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I’m going to be upfront: Like everyone else my age in the world, I’m still trying to figure things out for myself. But at this point in my life, I can say that for me, living from the heart is to be yourself. Say what you want to say, do what you want to do, find work that is fulfilling, have fun, do your best in everything you do. (That way you can walk away being satisfied with your efforts, rather than regretting anything.)
Here are 3 things that I’ve done that I’ve found particularly useful
1) Be honest
As someone who grew up in a bilingual household, I’ve often had to deal with conflicting values, and I’ve often compromised my feelings and opinions for the sake of being left alone or because that’s just how I’m expected to behave in front of my family. But I’ve never found that suppressing my feelings, holding a grudge, or lying to save face makes a situation better. If you’re in a situation where it’s not appropriate to express your feelings out loud, try to find another outlet to channel that energy.
2) “You are who you surround yourself with.”
I never really understood what this truly meant until this past summer, when I had the chance to attend an incredible conference called the World Domination Summit, a gathering in Portland, Oregon, hosted by traveler Chris Guillebeau (who writes the incredible blog The Art of Non-Conformity). Surrounded by people who wanted to make a positive difference and live a life where a 9 to 5 desk job wasn’t the first thing on their wish list was invigorating. Reaching out to people who share my beliefs and philosophies in life and connecting with them has inspired a journey that I hope will mold me into a person I am proud to be.
Find events and gatherings for people who have similar interests and beliefs and connect with those people. Maintain those relationships if you can. Surrounding myself with people who demonstrate the qualities and mindset I want to develop and has been incredibly helpful in my journey of learning to live and lead from the heart.
3) Live in the Moment
Since beginning this journey, I’ve found that being selective about the material you absorb is crucial. I’ve always been a voracious reader; I read whatever I could get my hands on. Now I’m choosing to be more selective about what I read. I read things that inspire me, things that are in keeping with the new, positive mindset I want to develop.
This means I don’t read the news as often as I used to (otherwise it tends to discourage me about the current state of humanity) and distancing myself from social media and reality television when I need to and not apologizing for it. In this day and age of instant gratification, I find that the constant need to be in the loop stresses us out (or at least it stresses me out). I sometimes get depressed if I stare at Facebook for too long; I get into an unhealthy headspace, and the best way to remedy that, for me, is to physically distance myself from a screen and focus on living in the moment, which is one of the best ways to live from the heart.
What are your favorite ways to live from the heart?