Are you living your best life? Do you think that you should be living the American Dream? It may be that you consider the best life as one with fame and fortune, perhaps with the addition of fast cars and globe-trotting. However, living your best life is not about the American Dream, fast cars, globe-trotting, fame or fortune.
Your best life is about you living a life of happiness and success. While the specific elements of your best life will be different to someone else's there will be common threads. What are those elements that will help you create and live your best life?
While for most people work is essential to earn income to fund a roof over their head and food on the table, some people are lucky enough to have enough money that they don't actually need to work. Whether you do or don't need to work is not the problem. The problem occurs when work takes over your life and you find that everything you do revolves around it. If you find that you spend too many hours working and not enough resting or socializing then you will find it begins to negatively impact your life, health and relationships.
It's important that you make sure that you have a work/life balance that allows you to enjoy time with family and friends, as well as on outside interests.
You know that goals are important but do you set them? You need goals in your personal and business life. By having them you can create positive change. If you're drifting along and not feeling inspired, then now is the time to change that. What do you want from life? What makes you feel excited or inspired? When you look back on your life what do you want to feel proud of?
Think about what you want and then write down the steps you can take to achieve it.
What would your best life look and feel like?
Everyone needs relationships. They provide connection and support. Look at the people in your life who don't serve any purpose apart from annoyance or toxicity. By this consider all those who take your time, energy and positivity but give nothing in return apart from stress and anxiety. If you can remove them from your social circle so that they don't have the time or space to affect you negatively any more. If removing them completely isn't possible then plan ways to make sure that you can interact with them without negativity or feeling used.
Nurture and develop those relationships that bring you happiness, love, friendship and support. Those relationships that involve give and take.
Consider hiring a life coach to help you create your best life. This could be one of the best investments and relationships you make.
Your health is essential. While you may have serious health issues you can manage them in a way that will enable you to create and live your best life. Make sure that you eat healthily and drink plenty of fluids. Regular exercise will help you with fitness and also get the endorphins (feel good hormones) flowing.
Be happy. There will be times when things happen that cause unhappiness but these periods need only be temporary. Plan for them and have strategies in place that can help you find the positive and regain a sense of control. You are the master of your destiny and happiness. You have the power to control your feelings. Don't give that power away to others.
Find your passion. What makes you feel alive and that life is worth living? What excites you and makes you want to leap out of bed in the morning to grasp the new day? Find that and you will be holding the key to living your best life every day.
Your best life is the one that you create. It won't just happen. It will require you to dream, plan, act and create, and it will be worth the effort.
Today, I want to focus a little on the power and importance of Positive Thinking. Let’s start with a little secret. You can do and accomplish anything that you think you can. Let that sink in for a minute. Read it again. I call it a little secret, but once you start to recognize the truth in this statement and start to live your life by it, it can have a huge impact.
You have actually seen it in action lots of times. You see it in the preschooler who’s told by his dad that he can ride a bike without training wheels. You see it in athletes who run faster, jump higher, and accomplish more now than ever because they can see themselves doing it before they approach the start line. You see it in your friend or neighbor who sets out to build an internet side business and creates something valuable out of nothing.
When you train yourself to think positively, you increase the opportunities that open up to you. It makes you more confident and causes you to say “Yes” more often when those opportunities knock on your door. In short, positive thinking can make you more successful.
Let me illustrate with a simple example. Two middle school girls audition for a part in the school play. The first – let’s call her Jane - thinks there’s no way she’s getting the part she’s auditioning for. The second one – let’s call her Jill - practices positive thinking and visualizes that she already has the part.
When Jane auditions, she’s timid and shy. She doesn’t put a lot of energy into her performance since she’s convinced she won't get the part. It shows in her audition, and unsurprisingly, the play director passes on her and assigns her a minor background role instead. Jill, on the other hand, walks in with confidence, and while her performance may not be flawless, the director sees an attitude and talent that he can work with. Jill gets the part. That’s positive thinking in action.
