Just. Chill. Out

It’s great to have the drive and ambition to perform at your absolute highest level and be the best that you can be. But that gets cumbersome and heavy real fast. The weight of trying to be perfect in everything you do is draining–not only on your physical body, but on your mental and emotional selves as well.

We all have family and work obligations that we need to attend to. But not everything in life needs to be taken so seriously. Take a vacation for example. Some people plan out every minute of their journey, from the time the plane lands to the time they have to return home. Those vacations are packed with excitement–from museum visits, to restaurants, to drives up the countryside–but where’s the spontaneity? Ditch the plan and fly by the seat of your pants from time to time. This gives you the freedom to discover new things–to walk down that stony path and realize there’s an amazing waterfall hidden behind the rocks. You wouldn’t have struck gold like that if you had planned out every part of the adventure.

This applies to everyday life as well. We were not born onto this Earth so that we could work, eat, sleep, and do it all over again, day after day. We are here to live–to explore–to find that which makes us unique and brings us inner joy. If we are on the same hamster wheel day after day, how do we even begin to discover happiness?

Here’s a tip: Take it down a notch–whether it’s with work, family, school, or home life. Instead of striving for perfection, give yourself permission to make mistakes. Meander through the park or down a street that you’ve always walked by and wondered about. Give a call to an old friend that used to make you laugh. Start a new hobby or do something that makes YOU feel alive. When you allow yourself to step back and chill out a bit, new opportunities will begin to unfold. You may take chances that you never thought you could.

Regardless of whether you are 9 or 99, this is the beginning–not the middle or the end. You start a new journey every day. So relax and be part of it.