Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Life Without Distractions: What is left?

The pandemic has brought many changes to our day-to-day lives and most people have found this challenging in some way. What has happened and what can we learn from it? Lockdowns, restrictions, rules... No more travel (or a lot less), no more socializing (or a lot less) and no more going out / entertainment (or in a very restricted / limited way). In other words, you could say that Covid regulations have removed people's distractions, at least to some degree. With a life stripped of its distractions, what is left is the core of your life.

So this is a really good time to evaluate your life: What is left when you remove all the distractions? Are you happy with your life if there is no escape from it? Because if you can be happy with the core of your life, then not only is there no need for distractions, but it also gives you the confidence that you can be happy even in challenging times. You will have a great foundation for your life from which to create, build and expand, and this will give you the opportunity to build up reserves in good times for the more challenging times. Most people do not have these reserves, because they already live a life on the edge, where even in neutral times their life is evaluated - on balance - as just "doable". We need to aim for better than a doable or manageable life, and aim for joy instead! An abundant life filled with inspiration, freedom and peace of mind, coming from the very core of your life's setup. And yes, this is possible!

I think at this moment in time many people are finding that they are not happy: The life they were living was only manageable because of the distractions and temporary escapes that they had built into their routine. They made life manageable by implementing 'solutions' that only targeted the symptoms, but not the root cause. But now that we can no longer remedy the symptoms, we need to look at the root cause. Many people are getting divorced / breaking up, making plans to move to a different home / location / country, reconsidering their job / career options, etc, because they realize they don't feel comfortable where they are without regular and reliable escape-options.

I consider these shifts and changes that are occurring a good thing, even though it may seem drastic and radical at this time. However, it is a great way (and necessary) to find out what we really want: we can restructure our lives from the core, and see what really brings happiness. It's never distractions that bring happiness: those are just temporary forms of relief that might make life more bearable. But what is at the core? And what would you like the core of your life to consist of or bring to you in order to live a happy, free, peaceful and fulfilling life?

In this sense, Covid is a blessing for many. We get to re-evaluate our lives with a very clear understanding of what is structural and permanent, versus temporary and fleeting. We can also learn to distinguish clearly between temporary delights / excitement (diversions) and permanent happiness (joy). The latter is a more peaceful kind of joy and also more durable, lasting even in challenging times and stressful situations. This sense of peace is crucial: if you don't feel that at least in addition to the excitement, you are likely dealing with a diversion instead.

Lastly, like any other challenge in life, this pandemic can make us creative: How can we still do the things that make us happy, despite current restrictions? These are valuable questions, and they may lead you to discoveries about your life you would not have made otherwise.

So reap the rewards of this pandemic, and evaluate your life today: What is at its core? Does it bring you true, lasting happiness? And if not, or not entirely, what is it that you really need, and which steps should you take in order to bring this into your life?

Remember, it is never too late to change, and today is a great day for it.