Google the phrase “How to live life to the fullest” and you’ll get pages of websites offering plenty of suggestions. While the authors have different ideas on how to create an authentic life, they seem to agree on one thing: a meaningful life is as individual as the person living it.
“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life,” the late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, is quoted as saying. “Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
So how do you figure out what living life to the fullest means to you?
Contemplate what makes you happy. Ask yourself questions like, “What brings me joy?” What do you need, and how often do you need it? Do you enjoy being surrounded by friends more than you thrive on being alone? Do you have a sense of purpose through your job, or would volunteering bring greater meaning to your life? When you figure out what makes your heart sing, you can then create a meaningful life.
“Once you find your happiness, work hard at making sure it continues to exist in everything you do,” says Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski, president and founder of Rock-It Promotions, who lives every day being grateful, finding happiness in the blessings around her, and being present.
“Remove yourselves from all distractions, including social media and personal relationships, and have the courage to dig into your true self and discover your own personal reality,” says Gregory George, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the travel site FollowSummer.com.
If something doesn’t bring you joy, find the courage to change it. “Be the person you want to be,” says Phyllis Landry, a retired administrative assistant. “Be able to say, ‘I have no regrets for any of the choices I have made.’ And most important, you didn’t make mistakes, you had learning lessons.”
Small business owner Emily Richards said she sees a meaningful life as a mentality, a path you take throughout your life. “I see living life to the fullest as being thoughtful in most moments of your life, having time to reflect and ask yourself if you are following the path in life you are happy with,” she explains.
So, whether you live for today or plan for tomorrow, dream big or small, ensure each day includes something that makes you happy.
“We are not promised tomorrow, and if we spend all of our time worried about what will eventually come, all of our moments will just slip right through our fingers,” says Laura Good, owner of Goodhope Gladiolius. “Life is a series of joyous moments. Having a full life means that you dove in and had as many joyful moments as humanly possible. Don’t sit by the sidelines and watch your life pass by. Jump in and experience it, live it, cry it out, and laugh a lot.”
As much as the definition of a full life is different for everyone, it’s hard to argue with that.
Lisa Day | Contributing Writer