“Living my best life.”
How many times have you said those words to yourself, or heard someone else say them?
While sunbathing on the beach, sinking another glass of wine, or posing for an insta-worthy photo outside a fancy looking building.
Living my best life.
That’s what we tell ourselves we’re doing; living fully in the moment, as if tomorrow may not come, because you only live once.
The irony is, more often than not, we are not living our best life. Not even close.
We’re doing what we think other people will be most envious of, what will make us look like we’re having the best time; and coasting in mediocrity.
Do you genuinely believe you’re living your best life? Or is it the vodka talking? Is it the social validation talking? Is it your ego talking?
I’ve been there. I think we all have.
You’re just happy enough that all your worries and problems can wait; and you’ve convinced yourself you deserve this drink, this new pair of shoes, or this holiday. Because you’re a good person who works hard and deserves nice things, and why should you have to deny yourself, or wait?
That’s how we justify our actions to ourselves.
Living my best life.
Let me get really fucking real with you here.
Living your best life does not involve alcohol; ever. Because alcohol is a drug which numbs you and strips you of your true essence. It feels awesome in the moment, of course it does; but then you crash back down to reality with a thud once the high is over. And you’re right back where you were before. Go ahead, enjoy a glass of wine now and then, but don’t lie to yourself.
Living your best life is not about wearing designer clothes, hanging out in million dollar mansions, or driving a flashy car. If you want those things, great. But if you only want those things, and you don’t care for the work and commitment and growth that goes with them, then you’re in real trouble.
Living your best life is not about living a life that you think will make you look successful to other people. It’s not about validation or competition or gratification.
This is what living your best life really looks like.
It’s skipping that drink and putting another three hours of work into your business after dinner, when you’re tired and ready to call it quits for the day.
It’s telling your friends you won’t join them on holiday because you’re using that money to go on a meditation retreat, and still your mind.
Living your best life sometimes means staying in on a Friday night eating noodles from a pot and journaling; when everyone else is going to fancy restaurants and ordering sushi, heading out on road trips to the countryside, or raving at a house party next door.
It’s not owning a car and walking everywhere or getting the bus, because you’re saving up to further your education. And it’s making the most of the clothes you already have instead of dropping hundreds of dollars on a new outfit you don’t really need, because you know you can invest that money and put it to greater use in the future.
Living your best life sometimes means you’ll find yourself alone. You’ll say goodbye to people you no longer align with, because you know this is what’s best for you in the long run. And you’ll learn to find comfort, and even beauty, in being with yourself; getting to know yourself intimately, and enjoy the silence.
Sometimes it will mean posting nothing online, or posting what’s real instead of an edited stream of highlights. It will mean forgoing the superficial likes and the validation, for authenticity.
Living your best life, more often than not, does not involve happy hour cocktails, schmoozing on a private yacht in Saint Tropez, or sitting in a bath filled with hundred dollar bills.
Living your best life is about putting yourself first. And by that, I mean your growth. Your future self. And your soul desires.
Try and enjoy every moment of every day, but recognise that not every moment will be one of joy or fun or reward. There will be many more of challenge, discomfort, and even failure. Because this is what pushes us to be better. This is what it means to live your best life.