This seems to be an all too common phrase at the moment. But what does ‘living our best life’ mean? What does it look like in practice? I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering this.
When I think about this elusive concept I think I’m meant to feel inspired. Sometimes I feel up to this challenge. I’m ready for my best life. Other times it’s just another way to berate myself. Another thing I haven’t achieved. Another shortcoming. I am simply reminded of all the barriers – my best life isn’t just around the corner waiting. Or so it seems.
Living my best life conjures magazine spreads of idyllic holidays . But I can’t simply quit my job and go travelling. Firstly, what would my partner do without me and more importantly what would I do without them? Secondly, where would I get the money from and who would pay the mortgage and bills? It occurs to me that living my best life doesn’t mean having the best life. It doesn’t mean assuming our best life is the same as the ones we see around us. Touted by magazines, TV and social media.
It occurs to me that to live my best life, I need to know what my best life actually is. I need to ask myself what I want from life. In some cases I might need to reject the ‘accepted’ version of what a best life might be. I must challenge myself to think outside the box. In a perfect world what does my life look like? Then bring it back. Seem how I can tweak these things to fit inside my everyday life. As it turns out I’m not interested in living my best life short-term. I’m greedy, I want it everyday.
As it turns out, living my best life means taking away the pressure of the ‘best life’. I need to acknowledge that my best life is different from others and might even be different on different days. My best life is fluid and has it’s own journey. It’s about making the most of what I’ve got whilst reaching out for more people and experiences that give my life meaning. This is the truest way to live my best life that I can think of.
Now I know what I want, how do I get it? To be honest. I’m not sure. What I do know is this: I have spent too many years berating myself for my have-nots and did-nots. To counteract this I’m trying to remind myself that things don’t happen over night – Rome wasn’t built in a day after all. It’s okay if I’m not there yet. Wherever there may be. I’m determined to forgive myself for not being able to do and have everything at the same time. Instead I am allowing myself to get there at my own pace. To quote Stephen Fry, who may have been alluding to an aphorism of Voltaire:
“Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good”
We strive for perfection so frequently that we forget to acknowledge the journey as an achievement in and of itself. I’m so fixed on perfect, on the end goal, I forget to see the progress I’m making. I want to celebrate each time I do something better, even if it’s not perfect. I need to remember that moving towards a goal is an achievement and not to get frustrated. Wasting time and energy on should have’s or could have’s is just another obstacle to the end result. My best life, as it turns out, isn’t a destination but a journey of a lifetime.