I watched a video yesterday that struck such deep chord with me. The premise was to do what you love, and forget the money. Ah, like a breath of fresh air.Then I fell down from the sky and wondered how to practically apply that beautiful gem of wisdom to my life. How in the heck do I forget the money?[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2L_cGjQSR80%5D
Then I got to thinking. What is it that makes me tick that doesn’t involve spending? What do I love to do? In what instances to I experience Satori, or perfect harmony with the world?
Here are 50 things I came up with. It was quite easy, because the best things in life don’t cost anything.
The first ten are my personal top choices. The subsequent 40 are what flowed out of my brain. Enjoy :)
#1 Build powerful connections with people. I love escape through conversation. Exploring people, their experiences, and their relationship with the world. Reciprocally, I love lighthearted connections too. Shenanigans and laughs.
#2 Run. There is something awakens in me when I run. I love the challenge, the simplicity, the primitiveness, the landscapes, and everything that ensues. I often think running is written in my cells—because I am so naturally and purely drawn to it.
#3 Write. I love reaching people through my writing and teaching others how writing is more than they think. Our education system teaches people to dread writing from a young age. You’re basically given a topic and a “rating” (A, B, C, D, F) based on a flawed system. The moment you get a D or an F is the moment you associate failure and pain with the art. From then on, writing is an object of dread because you’re doing it to meet some elusive “standard”. In their eras, do you think outsiders saw beauty in Picasso, Michelangelo, or Van Gogh? No. But now they are regarded as geniuses. Beauty is subjective.
#4 Be in Nature. I love being outside. In the mountains, by the ocean, or even on the busy city streets.
#5 Learn . I am invigorated by learning. Especially about people and subjects that relate to the human experience. Psychology, sociology, philosophy, health and anatomy, religion, etc.
#6 Travel. Visiting new places is so fulfilling to me. Seeing new people and environments expands my mind. It triggers in me a certain inspiration that cannot be touched elsewhere.
#7 Create Free Time and Open Space. To me, nothing is better than open, untouched time. It feels like a blank canvas, or a white sheet of paper. Time, just waiting to be explored with no agenda.
#8 Appreciate Art. I love art—painting, drawing, film, writing, music, dance, acting, comedy, and it goes on. I especially enjoy the abstract. Creations that are out of the ordinary and defy rationality.
#9 Listen to Music. This somewhat falls into the “art” category. But it deserves a category of its own. My life is music. It’s on more hours of the day then not. Nothing compares.
#10 Love People. I love loving. Sharing my life, showing affection, growing in unison, sharing silence, conversing, laughing, crying, and exploring with another.
#11 Take time in the rain. So many people rush in the rain. Try, just once, to take your time. Get wet. Who cares.
#12 Overlook the city from afar. Everything that seems so big suddenly becomes small. This is the only place where you can crush your problems with your two fingers.
#13 Blast and sing music in the car. The best way to start and end the day.
#14 Talk to the checker at the grocery store. I’ve worked in retail my whole life. And nothing brightens your day like an “out of the ordinary” nice customer.
#15 Send [and receive] morning texts. It’s nice to start the day by sending and [hopefully] receiving a positive message from someone you care about.
#16 Share Music. Spotify is the best thing since…well, toilet paper, cake, idk? You can share songs and collaboratively build playlists with people. It’s awesome.
#17 Fix Something Small. Replace those holey socks, fix the blade on your blender, get rid of unworn clothes. These small things can make you feel monumentally better!
#18 Be outside late at night. Most people are tucked away while you’re stargazing. Losers, pshh.
#19 Coffee shop afternoons. Earphones, big mugs, sunshine through window panes. This is where the magic happens.
#20 Smile/Talk to strangers. Positive energy is electric and creates exponential happiness. Flash those pearly whites.
#21 Think about what you’re thankful for. It’s natural to focus on the negative. Shifting that focus will create instantaneous positivity. Building a gratitude list is even better.
#22 Watch the sunrise. I rarely have the willpower to get up before the crack of dawn. But man it’s a beautiful crack when you see it.
#23 Paint pictures, create art. The last time I painted a picture, it ended up looking like a pickle hooker, but it was a damned good time. [It was meant to be a peacock].
#24 Listen to music from childhood/early adolescent years. Amazing how this can put you back into a childlike state of mind. Re-awakening your mini-you.
#25 Free write. Write as if nobody will ever read it. And don’t think about being “right”, “wrong”, “weird”, or “silly”. Just write.
#26 Give someone a note. Write a note to your boyfriend, girlfriend, mom, dad, grandma. On pen and paper, preferably.
#27 Take goofy pictures. Cheezin’, man. It’s leeegit.
#28 Free Style. Okay, you may not rank with Eminem or Pac, but it’s a good ol’ time to put on a backtrack (YouTube) and freestyle like a mofo.
#29 Volunteer. Get out and help people where it’s needed. Not only will it fulfill your soul, it’ll give you a wealth of interesting [perhaps odd and stinky] experiences.
#30 Pretend you’re a photographer. I do this all the time. When I go places and see something that strikes my fancy, I strike a snapshot. One day, you’ll look back and be like, “hey I remember that!”.
#31 Hike. Hey, why don’t cha take a hike?!
#32 Have a picnic in the park. Brown bag it. Get a blanket and a boom box too. Clink, clink. ;)
#33 Look up free events. You’d be surprised at how much FREE crap happens every day. Music festivals, farmers markets, art walks–you name it. Get out there!
