this website got started six years ago. It’s a life-long passion I am so glad to have found. Whether it reaches 1 person or 1 million, I am finally contributing something meaningful to the world and to people I don’t know.
I share this with you to tell you – You are not alone. None of us know all the answers. What’s important in being happy in life and with ourselves are:
- Accept who we are with all our imperfections while strive to learn more
- Be grateful for what we have and aspire to do more
- Love and be kind to ourselves (this is often forgotten)
- Find ways to be kind to others (big or small) – it will make us happier than all the money in the world
- Dare to dream and take action at any age. Start anywhere and with anyone. It’s never too late to enjoy life to the fullest and be a kid again in how we learn.
You may be 21 or 65. Today is all you have for sure. Be present! Don’t wait to enjoy life until you get that job or promotion or make $x. Don’t wait to mend relationships or make new friends. Don’t postpone life for work. Take big steps or baby steps – it’s up to you but do something, anything! As Anthony Robbins always advised “Motion creates emotion.” If you are stuck or feel down about anything, start taking action. That “motion” can creates a chain reaction.
What am I doing today as a result? You will laugh at this. I am going to try my first “handstand” in about 30 years. Why? Why not? I have been watching my 7 year old learn how to do hand stands and cart wheels in a matter of a few weeks. I thought to myself – I want to try that. Yes I am in my 40s. But I want to learn things as if I am still a kid. I aim to do a handstand and full cart wheel this year. Why? no reason. I just want to do it and be silly. I bet you the world looks different upside down 🙂
Seize today – Be Bold! Be Silly! Be whatever you want to be. No one can say no to you if you say yes to yourself.
Your comments: What is the next silly thing you want to do? What is keeping you from enjoying life to the fullest? Do you believe you can change? I look forward to your comments
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