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How to live life - the upside of disaster

Updated on February 15, 2013

I have been thinking a lot lately, mainly about disasters. I have been dreading the sole idea of the "mega earthquake" that’s supposed to hit California anytime soon. I have been fretting about the new wave of violence that seems to be hitting our society now more than ever, and listening in disbelief to the news that become more outrageous and bloody as time goes on.

Most of all, I have been thinking about all the time I’ve wasted in a non-living state.

Non-living state

No, I’m not a zombie, in case there was a doubt in anyone’s mind. I just simply haven’t been living. I will use technology and its many distractions as my escape-goat. My phone and iPad have so many cool apps that it is really hard to look away from these bright screens, even when a loved one tries to engage me in a meaningful conversation. As ill-mannered as this may sound, I have been guilty of playing with my phone while someone else was talking to me. I will categorize those moments as moments of non-living. I will also categorize as non-living those countless hours I have spent in front of the TV watching pointless sitcoms that have taught me nothing about enjoying life to the fullest.

In fact, why don’t I make a list of all those activities that I have allowed to rob me of my life:

  • The time I spent worrying over my totally normal weight.
  • The time I spent worrying over the size of my nose.
  • The time I spent eating those foods that would later make me miserable with bloating and pain.
  • The time I spent being depressed for trifles of life.
  • The time I spent envying others.
  • The time I spent hating others.
  • The time I spent putting heavy make up on my face to conceal imperfections perceived only by me.
  • The time spent reading magazines that made me hate myself.
  • The time I spent with my brain in stand-by.
  • The time spent worrying over what others may think.
  • The time I spent feeling inadequate.

The things I miss because I can't get my eyes out of my _______(phone, iPad, TV....Insert your favorite addiction here.)
The things I miss because I can't get my eyes out of my _______(phone, iPad, TV....Insert your favorite addiction here.)

The Upside of Disaster

When disaster hits, we forget about the trivialities that seem of the uttermost importance when everything seems to be fine. Disasters allows us to refocus our lives and to see our existence with from a new viewpoint. To appreciate those little moments we take for granted everyday and to stop living as most live today: in a state of non-living.

How much will our material possession matter when we lose a loved one?

How much will our clothes matter in a case of emergency?

How can we get back the hours we lost in front of any bright screen when we are at our death bed?

How can we bring back the conversations we ignored when that person is no longer there?

Seismologists say California keeps moving, and experts agree that the mega quake that will hit California will bring death and chaos to its inhabitants.

I’m no expert and I don’t know if this will happen in my lifetime. But I do know that when any kind of tragedy strikes I will regret the countless hours I spent in a state of mere existence.

Reclaim your Life

Why wait til disaster strikes to refocus my life and actually start living? Why wait to reclaim my life?

I know I cannot possibly be the only one in this world that needs to reclaim the life that we were given. If you are one who wishes to start living again, let me share with you some easy tips to reclaim your life.

Watch less TV

Yes, this one has been said over and over, and yet very few people watch less than 2 hours of TV everyday. I’m not saying you should do away with TV entirely (but if you can, more power to you). I’m just saying you should really limit the time you spend in front of it. Let’s be honest, we can all be doing something more productive with our lives rather than sitting in front of that box, allowing others to think for us, and waiting to see what kind of crap advertisers want to sell to us. It’s like we are giving away our life to that ungrateful screen. Keep your precious minutes of life and so something with it that you can be proud of.

Side note: watching too much TV can also decrease self-esteem and, therefore, increase depression and feelings of inadequacy. Why? advertisers want to sell you things, but before they do, they have to make you feel bad about yourself so that you can buy whatever they’re trying to sell you. Also, TV is full of perfect people, with perfect bodies and perfect faces, which may make you feel physically inadequate. So, for your own good, keep away from it as much as you can.

Untether your phones

No, I don't mean phones tethered to the wall. I mean phones tethered to you. We have moved away from our old phones that were tethered to our walls, but we are now moving to phones that seem to be tethered to their owners’ hands. Stop looking at your phone every 2 minutes, and look around, and enjoy whatever your surroundings are. It is considered especially rude to look at your phone during a conversation. So keep it away at least while you’re talking to another human and try to learn something from that person.

Engage in meaningful conversation with loved ones

We live in a sad world that can take the life away of our loved ones at any moment. Enjoy your family and friends while they’re still here (and while you’re still here). Get to know them better and forge strong relationships with those you love.

Learn to love yourself

A major cause of non-living, depression and all around misery is hating the body youwere born with. If you’re not happy with yourself it is impossible to be happy with anything else. Before you can love others, you have to love yourself. Don’t spend time wishing you looked like a supermodel. Work on improving your personality rather than obsessing about your physical appearance. What others will remember most about you will be your warm personality and virtues rather than remembering a beautiful but frivolous person.

Don’t talk bad about anyone

Criticisms, gossip and envy are poison to ourselves and to all those who pay any attention words of this kind. Learn to love others as you love yourself.

Don’t fret about the tragedies that may come, but always remember to actually live the life you were given and stop merely existing.

Don't live scared of life, because, well, that's just not living.
Don't live scared of life, because, well, that's just not living.


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