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In today's world, it is so easy to get wrapped up in how many likes a photo will get on Instagram, the latest celebrity drama on Twitter, and the funniest video on Facebook. What if we put the screens down? What if we lived in the moment? What if we opened our eyes to the world? What if we saw where we truly lived?
These are the questions that need to be asked more. These questions will make us think for one second about a world outside of a screen. That is when change can happen and we can ask "What is being human?" Well, the answer to that question is quite simple.
1. Put the phone down for five minutes.
Easier said than done sadly in today's world. However, putting the phone down for five minutes will open up a door to quiet and peace of the mind. For five minutes your eyes will relax, your mind will be quiet, your heart will simply beat. For those five minutes, you get to enjoy just existing in the moment at hand.
2. Think about all those "whats ifs."
Now that you have figured out how to exist in the moment let your mind explore. Think about all those "what ifs." Not the past ones that you can't change but the ones that are sitting there in your head as little ideas. For example, "What if I take that trip to another country?" "What if I quit this job I hate?" "What if I move to that city I love?" Now pick one and make it your mission to change that "what if" into "I did."
3. Meet up with that friend you have not seen in a while.
Call that friend you have been meaning to talk to for ages but haven't had the "time" for or have been too wrapped up in your own world to remember to check in with them. Ask them out for coffee and just sit together phones off and be in the moment together. Ask how they have been, what their life is like, and absorb every moment you can with them.
4. Get outside.
That's right, get yourself dressed and go outside. Go for a walk just around your neighborhood, go for a run, take a drive to a trailhead, and hike for a few hours. Being outside in nature is one of the best ways to recenter yourself. There is a theory called "Blue Space" (British Journal of Psychiatry Open) that says access to blue and green open spaces can improve mental health and fight depression, anxiety, and loneliness. So get outside so you can make YOU feel better.
5. Reignite that passion you know you have.
Everyone has a passion in life no matter how big or small it is—something that keeps them going every day. Sit and think about that passion inside of you... you remember it? Great! now go do it! Society has this nasty habit of telling us "NO" and we listen because we want to fit in. Well news flash, that is not living. You need to do what makes you happy because when you are happy it reflects on the people around you in a positive way and before you know it everyone around wants to live life to it's fullest the way they know how.
6. Reality check yourself.
Now that you have brought your focus back to you with a clear mind and what makes you happy it's time to look at the outside world and how big it truly is. Take a drive around your entire city or town and open your eyes. Look at the contrast between the really nice neighborhoods and the ones that are barely getting by. Ask yourself "How is this the same city?" The answer is balance and a lack thereof. In each city, there are those who are well off and those who are struggling; how each one survives is all about the people and the separation between them. Society shows its nasty habits again by separating people based on money, power, and popularity. The problem with that is the real issues then go unnoticed.
7. Make a change.
Step outside of your comfort zone and decide to make a change. Start to explore ways to break the rules of separation in society and reach out your hand to help the one across from you. Watch a few documentaries about the world, our earth, animals, or poverty-stricken nations to gain inspiration to make a difference. Now that you are inspired RUN with that inspiration. Volunteer with a shelter or a zoo and meet people just like you that want to make that change.
8. Explore culture.
Culture is what the fabric of the world is made of. Everywhere you turn there is a piece of culture from somewhere else in the world making its place in a new area. This is where being human can be fun and terrifying all at the same time. Dive into culture! Explore new cities and countries all over the country and world and absorb their cultures. See how they live then bring those pieces back home and make a change in your own life and everywhere you go. Share your experiences with others and spread the word about the world and what is happening.
9. Take a step back.
Do you realize what you have done at this point? You have done a 180-degree turn. You went from being locked away in your little world on your phone curled up inside to this world traveler and changer. This is incredible. Take moments now whenever you can and just relax and enjoy who you are now. Enjoy the positivity, the peace of mind and the new experiences in your life. Part of being human means you get to simply exist in the moment in your own space, only now you have the whole world inspiring your existence and not social media and how many likes your morning Instagram post will get.
10. Be human.
After all of this change and all these new looks on life it will be impossible to go back to the old you and that is exactly where you want to be. Now you have an open mind, an open heart, and open eyes to life and all the little pieces of the world. You can see everything from the beautiful to the ugly. The difference now is you want to be part of life and the real world(every piece of it) doing things to make a change or absorbing culture and not sitting behind a screen liking post after post. That, my friends, is what being human is! Connecting, Culture, and Change.