Let’s face it: life is far from perfect. It’s filled with highs, lows, twists, turns, and uncertainties.
And if you’re reading this, perhaps you’ve looked around lately and thought, “This isn’t what I imagined my life would be like. I wish it were different for me.”
First, let me say this, you are not alone. You are not the only one wishing life looked different.
Second, you need to know something else, life doesn’t have to remain the same. It’s entirely possible to enjoy your life—even love the life you’re living, despite its imperfections.
There is no doubt that wishing life was different is not new. But our current structure of living seems to make it worse.
In many ways, the digital age has us under an illusion that some people are out there living perfect lives. As a result, it is easy to become envious or jealous. They seem to have everything all together and if we don’t, we must have done something wrong.
We begin to believe that happiness lies in that perfect Instagram shot or the seemingly flawless life of your old high school friend on Facebook. But that is not true.
So let’s all remind ourselves: Life will never be perfect and it is not perfect for anybody.
Plus, that’s okay! Perfection isn’t a prerequisite for love. No matter the imperfections, no matter how far life has wavered from what you desired, you can fall back in love with life.
But how? Well, let me offer some ideas to get us started:
1. Accept that Life Will Never Be Perfect.
One of the most significant steps you can take is to shift your mindset from seeking perfection to seeking purpose.
Your house might be messy, your health may be failing, your job is not what you dreamed of, but remember, beauty can still be found in imperfection (thank goodness).
2. Stop Comparing Your Journey
Everyone is on a unique path, so comparing your Chapter 3 to someone else’s Chapter 10 is futile.
Actually, let me rephrase that. Everyone is on a unique path, so comparing your Chapter 3 to someone else’s Chapter 3 is also futile.
No two people start from the same spot with the same advantages (and disadvantages). Absolutely every single person is living a different life, on a different path, than everybody else.
Instead of focusing on what others have, cherish what you have. Your life, with all its uniqueness (and quirks and peculiarities), is worth celebrating.
3. Discover Your Truest Values
Living life aligned with your values is the quickest (and longest-lasting) pathway to a life you love.
And here’s the best part: It doesn’t who you are or what your life looks like today, you can begin moving in the direction of aligning your life with your values immediately.
All you need… is to identify what they are. Or, maybe just reaffirm them.
Spend some time in solitude. Reflect on what you genuinely want out of life. What are your passions, values, and dreams?
Step away from the noise and influence of culture, society, even the people in your life. Listen to your heart, your soul, and your mind.
And then, the more you align your life with these core principles, the more fulfillment you’ll find.
4. Invest Your Finite Resources Wisely
Time, energy, attention, money—these are all finite resources.
So, channel them towards your passions and values. Little by little, more and more, every day.
By doing so, you’re not just living, you’re thriving. And when you’re thriving, you’ll be loving life.
5. Consider Those You Admire
Among the people in our lives, there are those special few who stand out, who live a life worth learning from.
I suppose these may be people that we study from afar. But I’m mostly thinking of the people you know firsthand, who you have seen grow and change and live intentional lives they are proud to live.
These individuals, often hidden in plain sight amidst our friends, families, and communities, have achieved what many seek—a love for their own life, imperfections, and all.
Observing and even approaching these real-life role models can offer unique insights. Their lives provide proof that contentment is achievable, and their wisdom can serve as a guiding light.
6. Recognize the Difference Between Your Efforts and Outcomes
Sometimes, despite all your hard work and best intentions, things don’t pan out the way you’d hoped. And that’s okay.
Life is a mix of what we control and what we don’t. Find contentment in knowing that you’ve done your best, even if the outcomes aren’t what you desired.
You can find contentment and love in the decisions you have made—even if you wish some of the outcomes had been different.
I think it will be helpful to include some specific steps we can take to move us closer to these ideals.
But before I do, let me reiterate something I mentioned at the beginning.
If you are wishing your life was different than what it is, you are not alone. But change is possible. Your life does not have to remain the same. You can take intentional steps to change it into something you love.
Here are some helpful, achievable steps:
Practical Steps to Start Loving Your Life Today
Understand that not every opportunity aligns with your values and passions. Know that saying ‘no’ is a form of self-care—despite the expectations someone else might be putting on you. Create boundaries that protect your time and energy.
—Engage in Regular Self-reflection
Make it a habit to sit quietly and evaluate your life. Journal, meditate, or even take a quiet walk. Find opportunity in silence and stillness.
—Celebrate Small Wins
Don’t wait for grand achievements as you change your life. Celebrate the tiny steps you take each day. Find joy in them and love the journey.
—Surround Yourself with Positivity
This might mean finding uplifting friends, reading inspiring books, or even decorating your space in a way that boosts your mood.
—Ask Questions of Someone You Admire
Something as simple as, “Hey, can I ask you a question? How come you always seem to be in such a great mood?” just might deliver a worldview-shifting answer.
—Invest in Your Growth
This might be in the form of books, courses, personal development, or seeking therapy. Investing in personal growth can transform your relationship with life.
Every night, write down three things you’re thankful for. It’s a simple practice, but it’s transformative. You can do this on paper, in prayer, or with a spouse. But gratitude is the quickest way to bring positivity into your life.
Your life will never be picture-perfect, but it’s the only one you’ve got.
So why not make it a masterpiece?
Embrace the imperfections, show up in your life, make decisions that you can be proud of, and most importantly, never stop believing that you can fall back in love with the life you are living.