Aug 022010
 
how to get a life you like

How often do you go walking in the woods? That’s a step towards happiness, my friend.

Do you hate your life – or are you bored with your relationships? Here are the first steps towards getting a better life, and finding happiness and fulfillment.

“Getting a life is hard to define,” writes Robert Pagliarini in The Other 8 Hours: Maximize Your Free Time to Create New Wealth & Purpose. “You know you have a life when you are happy and fulfilled. The ‘how’ of happiness is one of the most sought-after questions…and nobody knows the answers.”

One of the reasons nobody knows the answers to what makes life happy and meaningful is that “a happy life” means different things to different people. The trick is finding what makes your life meaningful and happy…and the even trickier trick is finding the courage, strength, and motivation to do what makes you happy.

I’ve been reading and re-reading Pagliarini’s The Other 8 Hours: Maximize Your Free Time to Create New Wealth & Purpose for about a month now, and I love it. It’s all about setting realistic goals and achieving those goals and living the life of your dreams….it’s a book I wish I’d written!

Okay, enough about me, let’s talk about what I can do for you! :-) Here are five ways to get a life you actually like (as opposed to just having a life). Some of these life tips are from The Other 8 Hours, others are from my own brain.

5 Steps to Getting a Better Life

Avoid energy “vampires” or life leeches

Pagliarini refers to “life leeches” as things you do that you detest doing…but when I think of life leeches, I think of negative people (energy vampires) who drain your energy, time, and motivation to improve your life. Don’t waste your precious time with people who drag you down, make you feel bad about yourself, or create problems in your life. And, don’t waste your time doing things you detest. Find other ways to get that stuff doen — and focus on making your life more meaningful.

Remember that how you spend your days is how you spend your life

I’m the “quips and tips” lady, but I can’t find out who said this! If you know, please tell me below. This tip for getting a better life is to remind you that the days go by so fast…and if you’re not doing what you want with your days (starting today), then you won’t end up doing what you want with your life.

Find direction in your life (aka your bliss)

What makes you happy? What are you doing when you lose track of time? Who do you love spending time with? What did you want to be when you grew up? “Direction provides focus and inspiration and is the antidote to day-to-day monotony,” writes Pagliarini in The Other 8 Hours: Maximize Your Free Time to Create New Wealth & Purpose. “In the real world, you achieve direction by creating compelling goals.” He says setting and achieving life goals provides feedback, which can fuel your motivation and inspiration.

What are your goals? Read 9 Steps to Achieving Your Dreams and Moving Forward in Life.

Connect to something bigger than yourself

I believe in God, which gives me a sense of purpose, comfort, security, inspiration, love, compassion, acceptance, freedom, and many many more positive emotions! It doesn’t matter to me if Christianity is “true”, or if I can prove God exists. What matters is that connecting with God helps me get a life I like by making me happy, fulfilled, and peaceful. Connecting with God gives me freedom and forgiveness, which improves my life indescribably. If you’re serious about improving your life, tap into a Higher Power or something bigger than yourself.

Adopt a “so what if I fail?” mantra

My friend wants to start her own business, but is scared she’ll fail. “Who cares if you fail?” I asked. “It’s embarrassing – I don’t want to have to say I failed,” she said. So, she can never risk failure…or she can surround herself with strong people who failed and survived and succeeded and failed again and survived again and succeeded again. She can absorb their strength and courage just by being with them – and she’ll become more resilient just by spending time with people who are chasing the lives they like. Who you spend time with rubs off on you, my friends.

If you feel stuck because of other people’s expectations, read How to Overcome Your Fear of What People Think.

Do you like your life? If not, what is one small thing you can do today to improve your life?

laurie pawlik kienlenI'm Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen - bookworm, travel bug, flute player, writer, blogger, warrior princess. :-) My husband and I live in Vancouver, Canada with our cat and dogs.

Are you happy? My Grade 10 Social Studies teacher always asked me that. And I am happy, despite a hard childhood (schizophrenic mom, no dad, foster homes), infertility, an eating disorder, and a chronic illness. The source of my peace and joy is God; I'm a Christian. Where do you find peace?

I welcome your big and little comments below, about big or little things. I can't give you advice, but writing can give you clarity and insight.

In peace and passion...Laurie

  3 Responses to “How to Get a Better Life – 5 Steps to Happiness and Fulfillment”

  1. Thanks for your comments! I’m glad to hear from you :-)

    And, I like your tips for improving your life: stay connected to who you are, don’t be afraid of failure, and spend your days wisely because that’s how you’ll spend your life.

    All good things,
    Laurie

  2. I think many people are crippled by what others think. Succesful people dont let others opinions rule them but rely more on their own confidence and knowledge when they make decisions and are not afraid of failure. True Failure is not trying.

  3. Hi Laurie – the quote is a favorite of mine too. It’s Annie Dillard’s:

    “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
    — Annie Dillard