How to not take life so seriously? From the very inception of Project Spaces, a steadfast philosophy has underpinned our journey: to weave the threads of hard work and merriment, and never to let the weight of seriousness bog us down. Yet, we recognize that adhering to this creed can be a daunting task. The frenetic pace of life, the challenges that beset our professional endeavors, and the relentless tides of responsibilities often converge, leaving us overwhelmed.
As we celebrate our momentous 11th anniversary this month, we earnestly share our insights on the importance of not succumbing to the gravity of seriousness, be it in the realm of work or the expanse of life itself. In tandem, we offer a few guiding principles to navigate this endeavor.
Life and work coalesce into a tumultuous rollercoaster ride, particularly for entrepreneurs and remote professionals.
In idealistic reverie, we may envision an effortless journey, a seamless progression. Yet, the truth remains: there will be ebbs and flows, moments of soaring success, and periods of somber tribulations. The key to prevailing lies in cultivating a spirit of mirth and adaptability.
Becoming attuned to your own self, cultivating mindfulness in your thoughts and actions, and proactively examining your own behavior are integral steps on this transformative journey. Let us share a few invaluable tips to guide you along the way. When we refrain from clutching at the gravity of life and self-importance, we attain a nimbleness that empowers us to revel in the peaks and gracefully traverses the troughs. Humility and lightheartedness become our armor, fostering the fortitude to endure and savor each twist of fate.
Quoting George Jung’s sage father from the cinematic classic, Blow, “Sometimes you’re flush, and sometimes you’re bust, and when you’re up, it’s never as good as it seems, and when you’re down, you never think you’ll be up again, but life goes on.”
As echoed in Jack Nicholson’s iconic portrayal in The Shining, “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” We wholeheartedly champion the ethos of diligent labor, but we equally advocate for moments of respite, unfettered laughter, and the unbridled pursuit of joy. Embracing the richness of life entails not only deriving fulfillment from our work but also nurturing a harmonious work-life balance.
Why You Shouldn’t Take Life Too Seriously: 15 Reasons
In our candid assessment, individuals who exude an air of unyielding self-importance can be, well, rather laborious to be in the company of. To truly foster meaningful connections with others, be it in our personal or professional lives, we advocate embracing humility with open arms.
This wondrous quality renders you approachable, captivating, and positively uplifting to those around you. Now, we anticipate your response—dubious about the feasibility of taking oneself less seriously. Yet, we posit that the path to humility is not as arduous as it may seem.
Life, a meandering journey through the ebbs and flows of existence, holds a paramount truth: it should not be consumed by excessive seriousness. Amidst the myriad concerns that beckon our attention, it is crucial to refrain from succumbing to the weight of trivial matters. Here, we present 15 reasons to embrace a lighthearted perspective on life’s enigmatic canvas:
1. The Ephemeral Nature of Life
Glimpse the fleeting essence of life, a transient interlude amidst the cosmos. As the sands of time inexorably trickle away, cherish each ephemeral moment without granting excessive gravity to trivialities.
2. Unseen Struggles of Others
Within the labyrinthine existence of fellow beings, hidden battles may unfold. Behind cheerful facades on the digital stage of social media, turbulence may course through their lives. Hold not to assumptions of perfect lives; instead, traverse the path of empathy, offering solace to unseen struggles.
3. Mistakes: The Forge of Wisdom
Within the grand tapestry of life, errors are woven into the fabric of experience. The wisdom born from lessons learned eclipses the sting of missteps. The trivialities that attempt to fetter the spirit should be vanquished; seize the day, cherishing each moment with unbridled joy.
4. The Emergence of Inner Fortitude
The strength dwelling within the depths of your being may slumber unnoticed, awaiting the day of adversity to emerge. Summon the courage, for it shall be your ally in confronting the trials ahead. Even in the face of daunting challenges, stand unyielding, for you possess the mettle to endure.
5. Embrace Imperfection with Resolute Grace
Release yourself from the confines of perfectionism and relinquish futile worry over the minutiae that lie beyond your command. The yearning for an immaculate existence may ensnare the soul but know that perfect mastery of lives unfolding remains an unattainable quest. Embrace imperfection with a resolute heart, doing your utmost with the tools at hand.