#34 Go on a run. I thought it would be too obvious that I’d say this, so I made it number #34. It deserves two places on my list.
#35 Read something completely random. You gravitate towards the same types of books, whether you admit it or not. Go to the bookstore and read something TOTALLY out of the ordinary.
#36 Find a meetup. So you like to Salsa? Frisbee Golf? Collecting toenails? There’s a meetup for virtually anything and anybody. Great way to meet like-minded folk.
#37 Invent a new recipe. A long time ago, my friend and I used to make up recipes only using what was in the kitchen. It always tasted like a funky clay dough. But I have better faith in your cooking skills!
#38 Look at old photo albums/home videos. Home videos and old pictures are a BLAST if you have access to them. Nothing like taking a waltz down memory lane. Especially when you had a perm and a borderline mullet as a child…Thanks Obama!
#39 Dance! You DON’T need a special occasion to shake yo thang. Grab a partner, turn on some jams and dance the night away.
#40 Talk about memories from childhood. One time, I jumped off the roof of my friends playhouse with an umbrella. Inspired by Mary Poppins, it didn’t work out as I expected. What did you do as a child?
#41 Ask random questions. This one is reserved for only the coolest people, so if you suck you can ignore this. Muster up some off-handed questions and ask away. “What was your best gift ever”, “If you were an animal, what would you be?” “If you could jump into a pool of anything, what would it be?”
#42 Watch funny videos on YouTube. There is a lot of funny shit out there just waiting to make you giggle like a little school girl. Go find them!
#43 Create a bucket list. What are your deep and shallow aspirations? Write em’ down and hang them up where you can see them. Cross them off as you do them too!
#44 Clean something you don’t normally clean. This one leaves me many options, haha! But just think–what is something you don’t normally clean? Is it your car seat covers, your shoes, your pillowcase, your face, your armpits? Make it squeak!
#45 Watch a documentary. There are so many great [and, okay crappy] documentaries out there, for interests of all kinds. Find the good ones and watch them.
#46 Have friends over for dinner and games. A dinnah pahtee. Classy, right?
#47 Focus closely on one area of your life you want to improve. Do you want to stop spending so much on coffee? Do you gossip? Do you pass gas in public? Just focus on improving one area of your life for a while.
#48 Memorize a quote, and live by it all day. “Be the change you want to see”, “Follow your bliss”, “Thou shalt not kill”. Amazing how this can intensify your focus on a one particular ideal.
#49 Window Shop/People Watch. If you live in Colorado, I recommend going to the Pearl Street Mall or the 16th Street Mall. Those places always have cool shops and peculiar happenings. You see things and people that you would’ve never thought existed.
#50 Take a nap! C’mon, you deserve it. Especially after reading this exhaustive list. :)
What do you do that is FREE?
This may sound crazy… But everything I do is free. Really. Im writing an entire book about it : )
But also, u forgot the number thing… Sexual release. Alone or with your significant other. This is sure to be free of cost at all times and definetly the most enjoyable
good post, @amynicsmith, if I may add to this list:
51: Give someone you are close to a long hug. people underestimate the power of hugs, these simple transferrals of affection can change the “emotional trajectory” of someone’s day if you just let that embrace linger a little
52: Meditate! I need not go on about all of the practical benefits of meditation as it’s been said time and time again on HE, but there is literally no drawbacks to it that I can think of
53: Release your inner child: give your younger years a good thinking, discover what it was that never failed to amaze you and go out and do those activities again, chances are good that you still love them, so don’t be afraid to potentially go roll in mud!
54: (following “Be in nature”) Go for a full nature immersion: we have a profound connection to nature and nothing comes close to the connectedness one feels when one runs through a forest, scales a mountain or swims in a lake sans clothing, so why not go amongst nature in your birthday suit?
55: Flex your empathy and mindfulness muscles: as long as there are people, there is always going to be someone in need of a listener, if you ask someone how they are doing, mean it. if some one comes to you for advice or help through a problem, go with all your heart and talk that person through it, you’ll both learn from that experience.
I could not agree more with #53. Releasing your “inner child” (or having fun as I call it) is the greatest thing to do. Dont listen to “act your age” bc thats just a number representing how many times you went around the Sun. The phrase, “dont grow up, its a trap” is probably one of the truest things I’ve read. Stay young at heart
@amynicsmith Great list, thanks for compiling it. A few things I might add would be…
1. Play an instrument
3. Take Pictures
I also just wanted to add I just went to 16th street mall and Pearl Street over Vday weekend with my girl and those places are lots of fun. Definitely crazy as other cities as far as what you will see.
Nothing is free.
At the same time, everything is free.
There is no real distinction between free and expensive, other than a man-made concept that seems real when you don’t think beyond face value.
I like making music, I like working out, I like visiting my family, I like learning.
And I like fucking.
None of it directly costs any money, but it costs time and energy which is much more precious and limited than money. And it also requires things that were bought in the past.
I was actually thinking today about money and how we practically sell our souls just to earn enough money to be alive. I mean… It’s sad. It’s sad that you have to work hours weekly if you want to have a roof above your head. Even if you want to go out there and build your own small house on a tiny piece of land you can’t do that, because you have to pay money for the land, for insurance, for an architect, and for many other things.
If I could, I would like to have a small place of my own and to grow my own veggies and fruit, and to paint, and these things would require an incredibly small amount of money (if any at all) if only it weren’t for the system. By “system” I refer to this entire thing about trading your life for money in order to pay taxes and just to live decently. I wish I could fuck the system…