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5 Steps For Everyday People To Live A More Enjoyable Life (without losing their minds)

Enjoying your life is not a luxury. It’s a must-have.

It’s the only way to do meaningful work.

My laptop was closed on the desk on a Sunday evening at my apartment.

I’d been telling myself for a few hours, “I’d get to it soon.”

But I had other things on my mind.

The email I didn’t send out on Friday. The response I was waiting on from the email I sent out on Thursday. The meeting that I had to lead on Monday.

It was the classic case of the Sunday blues. That dreaded feeling professionals get when the weekend is coming to an end and the week is about to go in full swing.

I was excited the Friday before. I had told myself that I’d finally get to do some writing “during my free time.”

A full month of weekends had passed and no progress.

That day I put my laptop back in my bag. Defeated once again.

I learned an important lesson, if I was going to fit in a creative practice, it made no sense saving it for the weekend.

I had to incorporate it into my everyday life.

Anxious Times:

The unhappiness epidemic is raging around the world.

Unhappiness is growing.

A lot of factors contribute to this: inequality, fractured communities, lack of safety and food security, high levels of anxiety, people engaged in work that doesn’t bring meaning.

A lot of people want to do something else but have to pay the bills.

They end up piling up things they believe will keep them in the good graces of society.

The last thing you want to do to add to this unhappiness is fall out of status and be broke, right? So people put more of themselves into work. Most of it is work where the goals are not self-directed, driven from the top.

Long hours. Zoom calls. Endless meetings.

The more you put into it, the less you get out of it, furthering the unhappiness.

Life becomes a series of endless mundane activities. Routine that lulls you to sleep. Simmering a lukewarm anxiety that is always just below, about to bubble up, but never does.

There is one way around it.

And that’s incorporating some creative leisure into your life.

But most people would say, “It must be nice that you have the time to do all that. I don’t”

I know. Only 24 hours in a day.
Only 60 hours in a minute.
Only 365 days in a year.

Time can be illusive.

But we all have the same number of hours in a day. It’s our most important asset.

But how is it that some get to do their work, have time for family, spend time on leisure, and still have enough hours for sleep.

It’s all about attention.

Attention is how you control your consciousness, which is the sum total of the information you consume.

If you want to do anything, you have to drive your attention towards it.

Whatever you give your attention to grows.

So how do you fit in some time for creativity, you give it attention.

You prioritize it.

You don’t just “have the time,” you “make the time.”

5 steps to build a more enjoyable life:

Breaking away from routine can be hard.

After all, we love the path of least resistance. We develop habits and routines to make our tasks easy to get to.

But routine also saps the energy of life away from us. It makes us lose the gift of observation. Time becomes more elusive and slips away.

When you prioritize a creative practice, unlike what most people think, it actually gives you more time. It makes you aware. It enhances your experience. You get to facilitate your own growth. You might contribute to the life of others and inspire them.

You might even make money off it.

It’s a win all around.

Here are 5 steps I’ve used to get there.

1. The “No-Weekend” Rule

I don’t work on the weekends.

When I had my 9-5 job, I’d tell myself “I’ll work on my projects on the weekend.” I never did. When I started my business, I’d say: “I’ll get to my writing on Friday.” I never did. The weekend can seem like the perfect time to work on your leisure but I think it’s the worst.

Here’s why:

You build up the moment so much in your mind, when the weekend finally approaches, you are too tired to overcome this thing you’ve built up.

Nah. It ain’t gonna happen.

The approach I take is to incorporate my creative practice into my daily life. I only work on the weekdays. Like it’s a regular job.

Write in the morning. Make music when I can.

I do it for at least 15 minutes a day.

That’s it.

2. Do it just because

I never wanted to be an author.

It was never a goal of mine. A lot of people I grew up with are surprised that I’ve written 3 books (4th one coming this summer). So where did this new book-creating habit come from?

It came from an urge to express something.

That’s the best way I can say it.

It started out with making beats and publishing them on soundcloud. Then I decided to write a short story for one of my mixtapes. Which took me down a rabbit hole of storytelling. This then led to one book, then the other.

Music, books.

These are all expressions. Stories. And I just followed the thread to express them.

There’s something you want to express. Do it just because. Free yourself of the outcome. Start exploring it.

3. Motivation is a choice

Whatever you do, make it worthwhile.

I make music because I want to listen to what I make, not because I want people to like it. There’s so much music that I make that I just listen to.

I have a few songs (coming out with my next book) that I’ve listened to over and over for over a year and I realized that nobody else has listened to it.

Become your biggest fan.

You have to fall in love with what you’re doing before caring about whether others like it.

Same thing with my books.

So with anything you create, make sure you love it first before expecting others to.

4. Make it make sense

Money is important.

People think creativity is about being anti-capital. They fall for the conspiracy. You have to be a broke “starving artist” to make anything of impact. They choose the suffer-head lifestyle.

Shuffering and shmiling! Nah, not me.

Money is energy: a token of exchange.

When I interviewed a few professionals in 2019 who wanted to increase their creative output, one of the biggest roadblock was “monetizing.”

People would love to do more things that will help them express their creative side, but paying the bills is more important.

There are two options:

  1. Find something that helps you generate income and do your creative work on the side
  2. Monetize your creativity.

They both have pros and cons.

The first is a balanced approach that keeps your creative practice as an enjoyable hobby. It gives a more well-rounded life. The downside is that you might not prioritize it.

The second approach makes sure that you are truly expressive, practicing, sharpening your creativity. The down side is the anxiety of living a stable and life on your work. This in turn can stifle your creativity.

The good thing is that the creator economy continues to expand. As of 2024, the creator economy is $156.47 Billion and is expected to expand to $528.29 Billion by 2030.

I’m sorry, did I get your attention?

Ah! you think money is important too huhn?
I like you. We’re friends 🙂

You see, to tap into this growing economy requires creativity and other important skills: persuasive writing, psychology, networking, marketing, sales.

Being an artist in this era means a completely different thing. You can make but you also have to leverage the power of the internet to share.

Find your own balance.

5. Make life interesting

An interesting life is your choice.

The older you get, life can get more boring. I remember when I turned 22. I was just a year out of graduate school.

Had a nice paying job in Austin. Lived in a nice apartment. Doing my young man tinnz.

Drove to work. Came back home just to drive to work the next day.

Then one day, I thought “oh shit, is this it?”

Is this what I’m going to do for the rest of my life? It was an early life crisis.

In an effort to jar myself out of routine, I started drawing, taking improv classes. Then I found my thing: making beats.

These activities broke my daily pattern. They made life more interesting. They slowed down the flow of time, forcing me to focus on the present and pay attention.

The reason to create is to have enjoyable experiences.

Enjoying your life is not a luxury. It’s a must-have.

You only have one life. Why not enjoy it while you can.

And I’m not just talking about making money and going on luxury trips.

I’m talking about participating in the flow of life: choosing self-directed goals, being intentional, driving your attention to your intentions, improving yourself, and if possible contributing something to those around you.

Final thoughts

No one is going to create time for you to do the things you enjoy.

You have to carve out those sacred minutes or hours for yourself. You have the agency to choose how you want to participate in the flow of time.

Choose to direct your participation.

Yours truly,

Who is Nifemi?

Hey I’m Nifemi of NapoRepublic

I help busy people fit in a creative practice to bring to bring order to their reality and help them live a more meaningful life through writing and reflection.

Sculpt your story

Know thyself, build a second brain, and unleash your creativity with writing. All in one journaling, note-taking, and dots-connection method that fits into your busy life.