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The Secret to Adulthood— How To Live With More Joy

So for those of you don’t follow me on social media or just haven’t already heard, I recently started the next chapter of my life with nursing school. My first day was 1/11…so it’s been a little over a week now in the program. How exciting!

But nursing school isn’t so much the topic of focus here. It’s more about the feelings & thoughts I was having the night before the first day of the program. Why do I find that important to share? Because I feel that what I uncovered is the SECRET to adulthood in finding fulfillment & joy out of life again.

In this article, I’ll share what that secret is….

The Secret To Adulthood - How can I find more joy?
young girl shares secret with young boy

The Night Before The Secret

I remember laying in bed on January 10th (the night before nursing school started) feeling all the feels. Thinking of how proud I was for not giving up and continuing to fight the fight to make this moment happen… I was in awe.

And so I laid there, and applied mindfulness to the experience I was having. So many emotions arose — feelings of nervousness, excitement, eagerness, anxiousness, & happiness all traveled through my mind and body. So much so, I found it challenging to get to sleep – I was experiencing way too many emotions to sleep. I was ready to start the program right there and then. I felt like a little kid again, excited, looking forward to experiencing something new or pleasant.

And while you may not be starting nursing school, I imagine you can relate to those kinds of feelings in your own way. Am I right?

Some examples that may activate those type of emotions could be—

  • The night before Christmas or a fav holiday
  • Those nights before an exciting field trip
  • When you know the vacation you booked is approaching
  • Or maybe just knowing those weekend plans you made to get together with old friends is coming up

The Anticipation

We humans are extremely future-oriented. From making weekend plans to planning our 3-5 year career path, we do have & utilize unique abilities to set goals, envision how to get there, & how it’ll feel when we do get there.

And for the most part, we enjoy creating these moments because they offer us a little more meaning in life. They give us something to look forward to, to daydream about, and to instill a sense of excitement inside of us that reminds us something good will happen in the near future.

A recent study showed that ppl who had an upcoming vacation approaching experienced more happiness and sense of meaning in their lives than non-travelers. This suggested that anticipatory events can fuel present moment happiness.

Another 2015 study found that having something positive to look forward to reduces stress and boosts mood.

Planning events or creating future experiences for ourselves offers us something in the present moment to look forward too, which creates a positive feeling of anticipation within. And I feel that this is something we can greatly benefit from feeling more of, especially after alll the shit we’ve been through with the Pandemic and everything that surrounded that.

The Secret

Given the state of the country & world at large, I’m sure you could agree when I say we are living through a weird, fearful, and stress-inducing time. And with winter settling in, we find more hours of darkness, more cases of covid, and more feelings of dread. It’s never been more important to give yourself things to look forward to – no matter how small.

This is what I’ve come to discover as one of the secrets to adulthood— and it’s a powerful ‘life hack’ you can take on right now to help create a more fulfilling and joyful life. And really, it just requires you to actively decide to intentionally & purposefully create the reality you feel you deserve.

So that’s what you want to do. If you’ve been struggling to find a sense of meaning or purpose in your life or you’ve been finding that you lack fulfillment or joy, then you want to start creating more moments to look forward too.

And these moments can be anything. It doesn’t just mean you have to go book a full blown vacation. Just something you can successfully make into a plan of which you can then look forward to (even something as small as the takeout you’re going to order for dinner later).

Doing this can get you to feel hopeful that there can be something positive in the future. It can set you up for more of those positive moments that bring joy to our life.

Hi, I'm Victor Padilla, founder of Zen Space. A place where you can feel a sense of human connection, community support, and mental clarity -and not feel so alone.

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5 Replies

  1. Im glad you posted the link to remind me of this post. That same excitement has actually started happening for me, in that im about to complete something i didnt think of even starting. The thoughts now are, “Who will I become (cus all our experiences changes us lil by lil)”. “Is who ive seen myself to be manifesting”. So yes, def been a journey more of self-discovering and life more. Thanks brother, youre always so insightful 🙏🏽

    • That’s amazing Malcolm. And THANK YOU SO MUCH for commenting and sharing your thoughts and insights. You are truly a member of my soul tribe brother. I can absolutely see and feel the divinity within you. I admire your strength, perseverance, and dedication to your journey and self growth. You’re doing an amazing job. Namaste my friend.