It’s my mantra.
It’s my affirmation.
It’s my visualization.
It’s my daily to-do list.
It’s my check list.
At the end of the day I want to have a positive answer to 4 questions.
Did I Live today?
Did I Learn today?
Did I Love today?
Did I Laugh today?
Did I live today?
Did I open my eyes wide enough to see the life around me?
Was I really seeing? Or was I just looking?
Was I present for the moment that was there for me?
Did I really talk to that person who was talking to me, or did I just nod along waiting for my turn to state an opinion?
Did I smell that coffee with rich chocolate vanilla aroma, or did I just swallow it, barely aware of what I was drinking and why?
Did I see that running girl in pink, passing me in the morning, with the cutest dog in the pink tiny doggy shoes? Or was I having another important conversation in my own head?
Did I notice that nice man, on my way out of the gym, opening the door for me, smiling, or did I just rush by not noticing the world, trying to be nice and kind.
Did I hear that 90s song, I used to love when I was a kid, coming out of the neighborhood café, or did I run by, complaining to myself about the constant noise near my place?
Did I truly live? Smelled? Tasted? Listened? Saw things? Felt? Paid attention?
Nobody is ever perfect. But nobody is broken either. Or incapable. Or limited.
We all have space for improvement, for getting better at something, better at living life.
Life is an everyday school. There is a lesson to learn every day for everyone.
It might be as simple as learning how to smile with our heart, not only our facial muscles.
There is always the next lesson. The one that goes after this one.
We can’t skip them. We can’t fast forward them. We can’t say, “I know” and move on. We got to live the answer.
Did I learn today?
If I read a book and thought, I got smarter, do I live the knowledge now? Or did I just add another question, I can answer “I know” to.
Did I notice the lessons life was teaching me? Did I notice the situations, where I was uncomfortable, where I sucked, where I got angry or frustrated, dissatisfied in any way? That’s where we learn. Or don’t. It’s a choice of awareness. Choice of living. We could go through the same experiences over, and over, and over again. Different scenery, furniture, people…same lessons. Most of us never get out of the loop. Change of scenery makes it harder to notice.
Same emotions. Same thoughts are the clues.
Truly living every moment helps to learn the lessons. Because we are present then. We pay attention. Negative uncomfortable emotions is the sign the test has begun.
What are you learning?
Did I learn today? Or did I complain all day long, thinking life is a total mess and definitely unfair to me.
Did I love today?
The question has nothing to do with romantic relationships. Although it might. But doesn’t have to.
Did I love everything, that life gave me today?
My comfortable bed, I’m so lucky to enjoy every night?
My beautiful amazing body, that is such a marvel, that no one still can figure out, and yet it works perfectly regardless?
The time I got to meditate?
My morning walk by the beach?
The picture of my 1-year old cute niece, my mom sent to me this morning?
Morning coffee and the book I was reading?
My computer and writing this, ability to speak another language and write in it, read in it?
My morning cold shower that is so refreshing and sensual?
Talking to my dear friend in France? Wow! Video calls to another country for free was a total science fiction for me, when I was growing up in Siberia.
Working on redesigning my blog, using my still alive programming skills, I got as a student?
15 K walk around the most beautiful lake? Most beautiful just because I was there. Aware.
Inspirational book I got to listen, while walking thanks to Audible and Jesse Itzler?
My night meditation, when I got to spend time thinking about nothing? Just being.
The bliss of falling asleep, knowing today was amazing? I lived. I learned. I loved. I laughed.
Some say to me, “It’s easy for you to love your days and everything in your life. You are young, healthy, traveling the world, living in Rio, seeing beautiful places, amazing people, new cultures…”
To really see, live and love we don’t need to be anywhere, see a specific thing, or have anything — seeing, living and loving the world, life is a practice, a skill. A skill, I seem to be getting better at. I wasn’t born lucky. I learned how to be one.
Did I laugh today?
Did I laugh with my whole heart, not just my facial muscles?
Laughter seems to be unnecessary sometimes. Just a thing we do sometimes. Or don’t.
And yet ability to laugh off everything, our life, ourselves including, might be the most important skill to master in life to live happily and joyfully. And honestly, living life any other way, with no happiness or joy, without laughter seems meaningless to me.
Living, not feeling the joy of life, is a torture. Torture that lasts many years. Sometimes an entire life. Maybe that’s why so many of us do things to make the journey shorter, most often not even realizing it.
Who wants to endure torture indefinitely for many years, right?
We can smile. Now. Yes. You can too.
And maybe the torture will end today? Maybe NOW?!
Laughter. Fuck it attitude. Ability to laugh about our own “importance” the minute we say, “I matter” — that is a skill. Man. It’s priceless.
At the end of the end, what matters is not who we get to become, what life we get to live, what we get to have, it’s the ability to laugh about all of it and enjoy it, that matters.
History does not lack examples of the ones, who had it all and never got to enjoy life.
But history could use a few more of examples people, who just lived the life happily ever after, laughing all the way through. No matter what. No matter who. Not because of but why not?
A smile might be a true beginning.
Laugh. Live. Learn. Love?
Did I laugh today?
About that cute picture, I got in the morning?
How funny people walk or stand, posing for an invisible photographer, always ready to take an unexpected shot?
How guys on the streets completely lose orientation, the minute cute butt pass by?
How cute kids are, dancing to that song in their head? I wonder what song is playing.
How I feel conscious about showing too much of my legs in my training shorts, and an older guy pass me in his swimming trunks leaving little to imagination right in the middle of the street in Rio?
Live. Learn. Love. Laugh.
Live Fully. Learn Truly. Love Deeply. Laugh like your life depends on it.