Ponder the word life for a sec.

Take some time to consider what you're up to in this moment.

Glance around, what do you spot?

What's going on around you?

What's up with you?

It's great to take a break and be mindful of your state, but it's not always easy to find the time. We're all so busy with our daily lives that we can forget how valuable our life is! I'm sure none of us ever really reach this point where we stop growing or learning because living is an experience that never ends. My goal here is to remind you how important each moment is - don't let anything hold you back from achieving your goals and reaching your full potential.

Ever since I was a kid, this peaceful image has been stuck in my head. A big meadow with swaying grass and wildflowers dancing in the wind - it's like there's a breeze caressing my face and I can breathe in that fresh air. There's nothing to do or say, just surrounded by nature and totally at ease, away from all worries, stress, and criticism. It's so quiet and I'm liberated. This is what serenity means to me - free from the world and my own thoughts. No more thinking or worrying, just existing for an eternity.

I'm constantly asking myself why I've strayed so far from the feeling of transcendence that I crave. Why have I let myself live in a way that puts limits and sets expectations? Freedom doesn't exist when we're stuck within society's boundaries. Most of us are caught up with this fast-paced world, never taking the time to ask ourselves what drives us or why we do certain things. The secret to joy is understanding your wishes. But if you're like me, maybe somewhere along the line you were misguided and didn't stay true to yourself and pay attention to your emotions. My own thoughts have been my biggest obstacle; our ideas shape and identify who we are and how we live.

It's easy to get used to a set routine since that's what most people around us are doing. For instance, many of us work for a living with the 9-5 job five days a week. Sure, some may have night shifts or work from home, but we're all working to make money. We wake up, go to work, come home, sleep, and then do it all over again. Even though there's time between work, when you look at the total hours in a day, most of it is spent working. So why do we stick with this same schedule every single day without considering if there's something else out there more rewarding than just making money?

What's the point of putting in all that effort if you'd rather be somewhere else?

It's obvious that having money is necessary for us to get by, but when did we come to the conclusion that our jobs should take precedence over leisure? When did we decide that we need more than just the basics to be content?

Think about it, what do you value more than your weekends when you can do exactly what you want? Look around - maybe you have a car, or a phone. We pay for all sorts of services and stuff we think we need, but are they really worth giving up the one thing that's most precious to us: our time?

Why are we counting down the days until Friday when Monday is bound to come around just as quickly?

If money controls your life, then it's time to take back the reins! If I asked you if you'd like to make more money, there's no doubt that your answer would be a resounding "Yes!" After all, who doesn't want more? But here's the thing: having more won't necessarily make you happier. Sure, it's nice to have enough income without needing to work, but this isn't always realistic. At the end of the day, we're all wired to crave more and more - it's just in our nature.

After considering all the possibilities, I've come to realize that exchanging my hours for money isn't necessarily what life is all about.

It's important to be mindful of your decisions, not just follow the herd. I was always taught that going to college and getting a job you're passionate about is the key to success and financial stability. Isn't that what being an adult is all about?

We get a great job, tie the knot, buy our dream home and fill it with things we love. We start a family and have fun. But then something changes - we stop living life to its fullest because we're not doing what we want anymore. We acquire more and become busier until time starts flying by, leaving us feeling helpless and like life is just one big countdown that can't be stopped.

No matter how much we want it, time keeps on ticking. And you'll eventually realize that the things you thought would make you happy don't really do it for you. That's why I'm telling you to take control of your life and look beyond money as a measure of success.

Cash won't bring you joy, and neither will the stuff it can buy. I'm certain of that.

Your time is priceless compared to money, and when you work those 9-5 hours, it's not your time that you're exchanging, but rather your life.

Ya know, is it really worth it to give up a chunk of your life for something? Probably not when money's involved. So don't let yourself get stuck in this same old routine. I used to think that having more money would make me happier, but then I realized it just took away my time. Now I'd do anything to get back the moments I lost. Time's the one thing you can never buy back!

Embrace this idea: if you work less, you'll need less and have more time. You'll be surprised how little you can get by on and how creative you can be! The things you thought made you happy aren't as important as you think - you don't need them and won't even want them anymore.

It took a while for me to realize this. After thinking about my lifestyle, I knew it was time for a shift. You have the power to make changes—you can change your perspective, you can adjust your ideas, and you can use that strength within yourself to better your life if you choose to do so. Today, I'm thrilled to tell you that I now prioritize things like life, food, my family's health, and our planet over money—way more than before, and you should too!

Every morning, before I get in my car and drive off to work, this feeling of guilt washes over me. It's the hardest part for me - knowing that I'm going to miss out on all these moments while I'm away. All I want is to stay put and watch the sun rise above the mountains. But instead, I'm stuck saving up for retirement and missing entire seasons of life. Is that really how you want to live? Think about it.

Life is amazing! It's so valuable that it's almost impossible to understand. Enjoy every second, don't worry too much about what happened before or what might come next. I urge you to make the most of your life. Don't be scared to take a chance, you won't regret it!

My wife always says, "You only live once. So why waste time doing something you don't want to do?" I'm hoping this encourages you to find out what it is that makes you truly happy!

Don't forget how awesome you are! You're so smart, kind and strong - plus, you totally deserve it all. Believe in yourself - if you want something bad enough, you can make it happen!

Don't waste your precious time - go for it and make those dreams a reality!

Simple Living Alaska