Taste this!

A lot of people don’t seem to be able to enjoy their life. Why do you think that’s so?

I would say it comes down to the script we’ve learned as a society: adults work hard and act responsibly, and children play and have fun. Adults don’t believe they should take time for themselves to do things they like. And if they do take some time to enjoy themselves, they often feel guilty.

Remember when you were a kid, you saw life as your playground and everybody was your friend? You were full of vitality, full of life, full of laughter. The adults in your life hadn’t convinced you yet that life sucks 😉

But why does it have to suck? When did you stop having fun? I think it’s a gradual process and it probably started when your parents told you it was time to grow up, to be responsible. Now, I’m not putting the blame on parents. They are just sharing what they learned from their parents, who learned the same thing from their parents, etc. The thing is, there is a big piece missing in the script that was handed down from one generation to the next: life is supposed to be fun! So if you’re one of those adults who feel guilty when they do something they enjoy, please stop the guilt trip.

You can edit that handed-down script to a more positive one if you want. It’s totally up to you. How do you do that, you say? One of the simplest ways to do that is to start focusing on things you like, things that uplift you and fill you with joy. Not on the news. Not on your long to-do list. Not on how bad some people’s driving is. Now, you’re probably thinking, “That’s all good, but how the hell do you do that when this all other stuff is right in your face?” You simply make a conscious decision to choose what you will focus on – because you do choose it. Here’s an easy way to do that: you just say, out loud or silently, “Today, no matter what I’m doing, no matter where I am or who I’m with, I’m going to focus on things I like.” This might sound too simplistic to work, but I assure you, it’s very effective. Every time I do it, my day is completely different.

Let me explain a little bit. At the base of the brain stem is a small group of cells called the reticular activating system. These cells sort and evaluate incoming data. They send what they think is urgent to the active part of the brain and push the rest of the data to the back. How do they determine what is urgent? They do it based on your beliefs, or on what you’re conditioned to see. And these cells not only organize data, they interpret and filter out anything that doesn’t match your beliefs. A belief is just a thought you keep thinking. So if you regularly set an intention to focus on things you like, you’ll train your brain to change its prioritizing, and you’ll get more and more of the things you like. But don’t take my word for it, do your own research online on quantum physics. You’ll be surprised by what you find out.

I like to see life as a buffet. What do you do at a buffet? You choose dishes you like and pass on the rest. Say you pick a certain dish and you find out it tastes awful. You don’t turn to your neighbour and say, “Here, taste this. It tastes awful!” Ridiculous, right? You put it aside and continue to fill your plate with dishes that look appetizing. But when you watch the news and talk to other people about the terrible things that are happening, or when you criticize politics, or complain about the economy, your health issues or some challenge you’re facing, it’s like tasting a dish you don’t like, complaining about the fact that this dish is in the buffet, and asking other people to taste it!

I invite you to set an intention to focus on things you like and stop criticizing or complaining about things that you don’t want or don’t like. Don’t give them air time – unless you like being miserable. And you know what the greatest thing about focusing on things you like is? As you shift your focus, you radically change what shows up in your experience and your life no longer sucks.

So, are you willing to give it a try? Are you ready to enjoy life as it was meant to be? Life is meant to be fun!

Sylvie Grégoire