“Man, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived” – Dalai Lama
Living life to the fullest EVERY DAY is what matters most to me now. That doesn’t mean I enjoy everything that happens to me each day, and it doesn’t mean each day is sunshine and rainbows. I’ve experienced surgery for cyst growth in my ear that caused by chronic infection, i had to deal with depression, low self-esteem, financial struggle – you get the point. Bad things will happen!
It is how we choose to view life that dictates what kind of life we live. You only live once, and life is tragically short. It’s easy to look at people who are happy and assume they don’t understand your pain. The older you get, the more you realize that happiness takes work. People who smile in public have been through every bit as much as people who cry, frown, scream, etc. They just have the courage and strength to smile through it anyway. What you need to understand is that everything holding you to a life you don’t want to live is a prison created by your own mind.
So how do you ensure you’re living life to the fullest? This is a list of 40 timeless principles I use to live my best life, and I hope they’ll help you to do so too.
1. Create a bucket list. Set goals and write them down. Bucket list will constantly evolve and you won’t reach every one of your goals, but writing your goals down will make it more likely that you will achieve them. You will die one day, but before you do, experience as much of this world as you can.
2. Decide what’s important to you. Don’t live for others. It doesn’t matter what it is. Don’t do what you think people want you to do. Don’t choose your path in life based on the expectations set on you by others, whether its your parents, friends, or society in general. At the end of the day, you’re the only person who will be around for every moment of your life. Do what makes you happy. Everything else will fall into place.
3. Live in the present. At the end of the day, though, the only thing that exists outside of your head is the present. So think about your past and future, but only dwell on the present. Your past is important to learn from. Your future is important to work towards.
4. Quit complaining. Don’t be like the howling dog, always howling and never doing anything. Stop complaining about your problems and work on them instead.
5. Ignore the haters and negativity. No matter what you decide to do with your life, there will always be someone around to point out the many ways you’ll fail. Know that every winner loses, but not every loser wins. Successful people don’t start out successful. What makes them successful is that they keep pushing through failure.
6. Ignore the things you can’t (or won’t) change. Ever notice how insanely emotional youtube comments are? People cling to their opinions like they’re a lifeline. Yet these are almost always opinions about things that have absolutely no effect on their daily lives. Yes, there are shitty things going on in the world. Unless you’re planning to do something about it, ignore it and focus on the things in your life that you can change.
7. Be positive. If you can see the positive sides of every thing, you’ll be able to live a much richer life than others. Purge unnecessary negativity from your life.
8. Make a positive difference in someone else’s life. I do my best each day to make a positive difference in someone’s life. By doing one random act of kindness each day for someone else, you will experience life differently; more fully.
9. Let go of relationships that do not serve you. That means negative people, dishonest people, people who don’t respect you, people are overly critical and relationships that prevent you from growing.
10. Love your parents and cherish them. If they’re still around, give them all the love you’ve got. If you’ve been lucky enough to have loving parents, its easy to take them for granted because they’ve always been their for you. That won’t always be the case.
11. Don’t be jealous. Jealousy is a destructive emotion. Its also a symptom that you’re not living your life to the fullest – people who are fulfilled can celebrate other people’s success. People who aren’t fulfilled fill up their emotional void through negative emotions.
12. Rather than think “what if”, think “next time”. Don’t think about things you can’t change or unhappy things because these are disempowering. Instead focus on the things you can action upon. That’s the most constructive thing you can do in any situation.
13. Don’t compromise your values. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Don’t compromise on your internal code of ethics. Life doesn’t work like a movie. It’s filled with gray areas. Trust your instincts. Do whatever you want so long as you can look yourself in the mirror.
14. Do something you enjoy each day because life is too precious to spend it doing anything else. I love to read articles on internet and do some research for my knowledge. So I make sure I do this everyday. When you do something you enjoy doing each day, you relieve tension and stress that has built up throughout the day.
15. Don’t be a crab in the bucket – Its the tendency crabs have for pulling other crabs back down, right when they’re about to climb out.
16. Focus on WHAT vs. How. Focus on WHAT you want first, before you think about HOW to do it. Anything is possible, as long as you set your mind, heart and soul to it.
17. Keep your mind open. Just because you’re right about something doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to look at it. Listening to ideas you don’t agree with or understand keeps your brain active and healthy.
18. Challenge yourself daily. I once heard someone say, “Everybody dies but only few live.” Live everyday like it was your last, and you will definitely live your life to the fullest.
