When it comes down to it, we all want to get the most out of life. After all, if nothing else, we are here now and we should make the most of our time here.
Sometimes we can get all wrapped up and tangled in “being productive” and “getting things done” that it just gets too overwhelming and we risk a burn out.
What does it mean to get the most out of life? Everyone should, and does, have their own personal answer to this question, but we can generalize a few things to common domain.
For me, “getting the most out of life” means maintaining ambition and always reaching for the next goal, while preserving a feeling of content with my life at any given moment.
At first this seems impossible. How can you really want to grow and better yourself if you are completly content with the way things are? Here’s what I have come up with:
- Enjoy the Little Things – The inspiration for this post came from Leo Babauta’s post at ZenHabits, entitled The Simple Life. It lists just a few of the “little things” that really define what life is all about: Really take the time out to walk around outside after a morning rain-storm; Turn off the news, cell phones, and computers, and watch the sunset with your favorite beverage. Just slow down and take in everything. It will not be there forever.
- Make Goals In Many Categories – There are many benefits of goal setting and various ways to organize your goals, but an often overlooked aspect is to vary your goal setting across different categories. You may always be aware of your goals at work or for your next project, but be sure to think about what it is you want to accomplish in other aspects of your life. Do you want to learn to play an instrument? Become a better cook? A better husband? Modularize and write down these goals just the same as you would goals for the office or work. Be aware of all your potential.
- Be Yourself – It is emotionally and physically draining to try to be something you are not. Being honest with yourself and act as though you are comfortable in your own skin and with current mindset will make you truly feel comfortable in your own skin and with your current mindset. Do not be afraid that some people won’t like the real you. Treat others with respect and respect will be returned.
- Get Inspired – Try to find a few people in your life that you highly regard. These could be people you want to impress, people you want to make proud, people you admire for accomplishing similar goals, or just a good friend with equal values. They should be interested in your goals, they should listen to what you want to accomplish and how you plan to accomplish such tasks, and they should never put you down. Find a good reason to succeed and better yourself.
- Spend Time With Friends and Family – Perhaps one of the best ways to feel content in life is by spending time with your friends and family. There is not much I enjoy more than a dinner and coffee with family members or a trip to a local eatery with my buddies.
- Develop A Fear of Decline – To get the most out of life, it is not so much that you should have an undying strive to better yourself, but rather it is more that you have an undying fear of falling from your current situation. If you maintain an enduring desire to at least stay where you are in life, then the only possible way to go is up. With this mindset and a little ambition, you’ll eventually move up and get to where you want to be.
- Do More Than Necessary – The man who only does the work assigned to him will never grow. Go above and beyond what is requested, required, or expected of you. Be the go-getter of your group and let everyone know it. You will feel more accomplished and others will look up to you, further spurring your growth.
- Employ The Things You Learn – In today’s information age, we are so often bombarded with information that we let many things slip through our fingers. It is a curse of many avid blog-readers, especially in the niche of personal development, to spend hours reading productivity, time-saving, self-growth articles and websites and never actually employ the tips they are reading. They are accomplishing the exact opposite of what they are reading about. Do not just be one of the many readers. Be aware of what you read, really soak it in and think about how you can apply it to your life and actually use it to progress.
Remember, “getting the most out of life” is a relative phrase. To each person it will mean something different.
The key to a fulfilling life is moderation in everything. Try not to focus on only making more money, buying a bigger house, or getting a notch higher on the corporate ladder. Realize that we live in the here and now and make the most out of it. As John Lennon said “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
An aside to my readers: I just want to let you all know that I am in no way ceasing to update PersonaDev.com. I am just a full-time college student with many projects to complete and exams to take in the past weeks. I hope to pick back up the rate of posting by next week. Thanks for sticking around!
Image by ewen and donabel