Your life is your vehicle. Are you filling her up?
If you’ve driven a vehicle of any kind, you know that it’s pretty much useless on an empty tank. I mean, it will still sit there and exist, but that’s not what you have it for. You want it to fulfill it’s purpose—to get you where you want to go.
On an empty tank, the vehicle is going nowhere. If it’s not going anywhere, you lose interest in it. If you lose interest in it, you don’t bother to keep it maintained. If it’s not maintained, it becomes dull and rusty. If it’s dull and rusty, it begins to break down. If it breaks down, it loses its value. Or at least we lose sight of it’s value.
Much like a car that is perpetually on ‘E,’ our lives break down when we’re running on empty. Fortunately, there is much you can do to refill your life tank and improve the quality of your life. The list below is definitely not all-inclusive, but it’s a wonderful way to get your engine revving again.
6 Simple Ways to Refill Your Life Tank
1. Make a fool of yourself. The struggle to save face and maintain a faultless image reflects nothing but a lack of self-confidence that drains the life right out of you. Instead of worrying about how you appear to others, intentionally open yourself up to look foolish. Take a risk, break a rule, or go against the grain in some way you never have.
This liberating move can take on many forms, but the beauty of it is removing the burden of self-consciousness that has kept you stuck doing what you’ve always done.
2. Get artsy. If you’re typically a very logical person, you may not see much need for the arts. However, art is a wonderful tool for relaxing, expanding the mind, using the imagination and fostering creativity. All of these, of course, have great potential for improving the quality of your life.
Try spending 30 minutes or so per day drawing, coloring, painting or just cutting pictures out of magazines. If this type of art isn’t stimulating enough for you, take a dancing, singing or acting class. You don’t need to be an expert at any of this, so don’t bother judging your abilities. Just give yourself the freedom to have fun with this, thereby experiencing the excitement of something far different from your day-to-day.
3. Fasting. Sometimes, refilling your life tank is less about what you add and more about what you take away. Consider what things (or people) in your life are weighing you down. It may be a habit that is not serving you like criticizing, over-spending, staying up too late or sleeping too much. It may be a food or substance like sugar, cigarettes, alcohol or caffeine. It may even be a negative friendship or other toxic relationship. Whatever it is, take a break from it.
To make this easier and more effective, substitute meditation, prayer, self-hypnosis, or physical exercise each time you think about indulging in what you’re taking a break from. While a 30 day fast is an awesome goal for anyone really wanting to break an old pattern; even a 72-hour fast is a great example of self-care. In addition to the obvious benefits for your mind and body, you’ll reassure yourself that you’re capable of doing anything you put your mind to.
4. Positive affirmations. One nearly instantaneous way to improve your quality of life is by speaking or writing positive affirmations. These affirmations may be general or focused on an area of your life that you’d like to improve. A great list of affirmations to get your started is available here: 101 Affirmations That Kick Your Inner Critics Ass. For even greater benefit, try positive affirmations through subliminal messaging.
5. Get a new hairdo. If you’ve been wearing your hair the same way for years, change it up. It seems like such an insignificant thing, but there’s something about making big changes to your “crown,” that shakes people up inside.
Women may find this easier to relate to than men, but both sexes may potentially benefit. It’s just hair, right? Right! So, don’t’ be afraid to chop it all off, change the color, add a few streaks, or maybe even wear spikes for a day. If it looks goofy, laugh at yourself and show it off to friends. This is about having a good time with your hair—and your life. You can always go back to your “safe” style later.
6. Eliminate an excuse. Think of something that you really want to change about your life. Once you have that something in mind, think about the barriers that are standing in your way. Now, decide what you can do to make that barrier (or excuse) a non-factor.
If the excuse is that you don’t have enough money, come up with a way to make a few extra bucks or to cut back your spending. If the excuse is that you don’t have enough energy, come up with a solution for increasing your energy levels. The key here is to actively eliminate the excuse that has been standing between you and your desire. This may not be easy, but it’s one surefire way to improve the quality of your life.
Photo credit: Yury Prokopenko
It’s comment time. Will you try any of these tools to refill your life tank? Which one(s)? Do you have any other simple ideas to improve your quality of your life?