We’re often told that we should suffer now in order to succeed later. That in order for us to have a good future, we should deprive ourselves with things we enjoy in the present.
For the longest time, I couldn’t accept that principle completely because I’ve realized how short life is and everyone has the right to enjoy life and live it to the fullest.
We’re also told to enjoy right now while we are still young and strong. We should travel and eat good food while we can still walk for a mile and our blood sugar is still normal.
Lately, though, I noticed that both ideas seem right but incomplete. The two ideas should complete and complement each other. How? Let me explain.
Through the years, the world has given us two different messages and perspectives.
Enjoy Later. The first message says that in order to be successful, in order to gain wealth and build for the future, you have to delay gratification. You can’t enjoy life now and expect to have a good future upon retirement.
Enjoy Now. The second message says we have to enjoy life now while we can. Life is short and we will never know when our last day will come. Live every day like it’s your last.
I realized that in order to live a full, focused, and purpose-driven life, we need to find the balance between these two messages – and reconcile them into one! In one sentence, here’s how to do it:
Live simply and enjoy life!
Live life now and enjoy it to the fullest – without sacrificing your future.
How to Enjoy Life without Sacrificing Your Future
Enjoying life doesn’t always mean buying or spending money.
It has always been the central message of this blog since the beginning. No matter how much money you spend on “seeking happiness,” you will never find it. Because the only true and permanent and lasting joy and happiness comes from our spiritual relationship with God, not on material things.
Here are 8 super practical tips on how to live simply while enjoying life:
1. Be thankful. Thank God every day for life, for giving you another day and another opportunity to live for His glory. Thank God for the people around you, your loved ones, your friends, your pastors, your boss – everyone. Even the ones who stretch your patience, they too have a purpose for existence (if only to build your character.)
2. Be content with what you have. But never be satisfied of what you can become. True joy and happiness is in the doing, not in the getting what you want. Realize that you already have enough and that you don’t need more stuff in your life to give it meaning.
3. Appreciate the simple things in life. Enjoy the quietness of mornings. Be in the moment. Go outside and be active, run or walk. Take pleasure in nature. These are God’s creations that our digital generation has been slowly ignoring.
4. Rediscover what’s important. Prioritize. Oftentimes we spend money on shopping, going out, watching movies, drinking, smoking, and gambling… without really enjoying life. And when we stop to think about it, they only brought feelings of greed, frustration, envy, jealousy, and inadequacy afterwards.
We never really had time to do the things we really want to do, the things that give our life meaning. Be still for a moment and really think about what’s important to you and what do you want to become.
5. Make people a priority. When you give priority to “stuff” – gadgets, furniture, nice clothes, shoes, bags, jewelry, etc. – then you will definitely spend a lot of money. But if you prioritize people, the people you love most, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to enjoy life.
When spending time with family and friends, truly be with them and not with your phones, tablets, or laptops. Have real conversation. Laugh with them and tell jokes. Encourage and inspire them with your stories.
6. Find time for yourself. Give yourself a break. A few minutes a day, one day a week, and a couple of weeks a year should be the minimum. This is the key to sustain your health and sanity.
Time alone with God is crucial to recharge our energies. It gives us time to breathe, to pray, and to contemplate about life. Try it and feel how refreshing it can be than always rushing and being busy.
7. Sometimes, splurge. You shouldn’t restrict yourself from expensive pleasures all the time — it’s not good to develop feelings of deprivation. Once in awhile, buy yourself something … or better yet, give yourself a treat. My wife and I do this once a year every Christmas vacation. Just remember to set limits and try to enjoy the splurge to the fullest.
8. Be in the moment. It may seem a little thing to practice, but it’s the key to enjoying life without sacrificing the future. Think about it – you can spend a lot of money on eating out, but if you are not paying attention on what you are eating you may not enjoy what you’re eating at all. But if you cook a simple but delicious meal, and really taste every bite, with a loved one to share, it can be tremendously enjoyable without costing a lot.