What does it mean to die happy? It means to have lived a life with few regrets, filled joyful experiences and memories, amazing people, and to have lived with purpose. The question is: How do we do that?
Well, I’m glad you asked. There is no single answer. In fact, there are endless answers that have to be considered at every decision we make in our lives.
It’s not easy; it’s complicated. But there are guidelines you can follow to ensure your greatest chances at living and dying happily. There is nothing worse in the world than dying regretting the life you led.
Here’s a guideline consisting of 15 tips that can help you live and die with a smile on your face:
1. Don’t Do Too Much Of A Single Thing
Too much of any good thing ends up being a bad thing. No matter what you look at, the joy you experience depreciates with repetition -- whether it be drinking, partying, traveling, sleeping or eating pizza.
You will enjoy each slice a little less than the last. The trick is not to overdo anything and to mix things up as much as possible, so each time you do take a bite into life, it tastes like the very first time.
2. Say Yes As Much As Possible
When I say as much as possible, I don’t mean that literally. You can say yes every time to everything, but that isn’t recommended. But you should say yes whenever circumstances allow it.
Usually, we say no, not because we have prior commitments, but because we are either too afraid or too lazy to say yes. We don’t like the concept of trying new things, even though more often than not, we tend to love the new things we try. Take a leap of faith and experience what the world has to offer.
3. Dance And Sing A Whole Bunch
As a human being, you can express yourself either physically or vocally, without having to use other external media. So move and yell. Sing and dance. Run and scream. Be an animal. Enjoy each ridiculous motion and each off-pitch howl. Life is too short to be lived quietly. Make some noise.
4. Laugh Every Single Day
Not only is laughing healthy for you, it also feels amazing. The more you laugh, the longer you live – or so the wives’ tale goes. Frowning makes you age faster, so turn that frown upside down and laugh until you’re immortal.
There is so much to see in the world that by staying in one place, you truly are doing yourself an injustice. There are more beautiful places to visit than you can count.
It’s not just about seeing the sights, however; it’s also about seeing the people that call those sights home. People don’t live the same all over the world. They don’t all think the same and don’t all believe the same things. Delve into the culture of strangers and submerge yourself in their reality.
6. Follow Your Passions, Wherever They May Take You
Don’t be afraid where your passion takes you. Not everyone is able to find a passion that drives them, one that gives them a reason for waking up every morning.
Worse, many that do find a passion and don’t follow through; they aren’t willing to take that leap of faith and risk the comfort they have grown accustomed to. Your comfort zone is not your friend. Follow your passions to the end of the world if that’s where they take you.
7. Set Your Priorities Straight
Your priorities are up to you. But keep in mind that as a human being, you are likely to have a few that matter more than the rest: the people who matter most to you, your dreams and passions and the one person you love.
You can interchange your priorities at your own risk; just keep in mind that there is a high likelihood of you wishing you would have prioritized differently after-the-fact.
8. Spend More Time With Your Real Friends – And Less With The Rest
You know who your real friends are. If you don’t, then devote time to figuring it out. Great friends can make your life incredible and worth living. A poor choice of friends can ruin everything. Those we choose to share our lives with affect us profoundly.
9. Avoid Working A Job You Loath
Arguably, we all have to work a job at some point in our lives that we can’t stand. I’ve been there, several times. But don’t stay put for too long; keep moving until you find what feels right. Only use those miserable job experiences as stepping-stones for where you need to go.
10. Be Silly
I have this grand suspicion that life is one big joke. We are born. We do things. Then we die – basically sums up everyone’s life in a nutshell. Does it all matter? Maybe. Maybe not.
Do yourself a favor and enjoy whichever moments you can. Be silly. Do silly things. Have no shame and act like a kid. Kids have the most fun for a reason.
11. Love With All Your Heart
If you’re going to love, then love wholly. Love is one of those "all or nothing" scenarios. You can’t partly love; you can only hold yourself back from truly loving. If you love someone, dive head first; be vulnerable. Without vulnerability, without exposing yourself entirely, you can’t love or be loved fully.
12. Prioritize Your Family
If you don’t get along with your family, try to mend those holes. If you really believe that to be impossible, find yourself or start a new family. Family bonds are and should be stronger than any other bonds we have in our lives.
You literally share blood. When no one else has your back, family will, but only if you build a great, supporting, loving relationship. It doesn’t happen on its own and that is exactly what most people take for granted.
13. Have Sex
This one is basically a given. Could we live without sex? No. The human race would cease to exist. Could we as individuals live without sex? Probably… but why? Sexual intercourse is an evolutionary trait of ours that should be respected. Why fight it? It feels incredible!
This doesn’t mean to sleep with everyone and anyone you meet. Sex is only mind-blowing when it’s experienced with someone you care for deeply. When you find that person, knock boots until the day you die.
14. Get To Know Yourself
You are born alone and you die alone. Throughout life, you are primarily alone. You’d think that with all that alone time, people would spend more time getting to know themselves, but in reality, they don’t. Most people think that being themselves is enough to know themselves. Nothing could be further from the truth.
15. Be Healthy
As a thought experiment, imagine your last day on earth. Imagine that last hour, that last minute. Imagine that last breath. Imagine your last thought. How sh*tty would it be if the last thing going through your mind was, "I really wish I took better care of myself so that I’d have another year or two to live"?
Whatever you’re willing to give up now for an extra day on this earth, multiply it by a million for what you’d give to get an extra day when your clock runs out. When it comes to living healthy, you always gain more than you give up – always.