I believe there is a fine line between being alive and feeling alive.
Some will argue that this autopilot state is necessary and a result of the need to keep up and get through our high speed everyday life. To a certain extent I agree. On the other hand, I think a lot of people need a change of focus.
LOOK UNDERNEATH THE SURFACE
Take me for an instance; I'm a 20 years old full time student working two part times jobs, in Norway. In addition I try to stay in shape and most important, have a social life. I think a lot of people can relate to this example. A busy life style like that can sometimes make you feel like a robot. But does it have to be that way?
Instead of doing everything with your mind set on the finish line, find a way to enjoy the ride. You can study to learn and grow, get a job to contribute to the community and work out to have a healthy mind and body. This is an simplified example, of course it's a lot more complex. However, my point is that what you view as boring everyday habits can be more giving if you look underneath the surface, and find a purpose in what you do.
FOR INSTANCE: DON'T LET MONEY RULE YOU
(I wasn't going to talk about this issue, but I can't help it)
We strive to get educated, a career and earn money so we can afford to do what really make us feel alive. However, I think this feeling can come for free.
NO UNIVERSAL RECIPIE
What makes you feel alive is individual. Which means that there is no universal recipie. For instance, while some people enjoy change, others like more stability. To some people "living" might be about always challenging oneself , traveling to foreign destinations etc. Others might prefer to stay in their safe comfy bubble.
Nevertheless, whether you find yourself inside or outside your comfort zone, I encourage you to sometimes break out of the autopilot mode. Take time to be more present. This might sound too cliche or silly, but if you stop for one second and pay attention to your surroundings (whether it's people, nature etc.), you might actually feel like you're doing more than existing.
If you lost the thread while reading, don't worry. I did too while writing. I apologize for a bad organized train of thoughts, but I suddenly felt a weird desire to share it.