Imagine the following scenario.
It’s your typical Monday morning, you wake up at the same time you always do, roll out of bed, brush your teeth, shower, and get ready to go off to work.
You give your partner a quick kiss goodbye, unlock your front door, and walk out into the fresh morning air.
Humming a few lines from Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters”, you unlock your car, plunk down into the driver’s seat, and turn the key, starting your engine.
After checking your mirrors and buckling your seatbelt, you pull out of your driveway and begin your daily commute while listening to the latest NPR rant about our current political climate.
Everything is business as usual…
Except that you spill your coffee all over your lap as you merge onto the interstate.
As the hot liquid boils the skin on your thigh, you instinctually look down at your lap and attempt to blot the coffee that is burning your skin.
When you look up, you realize that as you spilled your coffee, you accidentally jerked the steering wheel to the left and in less than a second your car is sent off the side of the road and directly into the large oak tree you always pass on your way to the office.
And just like that… Your life is over.
Now I want you to stop imaging this sobering chain of events and answer a very simple question.
If this scenario happened to you TOMORROW would you die fulfilled?
Would you feel like you had lived this life to the fullest and given it everything that you had?
Or would you die filled with regrets?
Most people reading this article probably fall into the second category.
To help you avoid these soul-crushing regrets, I have put together this simple article to provide you with insight and inspiration to help you with living life to the fullest.
It’s time to stop just existing, to stop going through the motions, to stop stumbling through life like a brain-dead zombie. It’s time to live your life to the fullest dammit!
So without any further ado, here are five simple ways that you can start to living life to the fullest… Today.
1. Create Intention in Your Life and Find a Compelling Purpose
“It should not be enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something.” ~Winston S. Churchill
One of the greatest regrets of the dying (as recorded in Bronnie Ware’s blog Inspiration and Chai) is that they allowed others to dictate their choices and actions instead of living the life that they wanted.
So often, I see men wandering aimlessly through life with no purpose, no intention, and no clarity about what they need to do to make this life count.
All the while, these same men forget that each second that passes brings them one second closer to their death.
It’s a morbid thought, but it’s true.
Life moves in one direction, forwards, and (unless Elon Musk saves humanity) all lives are ultimately moving towards the same end.
So stop pretending like you are going to live forever and stop wasting your time living for other people who have done so little for you.
Everyone is concerned with their own lives too much to worry about yours. Think about it. How much time do you spend thinking about other people’s lives? Right around zero.
So quit living a half-assed life dedicated to “Keeping up with the Joneses” and start focusing on how to live your best life. Stop living the life encouraged by society and chart your own path.
The simple truth is, you will never learn how to live the life you want if you don’t know what it means for you to live life fully. And this is a question that you need to answer now.
Live your life with a sense of urgency. Live your life so that every second is on purpose. Live your life so that every action you take is intentional and impactful and pushes you towards a life that feels meaningful and important.
“I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all” ~Leo Rosten
Live the life you want and live life fully. Everything else is bullshit.
Make a conscious choice each and every day to something you’re afraid of. Do something that scares you.
Make a bold decision right now and go do it. Your dreams are on the other side of your fears and your life will improve by leaps and bounds if you follow the (admittedly politically incorrect) advice to “Man Up!”
No one ever wrote a song about how awesome it is to be a coward.
Be a superhero and kick some ass.
The life you’re saving is yours.
I have a simple challenge for you to help drive this point home.
Right now, I want you to whip out a pen and a piece of paper (don’t worry, I’ll wait) and write down five things you want to do but are too scared to start.
- Learn how to Salsa dance
- Start going back to the gym
- Approach that cute barista at your local coffee shop
- Travel outside of the country
- Reach out to that friend you haven’t talked to in ages.
Once you have your list, I want you to commit to doing each of these items over the next 30 days.
It’s your life dammit! Don’t you deserve one measly month to achieve the dreams you’ve always had but never taken action on?
Once you’re done, come back, check-in, and then do another 30 days.
Get more done in the second month than you did in the first. This is where the rubber hits the road. If you write down your goals and work every day towards them you are now living a purposeful life.
You are living on the edge and waking up every day with the burning desire to crush the day.
2. Stop Working So Hard!
“You should not confuse your career with your life” ~Dave Barry
Despite the tremendous technological advances that we’ve enjoyed over the past 200 years, most Americans work just as hard as they have in the past… If not harder. It seems that technology has made it harder for you to live the life you want, not easier.
Of course, the type of work has become easier and we are now able to earn incredible sums of money from the comfort of our homes, but the fact remains that, as a society, we are overworked, underpaid, and very stressed. We have unprecedented ease and leisure, yet we find ourselves constantly stuck wondering how to live life and how to live life to the fullest.
The reason for this progression (as far as I can tell) is that we have lost touch with why we are working.