19. Develop 100% self-belief. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Remove your limiting beliefs and replace them with empowering ones. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect others to believe in you?
20. Let go of attachments. Don’t fixate yourself with a certain status, fame, wealth or material possessions. These are impermanent and will ultimately disappear one day when you die. Focus on growing and living life to the fullest instead.
21. Don’t chase money for the sake of money. Having money is important in life, but only because it gives us the freedom to chase what we really want in life. You only get one life, and money is no good when you’re 6 feet in the ground.
22. Spend more time with people who enable you. Hang out with people who you compatible with, like-minded people, people who are positive, successful, strong achievers and positive for your growth. You are after all the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
23. Speak through your actions. You’ll hear people say, “I had that idea,” every time you see someone create something great. Everyone had the idea for Facebook first. The reason Mark Zuckerberg got rich off of it is because he went out and did it while everyone else was talking about it. Ideas are useless if you don’t act on them.
24. Keep learning. There is something to learn from everything you see, hear and experience. This includes your mistakes and past misshaps (if any). Learn to interpret each event objectively. Focus on what you can learn from it so you can apply them moving forward.
25. You don’t always have to win. On the other hand, life isn’t always about winning. No matter how strong you are, no matter how rich, no matter how beautiful, no matter how smart, no matter how talented, no matter how loveable, there will always be someone better than you. In the end, we all end up in the same place – wherever that place may be.
26. Don’t confuse pleasure with happiness. Pleasure comes from the quick-fixes that give us joy – shopping, listening to great music, seeing great beauty, sex, alcohol. Happiness comes from self-actualization and meaning. Pleasure is important to a happy life, but pleasure alone is not sufficient.
27. Keep upgrading yourself. Equip yourself with a huge depth of knowledge. While you can usually only level up to 99 in video games, in real life you can level up to infinity.
28. Don’t settle. Don’t settle for less. Don’t settle for someone you don’t like as your partner. Don’t settle for a job you don’t like. Don’t settle for friends who make you feel like a lesser person. Don’t settle for a weight you are unhappy with. Go for what you really want.
29. Find the time for what you want to do. A lot of us constantly complain about not having enough time, or being too busy to do things we want to do/accomplish. What we need to realize is that we’re the ones putting ourselves in those situations in the first place. If you feel trapped in a job, are you actively taking steps to extricate yourself from the situation? If you are, then you shouldn’t waste time complaining. If you’re not, what are you complaining about?
30. Take a break. Being the best also requires you to take breaks when needed. Make sure you rest when needed. Doing so lets you walk the longer mile ahead.
31. Don’t criticize or judge others. Respect others for who they are.
32. The only person you can change is yourself. Stop expecting others to behave in a certain way. Rather than demand that others around you change, focus on changing yourself. You’ll be happier and live a more fulfilling life this way.
33. Set your role models in life. With role models, you become much better than you can be by yourself. I personally am inspired by, Angelina Jolie (for her success, intellect and beauty), Ellen DeGeneres (for being who she is and her passion to help others), Lady Gaga (for her talent and not being afraid to be different), and many more. Seeing them and what they do reminds me of what I can be and what I can do, so they drive me on to greater heights.
34. Discover your life purpose. Set the mission statement for your life; one that will drive you to life your life to the fullest.
35. Take care of your body. Eat healthy when you can, get a good night’s sleep, and exercise. This is important for your self esteem too.
36. Don’t badmouth other people. If there’s anything you don’t like about someone, say it to him/her in the face – otherwise, don’t say it at all. It’s not nice to do that.
37. Stop giving up. Things are always hard until they get better, but you’ll never know how close you came to achieving your goals if you quit before you see them all the way through.
38. Take risks… a lot of them. Sometimes there’s danger involved in life, but every reward carries risk with it. If you never take risks, you’ll never get anywhere in life. When people look back on their lives, they regret the chances they didn’t take more than the ones they did.
39. Maintain an internal locus of control. There are 2 kinds of people, those who focus on what they can control, and those that focus on what they can’t. Don’t blame others for your own failure – there’s always someone out there who was dealt a worst hand that made more of it than you did.
40. Tell people you love them. Family will always appreciate hearing you love them. It will brighten a stranger’s day. If you have a romantic interest in someone, just go for it. There are a lot of ways it may end, and only one of them keeps them in your life forever. Just go for it. You have nothing to lose.
Until then…. 🙂