May 17, 2014

111th Post - 11 Ways to Seize the Day

111. That's a lot of posts.

And the blog has changed a lot since the beginning.  It started as a way to share business news and give Jenn Wells Design a little more personality.  Now, after my career has shifted away from the freelance thing, it's mostly personality with a little business mixed in.  I've really been enjoying writing, now that I've removed the imaginary reins I had given myself (professionalism, pah!).

I've noticed most blogs have an introductory post at the beginning.  My first post was about my tattoo and some kind of self reflective realization I had had in the process of creating it.  I still feel that way, and it's a good introduction to how I approach self actualization and personal growth (though I'm kind of embarrassed now by the writing; hopefully I've improved!), but it's not quite the same as an introduction to the blog.  I couldn't really introduce the blog then, because I didn't know what the blog was for.

I'm still not entirely sure, but I know what inspires me the most.  I usually call it self actualization, but what I mean is living life to the fullest.  Finding new things to experience and experiencing them as much as possible.

I'd like to have it said of me when I die, "Damn, did she live!" 

Personal growth is a part of that, too.  Being the best possible version of yourself, in order to get the best experience out of everything else.  Most of all, I want to find other life connoisseurs to share it with, swap ideas with, and be inspired by.

So in honor of the 111th post (I'll be honest, 100 or even 101 would have been cooler, but I wasn't paying attention), I present 11 Ways to Seize the Day! (I'm pretty sure no one wants to read a 111 item list - I'm doing you guys a favor.):

11 Ways to Seize the Day | Business, Life & Design

11 Ideas for Other Life Connoisseurs

1. Do Things You're Afraid of
This is huge!  Mine was being alone.  I ate at restaurants by myself, forced myself to stay single for at least 6 months after my last breakup (I know it doesn't sound long, but it was for me; I used to dive from one terrible relationship into the next), and most recently visited the Philly Art Museum solo.  Being single was the best experience for me.  It helped me to grow so, so much.

2. Make a Bucket List
If you think it sounds morbid, call it a self actualization list.  But put the time in to think about your life and what experiences would make it fuller and more satisfying.  Also, don't feel like you have to include things just because other people think they're important.  This is all about you.

3. Make Resolutions You'll Actually Do
It's great to set big goals for yourself and to have that bucket list, but try to include both big, idealistic goals, and smaller ones that you can do now.  If everything on there seems hard and unreachable, you might just never bother to start.

4. Think About Yourself
Seriously, spend some time just thinking.  Who are you?  What do you like?  What do you want to do with your life?  Most people are happier with a purpose.  I know I am.  I enjoy my free time more now because I feel like I've earned it after putting constructive time in on other things.

5. Be Arrogant
You're awesome and you know it!  There is nothing wrong with knowing how great you are.  Just don't tell everyone all about it.  Be inwardly confident, even to the point of arrogance, and like yourself.  Know your good qualities and enjoy them.  Just don't lose sight of what your actual capabilities are.

6. Improve Yourself
You're awesome and you know it, but there's still probably a couple little things you aren't happy with.  Take steps to fix them.  Make yourself into the person you want to be, one baby step at a time.

7. Check out Lifehacks
There are plenty of lifehackers out there and communities for them.  Some of my favorite articles have come from  Most of the things you want to do or achieve, other people are also working to do and achieve.  Why not learn easier ways to do it and get support from peers?

8. Treat Yo'self!
Now I wouldn't necessarily take this to the extremes that Tom and Donna do in Parks and Recs, but you have to reward yourself.  If you're working towards a big goal, remember to give yourself smaller rewards along the way.  And don't forget that you're working towards something.  If you have savings goals to reach, and you pass them and keep saving, that's great, but... what are you saving for?  What's the point of having all that extra money if you're not going to enjoy it or get anything of value for it (peace of mind has value too; I'm not saying there's anything wrong with having a cushion)

9. Get to the Point
I'm still working on this one, but life is too short to waste on long explanations and beating around the bush.  Telling someone straight up what you think or how you feel will save so much time and stress, particularly in relationships.  I've got a whole post on what I've learned about communication, but it's basically this: be direct, be honest, and be brief.

10. Ditch the Guilt
If you just read through all this and thought, "Ugh, this sounds terrible" that's fine.  If, at the end of the day, you like just hanging out and watching tv/playing games/reading a good book, and your only regrets are that your life isn't a success by other people's standards, then just say Screw it!  Other people's standards are not important; you're the one who has to live with your choices and only you know what will make you happy.

11. Be Happy
Now that you've thought about yourself and your life and what you truly want, do it!  And when things don't work out, make the best of it.  We can't control everything that happens, but we can control our response to it, and by actively seeking happiness, you might just actually find some.

What are your tips for self actualization?