How you can improve the quality of your life if you do this one thing – and it won’t cost you a penny.
We might be familiar with the term “quality of life” as it relates to someone who may be elderly or ill. I know it came up often when my husband was nearing the end of his battle with MS.
But we sometimes forget that every living person has a quality of life…whether good, bad, so–so, or awesome.
So how would you rate the quality of your life, right now…do you have what you want? Do you want what you have? Are you happy where you are at this stage of your life?
Rate each of the following statements on a scale of 1-10, 10 being best:
- You’re happy with the material items you have and you don’t want more (clothes, car, house, electronics)
- You’re doing what you want to day–to–day (job, routine)
- Overall, you’re happy with where you are in life (physically, financially, living situation)
- You’re happy with your relationships (spouse, partner, relatives)
Now total your score…was it a 20, or above? Was it average, or below?
Are you satisfied with your score, or do you think it could be better? Do you WANT it to be better?
Many of us grew up believing, and still believe, that our circumstances create our feelings —if we could just get that job, house, car, or person, then we could finally be happy (advertisers spend billions of dollars every year to keep that belief alive and well).
But what if the opposite were true?
What if we need to be happy first in order to create that desired job, house, car, or relationship?
Here’s an example:
I used to live in a big, bright, 2-bedroom apartment in an expensive, urban neighborhood that I thought I could afford.
It lasted about a year and a half before I had to admit that, mathematically, I actually COULDN’T afford it.
The apartment had a full garage, big, bright windows, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, and an in-apartment washer and dryer (industrial size–be still my heart).
The new apartment I chose had one bedroom, one tiny bathroom, no dishwasher, no in-unit washer and dryer, and on-street parking only. Also, being in the city, had a much higher propensity for crime.
BUT, it was also about $700 cheaper a month.
If I had decided to leave my fancy apartment based on thoughts like “I have to leave”, “This isn’t fair”, “This place shouldn’t cost so much”, or “I shouldn’t have to do this”, I would have felt completely miserable about the circumstance of moving and would probably have resented the move.
But instead, I knew that I didn’t want to continue going deeper into debt for no reason. The extra amenities just weren’t that important to me, and I was tired of the constant stress of having to come up with the rent every month.
Initially, I was drawn to the city because the rents were so much cheaper. But what happened was I fell in love with the charm of the place.
My thoughts about it were: “I’m choosing to do this to save money and stress”, “I live alone so washing dishes by hand won’t bother me”, “the laundry room is only a few steps away from my apartment”, and “parking isn’t a big deal because there are so many awesome places within walking distance”.
I chose to be happy about it first.
Most importantly I believed those thoughts, they all felt true to me so I didn’t have to lie to myself first and then struggle later to make the lies feel true.
The result of liking my situation ahead of time was that I got to actually enjoy my new space, which created the circumstance of me having a more desirable living space by choosing my thoughts about it.
These new thoughts also helped create the circumstance of being able to finally start getting out of debt (I’d trade the in-apartment washer and dryer for that any day, thank you!).
It’s not the circumstances that dictate our feelings, it’s our thoughts about that circumstance.
Based on that equation it’s possible to change the quality of your life without changing anything but your thoughts.
Better yet, you can IMPROVE the quality of our lives, just by improving your thoughts.
The next time you feel angry, sad, or not good enough because of your circumstances, step back and get curious about the thoughts you’re thinking that are causing your feelings.
You don’t have to trick yourself into believing your circumstances are rainbows and daisies, you just have to drop into a thought that feels a little bit better. A thought that gets you to a place where can at least feel more neutral.
And please don’t wait until you’re elderly or – God forbid – have a critical illness to start paying attention to your quality of life.
Discover What’s Possible.
Click here if you want to learn more about how to not just improve your life, but live a fuller life than you ever thought possible!