It’s not all mumbo-jumbo and attracting positive energy from the universe. The bible says in Mark 9:23 - Yeshua said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” It’s about creating a positive attitude, promoting self-esteem, and believing enough in yourself to push further and try harder. Positive thinking isn’t going to fix the leak in your bathroom or make an extra $500 per month fall into your lap. Instead, it makes you call the plumber or get out the tools to fix the bathroom leak. And, it encourages you to start a bunsiess, ask your boss for a raise or promotion, or even go back to school. Posivtie thinking helps you to create the life you want to live.
When we have a long-term goal we are working towards, it’s easy to be so focused on it that we start to believe we won’t be happy until we reach it. It’s important to have long-term goals, but not at the expense of your daily life. Staying in a place of gratitude for what you already have and what you’ve already achieved in your life can be a huge benefit in reaching your goals.
Gratitude Makes You Happier
Neurologists have learned that feelings of gratitude actually change the way your brain works. When you are consciously aware of all the wonderful things in your life, you are happier and more content. When you are happy and feeling good about your life, it’s easier to believe that more good things await you down the road.
Gratitude Lowers Stress
A life filled with the struggle to always be better will lead to a life of stress. Yes, you want to reach your goals. You want to unlock all the potential that’s inside you. But finding a way to balance this desire with gratitude for what you’ve already accomplished and what you have in your life today is also important. When constantly pushing yourself forward, it’s easy to believe you aren’t good enough today. Focusing on what you have to be grateful for today lowers your stress level and helps you enjoy the journey to your ultimate goal.
Gratitude Makes You More Optimistic
Believing the grass is always greener on the other side is a sure way to ensure your dissatisfaction with life. It makes you feel like you may never get the life you want. This pessimism just makes everything in life harder. You may even just give up on your dreams because you don’t believe you can attain them. Keeping a grateful mindset offers you a way to enjoy life now and look forward to the future, once your goals have been realized.
Obtaining a grateful spirit doesn’t take a lot of time and effort, but it makes a huge difference in your life. Start by keeping a small notebook with you or using an app on your phone to note the little things that happen throughout your day that you are grateful for. Some people prefer to keep a gratitude journal by their bed and add a short list of things that they are grateful for that day. Give it a try if you feel you’ve been too focused on a goal and it’s making you unappreciative for what you already have.
If there is one place where we should be completely free, then it is in our own mind. One might think there are limitations in terms of what our bodies are capable of and what we’re allowed to do – but our minds should be free to roam wherever we want them to.
Unfortunately, this is not the reality most. Instead, thoughts are dictated by circumstances and those circumstances are largely out of one’s control. This is why people will often find themselves feeling dissatisfied and constantly wanting to push forward, rather than stopping to enjoy life and smell the roses.
And without meaning to get political or philosophical, capitalist lifestyles only reinforce this nature and try to push us faster.
Are You Happy?
Most people are constantly in a position of slight dissatisfaction. They feel as though there are ‘things’ that could make their lives better and help them to be happier. Maybe if they had just a little bit more money, or maybe a bigger house. Maybe a better job?
Partly this will be encouraged by the media and by the want for material goods. People want more money so we can play the latest game, wear the latest clothes and post pictures of themselves on holiday to show to friends.
And people keep working harder and stressing more to try and accomplish these things – in turn keeping the cogs of society spinning.
Making a Change
But now think about those things you found yourself wanting. Are they on the shelf or in the closet right now? When was the last time you use that thing or have you even used it yet? Likewise, ask yourself if having more money would really make you happier. Or would you just want more.
So how do you make a change and start to be freer and happier right now? The answer is that you change your focus. Instead of fixating on what you don’t have and on what you want, start to fixate on what you already have and what you’re grateful for. This is called a ‘Gratitude Attitude’ and it’s the fastest route to having a satisfying and happy life.