Life is short. It rushes past you faster than you might expect, and faster still when you’re living it to its fullest capacity. Most of us have 80 years left, give or take, and sure, it sounds like a large block of time that our ADD can’t handle.
But if you take these next 80 years and waste it away, live it passively, it will mean nothing and be over before you can imagine it starting.
There’s a certain way to go about living truly, so that when it’s all said and done, you have nothing to regret and nothing to look back to in distaste or desire.
Here’s how to make those years happy, fulfilling and actually worth it.
1. Travel often.
We are blessed to be in a beautiful world with places that are stunning both to see and to experience. Do yourself a favor and start traveling before it’s too late. Without thinking too much, gather a travel bag with necessities and be a bit spontaneous. Try to travel two to three times a year to places that you have never seen before -- and live them, you won't regret it.
Traveling has less to do with seeing things as it does with experiencing them. It’s about discovering something, but also discovering yourself. You won't find all the answers that you’re looking for, but you will uncover unknown questions. When you travel, you confront your insecurities and fears, you step outside your comfort zone. This proves essential to leading a successful life, and simultaneously creates an enjoyable experience for you.
2. Work on something every day that moves you.
Work is a huge part of our lives. It puts food on our table and our time in life is consumed by it. Work is the backbone of your life and pigeonholing yourself into work that you don’t find interesting will only make you miserable.
Striking that fine balance between loving what you do and performing it skillfully means you have found your perfect career. If you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work anymore. The rhythm of your work is in sync with your purpose when what you are doing is not just making a difference in life, but in the world. You become absorbed in the task at hand to the point where time ceases to exist. This is what true passion and happiness feels like.
When something actually moves you, there is nothing that can stop you. Work can bring misery or happiness, and you have made the most of it. It gives you meaning and makes you feel more alive. These optimal experiences occur when you’re engaged in work, paid or unpaid, that moves you. Work like this is something you should be pursuing on a daily basis.
3. Spend time with friends who improve you.
You are who you surround yourself with; it’s an adage that has survived the game of life for ages. Show me someone’s friends, and I will show him who he is. We are a direct reflection of the people around us.
You can have 1,000 Facebook friends, and be the most popular person in the room, but at the end of the day, there is no substitute for the few friends who actually improve you as a person. These aren’t just the people who are nice to you; they’re the ones who help you uncover the things that are holding you back.
These friends don’t just sit beside you idly; they shake your world up, reveal your obstacles and weaknesses and remain beside you because they care. Surround yourself with people who are actually worth it and help you excel, rather than the acquaintances who hold you back with needless drama.
4. Accept the risks that feel right.
Security in the pedestrian lifestyle is an illusion. It’s the easy way out and for people who think there are sure things in this world, when there aren’t. The nature of this world is constantly evolving and if you’re not taking risks, both short and long term, you are going to remain stagnant your whole life. Being reserved with a multitude of safety measures is usually no safer in the long run than indulging in constant exposure.
It is far more fulfilling to tempt yourself with the mighty experiences life has to offer -- enjoying great successes and enduring occasional failures -- than to hide forever in safety, only to leave most of your life unlived. Get outside of your comfort zone; it’s only there to hold you back. If it feels right in your gut, then go for it, or else you will always regret it. Playing it safe will only make you miserable, because the “what if” is always worse.
5. Work hard and conquer great challenges.
Your legacy and subsequent greatness are what measure your life as a whole. It is the value you have brought to this world and to what you have amounted. The road to greatness is far from smooth.
The more difficulties you encounter and overcome on your lifelong journey, internal or peripheral, the more significant and inspiring your life story will be. And the more depth it will have.
6. Make the very best of every situation.
People forget that you cannot control the uncontrollable and that most things in this world happen for a reason. It is about connecting the dots and constantly moving forward -- and somehow someway it will all work out. One of the best secrets to happiness is doing the best with what you are given. It’s all about how you choose to respond to the unpredictable deliveries that life ships. This simple choice makes a world of difference.
Every action has a reaction, and when you react in a negative way, it only breeds more negativity. You are the one who knows how to deal with the unpredictable acts in your life. Tolerate them, and figure out how to turn a negative into a positive. You are the one who is responsible for your actions, decisions and thoughts that empower your path. Remember it is all in your mind.
7. Provide great value to the world.
A life that amounts to something is a life that changes the world it steps away from. It’s about providing unmistakable value.
Value is what makes relationships, businesses and personal endeavors thrive. When your strategy is to grab all you can, as quickly as you can, you will grab far less than you are capable of holding. It is foolish to think that you can fool the world in any way. Success and happiness come when you choose to work for the world diligently.
At any age, in any situation, for every possible life path: there is value you can provide. Look closely and you will see opportunities everywhere.
8. Spread your light.
“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” -Buddha
Inspire others to do great as well. Spread your love through kindness to the people around you. Let the “giving spirit” you initiate spread like a virus, touching the lives of people you may never meet, across boundaries you may never cross, in ways you may never have thought possible – infinitely.
That is the power of your love and kindness, and it’s your ticket to making the world a happier place.
Preston Waters | Elite.