BLP! The “Best Life Possible” has been my mantra for the past few years. Like many others, I used to think it was defined by uninhibited moments of indulgence. Throwing caution to the wind and having grand experiences. But many times I had a deep feeling that the BLP I adopted was somewhat of an impostor; simply an avoidance of reality under the guise of “living life to the fullest”. After periods of uninhibited living, I was often greeted by periods of regret. Some of the greatest minds agree on the importance of living in the now, so how could it not be a truth? Why is it that when we “live like there is no tomorrow”, we feel anxiety when tomorrow actually comes? We feel the pressure of tasks left undone, bills left unpaid, relationships left unclosed.
Indulgence, in any form, can not erase the stresses of our lives. It can only reschedule them and strengthen them. You have a great time tonight, then anxiety greets you at your doorstep like the morning paper. But which one is stronger; the joy of losing inhibitions or the stress from unresolved challenges? As days pass, the stress builds; it grows. In order to compensate, your indulgence increases. But there are only but so many amazing bottles of wine, only but so many decadent meals. Substances can only get you but so high. Our purchases can only provide but so much comfort. Sex can only bring but so much pleasure. And still the pressure caused by our avoidance grows. Even long walks in the park can cause the pressure to grow if it is used as a tool of avoidance. It’s not the activity that is harmful; it’s the purpose behind the indulgence.
This is how people who live such stereotypically fabulous lives can be so burdened with depression. They live for today without knowing what that truly means. Living our life to the fullest does not look like what we think it looks like. Eating amazing food at a five star restaurant while having an amazing bottle of wine (something I personally enjoy) is not living life to the fullest. It’s a scene from a movie about living life to your fullest! Many people do not take the time to reflect and figure out what their best life really looks like and just we adopt the pre-packaged marketed version.
In contrast, when fulfilled and you partake in that amazing bottle of wine, the sweetness comes from knowing that you have put in the work to be able to afford it without worrying about costs. It’s knowing that there is nothing else that you are putting off doing at that moment. The enjoyment comes from not having to overindulge to drown out deferred anxiety. Joy is birthed from what you have done to create that moment. Enjoyment without creation is fleeting. It’s just a glimpse of what you could have as your reality. Then you wake up in the morning to find yourself even further back than where you started yesterday. And the cycle of frustration continues.
But there is your answer. Your BLP is about creation. Visualizing the person you want to be and walking that path; Not taking a short cut. The real secret is that the path is the pleasure, The destination, your tomorrow, is just the culmination of your many todays. The vision of your BLP is just the proverbial carrot on a stick. Your true BLP is grander than you can currently imagine. Getting to your “destination” would be far more inferior to where the path will actually lead you. When you jump to the destination, you are just living a version of someone else's creation. You miss the connection. You miss the point. It’s empty. The beauty of the path is constantly being created by the steps you take.
The first step is to unearth the truth. Think of all your stresses, your items on a back burner, the things you don’t like about your life. Bring them front and center. You can’t avoid what is staring you in your face. Being aware allows you to make choices that free you from your burdens and moves you toward your desires. Freedom is the Best Life Possible. Not freedom from Indulgence but freedom to indulge truly uninhibited. But at this point, your indulgence will not be as they were before. You will wake up to new opportunities instead of old problems. This constant growth fosters limitlessness. You will not need to worry about tomorrow because it will have no choice but to fall in place; allowing you to truly live in the moment.
After all these years of trying to figure out the balance, it turns out that the two are one in the same. Living in the moment and preparing for tomorrow are different names for the same path OF happiness. We just have to walk it. One glorious step after the next.
-H. Alex Sanchez