6. Life: A Whirlwind Symphony
Life, an enchanting symphony, orchestrates moments of euphoria akin to soaring crescendos. Yet, it also dances amidst somber notes, plunging to depths unforeseen. Embrace this thrilling roller coaster, free from worry, for its rhythmic undulations create harmony, ultimately blending joy and sorrow into a mesmerizing melody.
7. A Perpetual Quest for Approval
Within the realm of existence, pleasing every soul proves an insurmountable feat. Unfathomable control over the thoughts of others remains elusive, as futile as grasping a wisp of smoke. Regardless of fervent efforts, the elixir of universal happiness eludes even the most ardent seekers. Acceptance of this universal truth dawns upon every soul in due course, liberating them from the shackles of unwarranted seriousness.
8. Life: A Winding Odyssey
Life’s journey, a labyrinth of twists and turns, may at times seem overwhelming. Yet, amid the uncertainties that shroud the path, refrain from allowing the trifles to dim the brilliance of existence. The future remains veiled, an enigmatic canvas awaiting vibrant strokes.
9. Acceptance of the Uncontrollable
With open arms, embrace the inevitability of encountering the uncontrollable. For, in the realm of existence, there exists a tapestry of events beyond mortal grasp. While sorrow over lost dominion is valid, allow not such woes to cast shadows upon the blessings bestowed upon your life.
10. Insignificance Amidst Cosmic Majesty
In the grand tapestry of existence, individual tribulations appear trivial, a mere whisper against the resounding symphony of the universe. Ponder the plight of those bereft of basic necessities – sustenance, shelter, and solace – and in comparison, one’s problems may shrink to insignificance.
11. The Uncertainty of Tomorrow
A profound verity echoes through the corridors of time – the uncertainty of tomorrow. Like a fleeting breeze, it may usher in a delightful day or harbor shadows of gloom. Grasp not at the reins of little things beyond your control; rather, dance in the embrace of the moment, unburdened by the worries of the morrow.
12. Liberation from the Opinion Shackles
The perceptions of others lie beyond the sphere of dominion. Embarking on a quest to curry favor or influence their thoughts remains a fruitless endeavor. Instead, focus on your own growth, liberated from the burden of others’ opinions.
13. A Fellowship on the Journey
Through the darkest valleys and soaring heights, remember that you do not traverse this odyssey alone. Loved ones, steadfast in their support, stand ready to accompany you through life’s tempests. Lean on their love, an unfaltering beacon amidst the storm.
14. Embracing the Veiled Future
Gaze upon the horizon of the future, a mysterious tapestry woven with threads of uncertainty. Amidst its intricate patterns, the assurance of the inevitable eludes us. In truth, the future remains an enigma, concealing its secrets from even the most perceptive minds. So, relinquish excessive worry and savor the gifts bestowed upon the present.
15. An Imperfect Path
Ensnared within the labyrinth of life, one might stumble upon the allure of undue seriousness. A divergence from the anticipated outcome, a turn of events unforeseen, may sow seeds of worry within your soul. Yet, do not permit the weeds of stress to overrun the garden of life; after all, this is but a fleeting chapter, not the final verse.
How to not take life so seriously
Treading the fine line between earnest focus and unyielding enjoyment, we discover the allure of celebration, the pleasure of laughter, and the liberating freedom to engage in activities that imbue our souls with delight. In essence, we espouse the notion that life’s vibrant hues unfurl when we embrace the gravity of mirth and earnestness in equal measure. Let’s find below some tips on how to not take life so seriously
1. Unshackle Yourself from the Chains of Reputation
Your image is not a reflection of your true self; it merely represents others’ perceptions. Detach your self-worth from the applause of your audience. Liberated from the burden of validation, you shall find the courage to embrace risk and confront challenges unabashedly. In this newfound liberation, the fear of knowing how to dance or not shall vanish; instead, you shall gracefully sway to the rhythm of life.
2. Transform the Tone, Transmute the Discourse
Perfectionists, with their penchant for binary thinking — success or failure — often exert pressure upon us. To thwart their unyielding standards, wield humor as your ally to disarm their rigidity. Introduce them to the nuanced shades of life, drenched in its complexities and subtleties.
