One of the greatest things about being 10 years old is that happiness was relatively easy. We could go outside, get on a bike, sleep over a friend’s house, play video games, swing on monkey bars – the list goes on. As we got older, fun and money became acquainted, and feeling really good sometimes felt really expensive. In an effort to borrow from a simpler time, I want to suggest five cost-free actions that you can take today that will make you feel really good.
Unsubscribe to an email list
My fiancée’s email inbox drives me insane. It’s not uncommon for her to have close to 3,000 unread messages when she logs in to her Gmail account. She’s every email marketer’s dream.
On the other hand, I have zero unread messages by the end of my day. Not long ago, I realized that I delete approximately 15 emails a day without even opening them. If the title reads “The Toughest Workout from the World’s #1 Personal Trainer!” the chances are incredible that it won’t survive the next five minutes in my inbox. “Are You Tough Enough for this 15-Minute Workout?” No. Delete.
After years of this, I decided to go through my email list and unsubscribe to emails I promptly delete anyway. The great thing about the digital world is that subscription lists are free. If you truly miss a newsletter you once unsubscribed to, you can always re-subscribe. Chances are, you won’t. You’ll feel good about taking back control of your inbox.
Complete a workout
If you’re anything like me, working out is No. 20 on my daily priority list. I’m in school, working full-time, studying, blogging, reading, volunteering, managing social media for a non-profit, etc. Exercising requires a lot more purposeful motivation than ordering a dessert when I know I could do without it.
Having said that, there seems to be no greater feeling than the endorphin party following a workout. Not only do you feel like you’re doing something for yourself, there’s a level of accomplishment that you won’t be able to achieve by taking a trip to the grocery store or filling up a gas tank. And the great thing about this accomplishment is that you’ll never grow tired of the end result.
Master a to-do list
In the spirit of spreading yourself thin, let me suggest that completing a to-do list each day also provides one with a great sense of accomplishment. If you’re able to physically cross off all that you need to complete, you’ll be able to validate the time you spent throughout the day.
The mental checklist does not suffice in accomplishing that goal. There’s a reason why you get nervous when your waiter or waitress doesn’t write down your food order.
Write down a to-do list, and maniacally cross off your fulfillments. At the end of the day you’ll be able to look back and visualize the significance of your time, alter time-management strategies that don’t work and eliminate tasks deemed unimportant. You’ll feel much better.
Clean out your closet
Have you ever noticed that putting up clean clothes sometimes requires an engineering degree? There are three unsolvable mysteries in this world: How do so many clowns fit into such a small car? How did I once get all my shirts to fit into one drawer? If I’m not buying new clothes, where are all my hangers going?
Recently, I went through my closet and noticed that I have one particular box of clothes that I haven’t unpacked in two moves. I keep thinking there will be this one magical day when the stars and moons align, the weather is perfect and my senses are heightened. On that day, I’ll pull a ten-year-old shirt out of a box and thank the cotton heavens that I never got rid of it. That will never happen.
Instead, I included cleaning out my closet on my to-do list for a double whammy of accomplishment. When I had hangers to spare and space in my drawer, I felt good about not having to get rid of clothes again for another ten years.
Help someone out
When I was going through my cancer experience, maintaining proper perspective was the most significant mental challenge I sought to maintain every day. I knew that if I focused on my circumstances or what was out of my control, I’d lose my ability to use my experiences to help others who will endure the same course of treatment one day.
I learned that if I could provide encouragement, help someone see a different perspective or impact another’s life, then it provided purpose to an otherwise purposeless exhibition. To help others meant to help myself, a gift that kept on giving.
The good news is that life doesn’t completely alter itself after cancer. Helping other people will always provide perspective and ignite the uttermost feelings of accomplishment within your self. Of this list of five things that make you feel really good, making a difference in the life of another is the simplest, most fulfilling achievement you can enjoy every day.