Yes, we all have bills to pay.
But you need to remember why you are paying them.
What’s the point of putting a bigger and bigger roof over your child’s head if he doesn’t even recognize your face when you come home?
What’s the point of buying your wife fancier and fancier “stuff” if you never spend any quality time with her?
What’s the point of having anything if you don’t have the time and the freedom to actually live your life and enjoy it?
Who do you think is going to be there for you when you are on your deathbed?
Your clients or your family and the people who love you?
“Your greatest self has been waiting for your whole life; don’t make it wait any longer.” – Steve Maraboli
Work is important.
In fact, it’s one of the most important parts of life and men who don’t have a greater mission or purpose that they are working towards often suffer from higher mortality rates and depression. (source)
However, work is meant to be a part of life, not your whole life.
So take a step back and make sure that your work is adding value to the world and accelerating your quality of life… Not holding it back. Just live your life. Prioritize work. But don’t allow it to become the sole focus of your existence.
Try to live life to the fullest…not work-life to the fullest.
3. Stop Holding onto Old Grudges (a.k.a. Just Let it Go)
“Holding onto a grudge is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die” ~David T.S. Wood
Holding a grudge is like giving an angry ex free rent to live inside your head and f*ck everything up.
Kick them out and move on with your life!
Whatever you are holding onto, whatever keeps you up at night, whatever negative emotion has been rolling around your head for weeks…
Just let it go.
It isn’t worth it and being mad about it won’t change a damn thing.
If there is a burning issue relating to someone that you care about then quit wimping out and take charge.
Address the situation, confront the person, and tell them how you really feel.
Be compassionate, be considerate,
Speak up and address it if the other person matters to you. Have the balls to work it out.
If the other person doesn’t matter to you, take the even bigger step and drop it. Let it go. Drop them. Let them go.
Identify and make a list of the grudges you have in your life. Even the relationships where you were the one who ‘d up. Then write a message to them and say that you are letting it go. You are not doing it for them but for yourself. The message might confuse them at first but whatever happens, you will be a lighter freer person for it. Set yourself free by simply letting go.
4. Stay in Touch with the People You Love
“There is nothing on this earth to be prized more than true friendship.” ~Thomas Aquinas
One of the greatest regrets of the dying is that they allowed old friendships to fizzle out and die. If you want to know how to live your best life, the answer is to live your life to the fullest with other people living life to the fullest.
They wish that they had stayed in touch with the people they loved, but they waited too long and lost the relationship forever.
Rekindle lost friendships. It is almost scary to think of how easy it is to reconnect with people and find them on Facebook or other websites.
That person is waiting for you to reconnect, even if they don’t know it.
The friends you have and find on Facebook; do more than liking their comments.
Pick up the phone. Talk. Listen. Reclaim human connection.
Listen to the sound of their voice and be vulnerable. Texting is asinine; it’s for shallow men who aren’t willing to get raw and connect with other people.
Don’t be shallow.
Call. Meet them and hug them when you see them. Talk to them, listen to them and help them. Be a good friend, not a robot.
Who is that person that is waiting for you to make that call?
You know the person and you know it would make their day. Is it your father, grandma or an old friend from college. Stop reading this article right now and pick up the phone and give them a call.
Number 5 will be waiting for you when you get back.
5. Just Choose Happiness
“There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path.” ~Buddha
Happiness is a choice.
It’s something you can decide to be.
You do not have to wait until you graduate college, get the job or the amazing girlfriend.
And don’t think that money will make you happy either.
I’ve built Knowledge for Men into a 7-figure brand, yet my happiest moments have nothing to do with money.
And if they do the amount is so small that anyone earning $40,000/year or more can achieve it.
You have a choice to make today. Only you can decide how to live life your way.
Are you going to smile when you leave the house or are you going to dread going to work? Are you going to say “hi” to people as you walk by them or are you going to frown and be upset about things for no apparent reason?
WAKE UP! You only live once so you minus well choose to be a happy man and live life to the fullest.
Here’s a simple process you can go through to bring more happiness and joy into your life, today.
- Stop: Eliminate the clutter and nonsense in your mind. You will discover a great truth: As bad as you may have thought it was, you are in fact still here.
- Evaluate: Look at the situation and determine which action would be your best action.
- Decide: Decide what you want to do.
- Act: Put your choice into motion.
In every single moment, you have the ability to stop, evaluate, decide on happiness and act to make it happen.
Happiness is just one choice away. How often do you choose to be silly? To laugh? To play?
Before you talk to your mother in law tell yourself you are going to choose to be loving. Before you have a staff meeting tell yourself you are going to empower your team.
You will notice the results immediately.
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Note: ”This article is originally written by Andrew Ferebee in Growth, Masculinity”.