3. Evoke Perspective with a Simple Inquiry
“What’s the worst thing that could happen?” A seemingly modest query, yet laden with transformative potential. Aim not to stifle your ambitions, but to find equipoise. Pen down all thoughts, both real concerns and trivialities, swirling within your mind. Reflect, and discern between worries and concrete facts, fostering clarity and composure.
4. Liberating Yourself from the Fear of Ridicule
Break free from the vicious cycle that fear creates, for it only begets more fear. Confront it head-on and transcend its grip on your spirit. As the sage Seth Godin wisely advised, “Dance with fear,” for within that dance, fear unveils its true purpose — it becomes a guiding compass, signaling that you are on the cusp of something extraordinary. Harness that fear as energy to propel you forward into uncharted territories.
5. Embrace Imperfection Deliberately
I don’t mean this metaphorically; purposefully allow something to slip through the cracks. In doing so, you shall realize that a single mistake will not be the harbinger of doom — it shall empower you to regain control. Should someone raise concern, wear a knowing smile and candidly admit that it was a deliberate act? Embracing errors by design prepares you for unforeseen mishaps that might cross your path.
6. Cultivate Resilience to Shame
In the face of shame’s beckoning call, learn to recognize its voice. Confront this powerful emotion, as suggested by the venerable Brené Brown. Engage in dialogue with your shame, asserting your true values and aspirations. Reveal that your essence lies in courage, rendering shame impotent in its influence.
7. Infuse Humor into the Tapestry of Life
Seek the company of witty souls, for laughter heals and bonds hearts. Douse the disheartening flames of sensational news and violent narratives, favoring the uplifting embrace of comedy. Replace self-criticism with gentle self-deprecation, for it disarms the piercing arrows of judgment. Smile, especially amidst moments of nervousness or distress. Unearth humor in the most somber of situations, for the ability to laugh at oneself, cultivates immunity to the mirth of the audience.
8. Embracing Your True Worth
Amidst setbacks that may bruise our self-esteem, an empowering activity awaits – creating a list of virtues that define our value within the context of the situation. If rejection clouds a romantic encounter, construct a roster of attributes that mark you as a worthy partner – loyalty, emotional availability, and more.
In the wake of missed opportunities, compile a collection of traits that exemplify your worth as a valuable employee – a strong work ethic, a sense of responsibility, and beyond. Further embellish this exercise with essays, eloquently articulating the value of each characteristic and the likelihood of its recognition by others in the future.
Consistently undertake this invigorating ritual, for it unfailingly replenishes your self-esteem, breathing life into the belief that you are indeed deserving of greatness. Embrace your true worth with unwavering conviction, transcending life’s vicissitudes with grace and resilience.
9. Harnessing the Power of Credible Affirmations
Positive affirmations, wielding the allure of greatness, have found their way into the hearts of many. Yet, let us be cognizant of their limitation, for they can inadvertently wound those grappling with poor self-worth. Why? Because they clash with pre-existing notions when our self-esteem lies in shambles.
Ironically, positive affirmations flourish in the realm of the self-assured, elevating their spirits to soaring heights. However, for those enduring low self-esteem, a different approach is requisite. To make affirmations resonate in the depths of vulnerability, infuse them with credibility and realism. Shift from the grandiose “I’m going to be a huge success!” to the tenacious “I’m going to persevere until I succeed!” – a beacon of hope amidst the storm of life’s challenges.
10. Cultivating Openness and Kindness
Embrace responsibility for your thoughts, for within this conscious endeavor resides the liberation from emotional turbulence. In the absence of this empowerment, depression, and anxiety may stealthily creep into your realm, ensnaring you in their clutches.
Elevating self-esteem demands arduous labor, as it entails nurturing and upholding salubrious emotional habits. Yet, the fruits of such labor are reaped in the form of profound emotional and psychological rewards. To embody openness implies unveiling the authentic self, void of deceit and pretense.
An open personality radiates a profound awareness of their strengths, weaknesses, and skills. They do not cloak themselves in enigmatic shadows or illusory facades. Instead, they stand firm in the transparency of their being, neither deluded nor unaware of their impact on others. Unveil the veil of illusion and embrace the unyielding authenticity that empowers genuine connections.
