The Things We Used To Love

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runningrdBefore this day is over, I want you to go do something you love. Something you stopped doing for one reason or another. Life changes, jobs change, you got married, had kids, moved, income goes up and down and sideways, our friends change and on and on. Some of our most favorite activities in the world begin to get neglected, forgotten and soon we stop doing them completely. But it’s not because we stopped loving the activity, it’s because we forgot how much pleasure we get from it. Sometimes we just need to be reminded, and sometimes it takes someone encouraging you to dropkick your routine to make room for a long-lost-love of an activity into your day. You will not regret it.

I just got back from a four mile run in a torrential downpour in the midst of a flash flood warning here on the Big Island. I feel like a million dollars. There’s something about the feeling you get from the running, the exercise, being outside, and seeing the local beauty all around you. I haven’t gone for a run in over 6 months, ever since moving to Hawaii. My reasons for stopping were that I now surf multiple times a week, which is great exercise, and it’s pretty hot and humid here, which means that sweat erupts from your body the moment you start to move. What got me out running this morning was that a friend of mine here, Noah, called me up and asked if I wanted to go out for a run. I said why not. 

From the moment we started, the reasons I used to run all came back. When I got home, got hydrated, stretched out and cleaned up, the post-run feeling surged through me. The only way to describe it is that you just feel really invigorated. As I sat here thinking about it I asked myself why I had stopped. That’s when I realized it was because I had forgotten how much I loved it, and forgotten how it made me feel. Too much time had passed since I had last run and it took someone harassing me into digging out my running shoes and hitting the road to remind me.

swingsThings we used to love

Maybe you need a reminder, so here are some sample ideas. Sports you used to play, fishing, hiking, long walks, sitting in parks relaxing, swimming, boating, hunting, camping, chess, board games, napping, good books, dating your wife or your husband, going to the movies, riding your bike, volunteering, teaching, helping your neighbor, cooking your own food, playing with your kids, throwing the Frisbee, building something, doing a puzzle, having a pint with your friend, working in the yard, ice skating, watching the sunrise or the sunset, playing catch, planting a garden, lying under the stars, writing, singing, drawing, going to the zoo, rollerblading, playing video games, swinging at the playground, driving a remote control car or flying a remote control airplane or drone, going to a u-pick farm to pick fruits or vegetables, making paper airplanes, photography, computer programming, garage sailing or listening to music you haven’t listened to in years. There are countless others.

swimminglakeWhy this is important

I think that we need to make time in our schedules to do things that make us happy. Not because we are selfish, but because we want to be healthy. A lot of the things we love to do coincidentally tend to often greatly benefit our health. For example, physical activity keeps us in shape, gives us more energy, helps us sleep better and feel better about ourselves. All those things are essential for healthy interactions with others. Helping others or taking part in charity work helps us keep life in perspective. Various social gatherings helps us foster much needed friendships. Almost all of the activities help us relax and take our minds off of the stress and pain that so easily suffocates our lives. Others help us get much needed mental and physical rest.

There are endless reasons we give for not doing the things we love anymore, but I believe there is one that is the biggest culprit. We are a forgetful people. We forget how good something felt, we forget how good something looked or how good something tasted. We forget about the excitement, the wonder, the discovery, the camaraderie, the intimacy, the bonds and the happiness. Though we may forget how an experience once made us feel, our minds do not forget that which we once labeled significant. No, we tend to etch in our minds forever the things that bring us joy. So stop for a minute and think about how you used to spend your time. Pick the one that sticks out the most, or that you are currently being given the opportunity to do. Then go do it, and remind yourself why you used to love it.

What are you thinking about doing again that’s making you smile just thinking about it? What did you used to love doing? Please share your stories!

14 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks, Ryan, I needed this post. Due to my Dads illness and subsequent death, I have set aside my passion of creativity, just doing the things in life that MUST be done.Well, after reading this I have decided that I WILL get going on Halloween decorations, which are usually over-the-top, and have a costume party with friends this year. THANKS!!

  2. One thing I enjoy that I’ve really been missing lately is metal detecting. I sold my metal detector about a year ago and defiantly regret that decision. So I might not get to enjoy that hobby before this day is over or even tomorrow, but I want to get another one sometime in the (hopefully not so distant) future and enjoy it once again.

  3. Ryan,
    I came across your website this morning because my wife told me our dryer is about to go bye,bye. I am a pretty decent mechanically incline guy but considering the age of our dryer , I opted to search the Internet for a deal. I used to be a installer of high end appliances company ( ABT Appliance and Electronics) back in the days before I decided to pursue my interest in Carpentry. I own my Company now ( Starco Carpentry) however, with the current economy needless to say, work has been scarce.
    Back to my story. I am thinking about a career shift and WELLA! I think I will start this new endeavor but first, I would like to Praise you. I have the same visions, like yours in life. LESS IS MORE. Money is important however, Family, friends and Faith comes first to me. I am looking forward to be your student in the near future. Your are truly inspiring. I think I found the fuel I need to run me back in my tracks.
    Sincerely,
    Eric CASTRO
    P.s no relation to FIDEL!

  4. I just found your site and I love what you’re doing here! I’ve flipped cars from Craigslist for awhile and it’s super fun – definitely something I enjoy doing that also puts extra money in my pocket.

    Congrats and the excellent site, I’m a fan now!

    Jeremy

  5. Hi Ryan, Ryan in South Africa.
    Thanks for your inspiring stories and the fact that you document your thoughts and proccesses.
    I am so glad to see a young guy out there, doing what he loves and making money, fun and happiness by flying his own flag!
    I have quit my ill paying travelling salesman job this month and am doing what I love: finding bargains, networking and trading for profit, Bugger trying to find another boss to grovel for!

    We have so much power and potential in us just waiting for us to give ourselves a chance and I find it so inspiring to find like minded people in this global village!
    So, I just want to say this to your followers: Be great, because you are!
    Thanks for an awesome life and site!

    P.S I will crank up the Electric guitar today, finally finish building my longboard
    and go for a surf at Jeffreys Bay later this month!

    Blessings and love from Africa

    • Hey Ryan, thanks for the kind words! Congrats on taking the plunge into working for yourself! There are days when it’s hard, but I have never, ever regretted it. The image of the electric guitar, a longboard and surfing sounds incredible. I’ve found surfing to be one of the most enjoyable pastimes I’ve ever experienced. Keep in touch and press on!

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