Live in Paradise

How to Live in Paradise Every Day of Your Life

Live in Paradise
Photo by Ed Suominen

How to Live in Paradise Every Day of Your Life

Most people dream of living in paradise someday. Someday, we'll retire and finally get to move to that cabin in the woods or that beach house in the tropics. Someday, we'll move somewhere warmer (or colder!). We'll move to Hawaii, Florida, or Arizona. Or maybe Switzerland. Or we'll spend our retirement in Mexico. Someday…

This paradise dream gives us something to look forward to, and when we get there, we'll finally get to enjoy life. No more work. No more answering to anyone. No more whatever. Everything will be perfect. Happiness awaits. Right?

Not necessarily.

Here's why…

Part of the reason I believe this concept of finally enjoying life when we reach our paradise destination is false is that we don't know what paradise, to us, really is. We might think we know. We've heard all about our dream place, we've seen all of the stunning pictures, maybe we've even visited the place (always a good idea before we make the big move!), but once we start living there, things we never thought about before (or things we discounted as a moot point) can start irritating us. Maybe it's the sand and grit that constantly blow into the house or the lizards that think they own the place.

The other issue with the concept is that we have our ideas of what we want, but we often don't have the financial means to make it happen. So, we make compromises. I guess we'll have to settle for only a fraction of an acre instead of the 20 we dreamed about. Hey, if we can just move to the perfect place, perhaps we can be happy even if our living situation isn't what we want.

Again, not necessarily.

We've decided we want to move to say, Hawaii, but Hawaii is an expensive place to live, so we start making compromises in order to make it work. Eventually, we find ourselves unhappy with the decision we made.

If we have our dream paradise figured out, but we make compromises in order to make it work, is it really our dream paradise then? Are we really going to be as happy as we had thought?

The truth of the matter is, it doesn't matter where we live. We can live in paradise wherever we are, because it's really about what we make of the place.

It's the same concept as "the grass is always greener on the other side." I think it's a natural human inclination to want what we don't actually have. We see something else and start thinking about how wonderful it would be to have that instead.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing to have that inspiring dream paradise. I think it's healthy to have big dreams like that. But if we hold off on enjoying life until then, we're going to find ourselves unsatisfied in the end. Not to mention, it's a miserable life when we fail to enjoy it as it happens.

We must learn to appreciate where we are right now so we can appreciate where we go from here. It doesn't mean you have to like everything, per se, but it means you see things as unique and you learn to make the most of it. It means you embrace it. Instead of seeing something as a roadblock or an inconvenience, you see it as a welcomed challenge that you can overcome.

It might not seem possible sometimes, but we really can learn to appreciate what we have at any given time. We don't have to constantly be searching for something better. It's what is in our hearts that will determine whether or not the place we live in is paradise.

Learn to appreciate where you are and all of the blessings you've received and you'll live in paradise every day of your life.

Jody Calkins
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