11. Fostering Bonds with Positive Souls
In life’s tapestry, there exist individuals who sap our vitality and drain our spirits. Beware, for they demand tremendous energy to be around while providing naught in return but disillusionment.
With artistic ambitions blazing brightly, you may convince yourself to address these relationships later, once the canvas of success has been painted. But beware, for toxic relationships beget a torrent of low-level tension, anxiety, and worse, gnawing at the roots of your wellbeing.
Deliberately seek those who elevate your soul, those who kindle the flames of inspiration and confidence. Embrace the knowledge of what kindred spirits resonate with your essence. Allow joy and empowerment to flourish, as you surround yourself with like-minded souls who champion your journey to self-realization.
Grant yourself the freedom to sever ties with those who mock your aspirations, belittle your passions, and undermine your identity. Their presence casts a shadow on your true worth, but you hold the power to banish them, freeing yourself to soar unrestrained.
12. Cultivate a Radiant Demeanor
While we embark on the journey of eliminating negative thoughts and forging a positive attitude, we encounter a multitude of advantages awaiting our embrace. The profound transformation begins with the cultivation of a happy outlook.
Such an effervescent mindset becomes a wellspring of motivation, fueling our drive to accomplish tasks and attain the lofty objectives of life. In the wake of trials and tribulations, problems metamorphose into profound opportunities, courtesy of this buoyant perspective. The realm of possibilities unfurls before us, inviting us to develop, grow, and learn under the nurturing guidance of a positive mindset.
13. Unveil Your Needs through Open Communication
Within the intricate fabric of relationships lies the pillar of open and unselfish communication. Articulating our concerns and needs to those closest to us breeds understanding and fosters a bond that transcends the tumultuous seas of unmet expectations.
In the realm of self-care, communication stands as a vital cornerstone. Alas, fear of judgment and uncertainty shackles the voices of countless souls, preventing them from expressing the depths of their hearts.
14. Liberation from the Chasing Mirage
Do not succumb to the allure of undervaluing yourself, be it in your professional pursuits or personal relationships. Guard against the transient euphoria of convincing yourself that an artistic endeavor or a cause surpasses all else in importance. Such fleeting highs often lead to subsequent splurges in an attempt to regain that transient feeling of euphoria.
In the relentless pursuit of desires, be it wealth or a prestigious job, one expends tremendous effort. Yet, in certain domains, competition can be cutthroat, with a staggering 14 applicants vying for each coveted position.
Such a pursuit takes a hefty toll, resulting in burnout, emotional anguish, and the squandering of invaluable time. Many devote their entire lives to chasing the chimera of money, success, and an end to all woes.
Yet, the disillusionment lies in wait, for the path to wealth does not guarantee happiness or fulfillment. Instead, this pursuit might breed discontent and dissatisfaction, rendering the pursuit of wealth synonymous with impoverishment – a bankruptcy of the soul.
15 Embrace the Bright Side
Occasionally, it’s only natural to fall into the clutches of a negative headspace. Even the most resilient among us experience it. However, training your mind to lean towards optimism can be a game-changer, especially when you’re feeling beaten down. Here are some simple techniques to foster positivity:
- Dedicate five minutes to reflect on the people and things you’re grateful for.
- Jot down your accomplishments thus far in the year (yes, it might feel a bit peculiar, but trust us, it works!).
- Take a moment to look back on how far you’ve come and anticipate the exciting prospects ahead.
Shifting your mindset will unveil the lighter side of everyday challenges, making them appear less daunting and more manageable.
16. Utter Straightforward Requests
When endeavoring to avoid the recurrence of unpleasant situations, do not waver. Make direct and candid proposals that preempt future calamities. For instance, a simple, “Could you kindly put your phone down while we talk?” can work wonders.
In another context, imagine expressing your sentiments with eloquence, “When I arrive home from work, I observe you and your pals gathered around the television, watching sports. This makes me feel worthless, as you invite folks over without informing me first. In such circumstances, I feel undervalued. Hence, I kindly request your involvement in guest decisions, for it signifies that you genuinely care about my feelings. So, could you kindly inform me when you’d like to have visitors?”
