With the same old routine in place, it’s easy to go on autopilot. It’s safe to say that, at some point this month, you’ve probably spaced out on your commute; went through the motions, typing away reports at work; and, yes, even made the monotone “uh huhs” when interacting with those you love and care about.
It could have been just one of those days, where you woke up tired and uninspired. Or, this could be a regular pattern. Nonetheless, you can actually ditch the autopilot mode, stay present, and make your day that much better with these 4 small tricks.
1. Incorporate Ikigai
In Japanese, “iki” means “life” and “gai” means “value or worth.” In other words, ikigai, the Japanese word (and philosophy), is about living your life purposefully every day.
It’s easy to get caught up in the large, abstract, big-picture version of what your life’s purpose is. While it’s great to have an idea of what that is, it can become too abstract and out-of-touch when you are going through the everyday comings and goings.
That said, find out what your everyday life’s purpose is, or ikigai. For some, it’s work. But that’s not the case for all. It can be as simple as having in-depth conversations with friends and family, or cooking delicious and nutritious food.
To find out what your ikigai is, in a BBC article, Author, Dan Buettner, advises creating three separate lists. The first one is what you value; the second, things you like to do; and the third, things you’re good at. Then notice what point is in all three. This is your ikigai.
And then see where it ties in with your life. Maybe your ikigai is cooking delicious food. In which case, perhaps look at your job as a means to financially provide you the ingredients to cook with. This allows you to look at your old job through a new, more appreciative lens.
2. Notice Your Surroundings
And by notice, we mean take a couple minutes to look at the different colored leaves on the tree outside your office building. Or notice the different types of cars when you are commuting home.
If you feel like you don’t have enough time to incorporate this into your day, make sure you are well organized and know how to handle your free time.
Smell the fresh air when you get home, and feel the rays of sunshine when you get up the next morning. Simply looking at your “same old” surroundings will give you a refreshing perspective on your day.
3. Give a Compliment At Least Once a Day
It can be as simple as complimenting your co-worker on her work ethic, especially on the upcoming project. Or perhaps complimenting your cousin on his determination in going to the gym every day. Whatever the compliment is, make sure it’s specific and authentic.
You never know, that compliment could start the Butterfly Effect; as Elite Daily states, that one compliment could give the receiver the courage to send out that manuscript or display their artwork.
And from there, they start a flourishing career and accomplish their dreams. While these accomplishments are a testament to their dedication and hard work, your compliment played a part, whether that’s small or not.
4. Pay It Forward
Pay it forward is about doing something positive for someone else; this may be putting quarters in parking meters or writing a co-worker an encouraging note. The idea is that those people will be inspired to continue the positivity and pay it forward to someone else, who will pay it forward to another…
While there is an official Pay It Forward Day (April 28th), this is something you can do on a daily basis. By taking a few minutes to pay for a stranger’s coffee or tell a loved one why they are special, you can not only improve their day but yours as well.
Every day is a new experience, even if you are doing the same old routine. Using these four steps throughout your day will make you notice the newness and appreciate the small things.
That way, you are better able to appreciate and enjoy your day, look forward to that alarm clock ringing. What other ways can you improve your day? Let us know by leaving a comment in the comment section below!