How does one live a fulfilling and purposeful life? Here are 15 ideas that I believe lead to inner peace and happiness in its rawest form.
1.) Learn to live simply
We all want to keep up with the Jones’. We want a bigger house, a nicer car, a newer wardrobe. I have found that happiness is dependent on minimalism. Happiness is making amends with your current situation; happiness is a state of mind. Your heart will feel more fulfilled if you let go of the thoughts of what you “don’t have” and start focusing on what you DO have. Live simply. Cherish the ones that you love and be happy for another day on this beautiful earth.
2.) Take time for yourself
Imagine that you have a lunch meeting with your boss. You would never cancel on her, right? Then why should you ever cancel on yourself? We all get burnt out at times. I have found that it is extremely important to have “me” time. Time away from others, work, and my responsibilities is imperative to my wellbeing. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed that I just need to lay in my bed and watch five hours of Friends. Do take time for yourself to re-center, re-energize, and re-focus. Get proper sleep, rest, and take care of yourself. Treat yourself as important as your boss.
3.) Forgive others
Nothing is more exhausting than holding onto a grudge and stale anger. Making peace with the situation that hurt me puts me in a helluva better place than holding onto all that angst. (I write about Forgiveness extensively here). Find it in your heart to forgive others when needed…and yourself.
4.) Give back
Be generous. Give more than you take. Splurge on Christmas gifts for your family, and give money to community members in need. Giving is such a contagious, great feeling. I’m sure you have heard of the Starbucks drive-thru chains where one person pays for the person behind them, and a chain reaction occurs. Giving to others keeps you humble by causing you to think of others before yourself.
5.) Take accountability
Be accountable for your life. YOU make your own choices and YOU pave your own path. Learn from your mistakes and hold yourself responsible for your screw-ups. I promise that you will feel happier once you stop pointing fingers at other people and own up to your faults. No one likes excuses.
6.) Be inspired by your purpose
In order to create meaning in your life, you need to find a purpose. What drives you to wake up every day? Is it motherhood? Is it the career that you love? Is building your first home? Life can be tough if we don’t have a driving passion that makes us excited to LIVE. Find your purpose and be inspired by it! Grace the world with your talents; everyone has something unique to bring to the table. Love the life you live.
7.) Be kind to others
This one is so simple, yet we take for granted how contagious kindness is. The way we treat others is a direct reflection of the person who we are. Give your waitress a big fat tip. Be friendly to the McDonald’s worker who screwed your order up. Be KIND to others. If you don’t, karma will be back to bite you in the ass. Guaranteed.
8.) Quit the job you hate
We’ve all been there. That one job where we get a sick feeling in our stomach every Sunday night when we think about going back the next morning. I have learned that life is too short to dread going to work and to watch the clock the entire time. There will always be other opportunities out there. It always gets better. Taking pleasure in your work is something that everyone should strive for. “Love your job, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
The world has so much to offer. It would be a shame to never see some of the beauty outside of your small world. Read this to find out what benefits you will reap from traveling. “Traveling is the only thing you spend money on that makes you richer.”
10.) Look at the glass half full
The world needs more positivity. Don’t be that person who is constantly complaining or bringing everyone down. Positive people are more likely to have better live than those who doesn’t think positively. Believe in yourself, believe that good things will happen, and that everything happens for a reason. Why look at the glass half empty when you can look at it half full? Optimism, people!
11.) Take charge of your life
In this world, things don’t happen unless you MAKE them happen. You want something? What are you going to do to get it? Work hard. Plan. Set goals. Keep yourself accountable. Keep focused. Take charge of your life and create your own destiny.
12.) Stop looking in the rearview mirror
The person who you were in the past doesn’t have to be who you are today. Learn from the past, live in the present, and plan for the future. As the wise monkey Rafiki once said, “Ah, yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it. . . or learn from it.” God I love the Lion King.
13.) Don’t settle
Don’t settle for anything less than you want and deserve. This is your life and you deserve everything that you ever hoped and dreamed of. If something isn’t going the way you want it to go, take a detour. There are so many options in life and there is no reason why you can’t create your own happiness. That being said, follow your heart and don’t choose to live a mediocre life. Live a fabulous one.
14.) Embrace change
Change is inevitable- you might as well face it. I know it’s scary, but at some point we all have to look fear in the eye and embrace it. Change can bring to our lives even better things than we ever hoped and dreamed of. Don’t be afraid of change—welcome it with open arms and look at it as a brand new opportunity.
15.) Don’t take yourself so seriously
We all do dumb things that eventually call for good stories. Life is a lot more easygoing and fun if you take things in stride and laugh along the way. Life is a journey. Enjoy the ride.
Is there anything else you can think of to add to this list? How do you live a fulfilling life?