17. Nourish the Roots of Self-Esteem
Embarking on the labyrinthine journey of self-esteem, we encounter a vexing aspect – its inherently fragile nature, fluctuating incessantly on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Moreover, self-esteem encompasses the entirety of our sentiments about ourselves, spanning across various domains of life, from parenthood to professional accomplishments.
The more a particular aspect of self-esteem exerts its influence on the overall construct, the more profound its impact becomes. Imagine a chef, whose self-esteem is intimately entwined with the gustatory delights they create. The slightest hint of displeasure upon tasting their culinary masterpiece might inflict a far deeper wound upon their self-esteem than it would on someone for whom cooking is not an intrinsic aspect of their identity.
18 Gain Perspective
Nothing humbles you faster than gaining a moment of perspective amidst your troubles. How can you achieve this? Here are a few contemplations to provide context:
- Zoom out—yes, you might be in Canada right now, but remember, you’re on a space rock floating in vast nothingness, and that nothingness is expanding (check out this standup comedy bit from Pete Holmes for a good laugh on this topic).
- Question if the issue troubling you today will bear relevance in a year, or even five years from now.
- Consider that the probability of your existence is a staggering 1 in 400 trillion, turning even a bad day into an awe-inspiring miracle.
- Recognize that you live significantly better than a majority of people worldwide, and in the grand scheme of things, many of your problems are simply champagne problems.
Contextualizing situations paves the way for a lighter, less serious outlook on life’s challenges.
19. Surround Yourself with Grounding Influences
As the saying goes, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Therefore, ensure you surround yourself with supportive individuals who have your best interests at heart and can help keep you grounded, optimistic, and lighthearted. These influential people might encourage you to embark on adventures or simply nudge you to take a much-needed day off.
Often, we may not notice when we begin to take things too seriously, as we are immersed in the daily grind. However, those on the outside can readily detect these signals. This is precisely why we cherish the Project Spaces community—a tight-knit circle of work friends who encounter each other daily and collectively hold one another accountable.
20. Let Go of the Quest for Perfection
Do you consider yourself a perfectionist? Well, here’s a revelation: the pursuit of perfection is a futile endeavor. Why, you ask? Perfection is subjective; it is an elusive concept. And the moment you believe you’ve achieved it, the goalpost shifts, and you find yourself seeking something even better.
This notion applies to both your personal and professional life. Don’t take our word for it; reflect on the past ten years. Did your reality align precisely with the life you envisioned? Chances are, your reality either looks entirely different because you adapted and made changes that better aligned with your evolving desires, or it has far surpassed your wildest imaginations. In either case, perfection remains a fleeting notion. Even when you believe everything is perfect, it doesn’t stay that way. And that’s perfectly okay.
Acknowledging the imperfection of life makes it easier to take things less seriously and savor the journey with joy.
In our humble opinion, life is too short to be weighed down by excessive seriousness. The ideal path is to work diligently, achieve greatness, spend time with incredible people, and revel in the delights that come your way.
21. Bask in the Radiance of Gratitude
As we embark on the arduous journey of life, it is essential to recognize and cherish the blessings that grace our path. Alas, trauma and its stealthy ways can render our emotions numb, leaving us bereft of the capacity to experience gratitude. Whether it be maltreatment at the hands of caregivers or a procession of harrowing experiences in our formative years, trauma shrouds our emotions in shock and insensitivity.
Yet, the science of positive psychology unearths the profound link between gratitude and elevated happiness. Gratitude becomes a balm for our souls, enveloping us in pleasant emotions and fostering resilience in times of hardship. It elevates our self-esteem and emboldens us with unwavering optimism. Delving into the depths of this bliss, we encounter a cornucopia of bodily delights, as explored in detail by the venerable Keller.
In this ephemeral existence, resist the temptation to take yourself too seriously. I acknowledge that this endeavor is no facile feat, but the pursuit of impressing others demands a heavy toll. Unveil the opportunity hidden within each challenge and liberate yourself from the Measurement World. Embrace vulnerability, for it shall unfurl the beauty of a life well-lived. Take life seriously, but grant yourself the grace to laugh at the trivialities and idiosyncrasies that accompany this marvelous journey.
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