Turn off autopilot and become fully alive

December 24, 2022

Your life is like a painting. You start with a blank canvas with no meaning, and as you progress through life, you add to that canvas – the canvas of your life. Daily, you add the colors that you choose to the canvas – you create, paint, and add meaning to that canvas. You can’t change the canvas, only the paint on it. And at the end of your life, your painting is finished.

The meaning of the painting is relevant to you and a few select others who can understand it within the context of your life. So, as you go through life, many people only see part of the painting. You can see their reactions, and they influence how you paint. Throw all the paint on it that you can — and paint over areas you want to change. You, as the painter, change over time, learning from how you painted earlier in life. When you paint on your canvas, paint with meaning so that it will be interpreted as you intended.

Life is all about a journey and how you paint your canvas. Do you want to get better at something but feel like you will never be successful? Are you scared that it will not be worth it ultimately in the end? Or are you fearful that someone will be better than you? Stop that defeatist thinking and just start. Take your journey one day at a time, so you will feel more and more alive each time you experience the slightest movement forward. That forward momentum, that painting you’re adding to your canvas, is making you become fully alive.

Perhaps you end up going on auto-pilot at times – waking up, going to work, coming home, eating dinner, going to bed, and then repeating. You want to get off autopilot and become fully alive. You want to change and get that spark back into your life. The key is to be rooted in the present and the ability to live in the now. Examine everything you do in a day and identify activities that give your brain instant gratification. Every time you think about doing one of these activities, ask yourself if it’s worth spending your happiness on.

Refrain from instant gratification so that when your activity is truly meaningful, your experience will make you feel lively and create genuine enjoyment. For example, if you start to scroll TikTok, pause and change direction. Realize that scrolling TikTok is borrowing happiness and satisfaction from your future self. Refraining from instant gratification will create more pleasure and fulfillment from activities that truly matter – like working out, doing cardio, engaging in another hobby, etc.

If you feel like you are not fully alive, you may have a disconnect deep down between what you know you should be spending time on versus what you are actually spending time on. Returning to the TikTok example, scrolling TikTok can lead you down the rabbit hole of useless information instead of learning more about one thing you are truly interested in.

And as I have said before, if you want to feel good about yourself and feel truly alive, help other people. No matter the deed’s size, you will feel a rush flow over you. Donate your time volunteering, as nothing beats the feeling of makings someone’s day.

Of course, working out makes you feel alive. If you’re not into working out, look for sports you can do outside near you, such as rock climbing, biking, hiking, and more. A lot of the best sports are difficult and can take some time to get good at – but stick with it because you are worth it, and you will be adding so much color to the canvas of your life. And while you’re at it, ensure you’re optimizing your nutrition by getting enough Vitamin D, magnesium, and Omega 3s through a whole food vitamin. A healthy base is best to work from.

BEING alive is living biologically – your heart is beating, and your lungs are breathing. But FEELING alive is having a life you love, living how you want, and enjoying your life without hate, with smiles, and with respect. Your goals are your purposes in life. If you are living without a goal, you are living without purpose. I have a goal to live life without comparing myself to others, by investing wisely in myself, and by not letting the small sh!t bother me – and I am still working on how to get there.

At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong way to paint your canvas. Your canvas is your opportunity to paint your story and create the life you want. It is your life, and you have the full potential to make it what you want. If not, you can paint over it and create what you do want. Paint your dreams, wishes, passions, and goals. Paint a canvas that you can look back on and be proud of — one that has true meaning.

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