As Jack London once said, “The proper function of man is to live, not to
exist.” Far too often we travel through life on autopilot, going through the
motions, accepting what is, and having every day pass like the one before
it. Everything seems relatively normal and comfortable, except that
constant twitch in the back of your mind that’s saying, “It’s time to make
Here are 15 simple suggestions for those who want to break free from the
mold and truly live more of their life – to experience it and enjoy it to the
fullest, instead of settling for a mere existence.
1. Appreciate the great people and things in your life. –
Sometimes we don’t notice the things others do for us until they stop
doing them. Don’t be like that. Be grateful for what you have, who
loves you, and who cares for you. You’ll never know how much they
mean to you until the day they’re no longer beside you. Truly
appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around
you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it to
live. Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People .
2. Ignore other people’s negativity. – If you allow people to make
more withdrawals than deposits in your life, you will be out of balance
and in the negative before you know it. Ignore unconstructive, hurtful
commentary. No one has the right to judge you. They may have
heard your stories, but they didn’t feel what you were going through.
You do not have control over what others say; but you do have control
over whether or not you allow them to say these things to you. You
alone can deny their poisonous words from invading your heart and
3. Forgive those who have hurt you. – I forgive people, but that
doesn’t mean I trust them. I just don’t have time to hate people who
hurt me, because I’m too busy loving people who love me. The first to
apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The
first to move forward is the happiest. Be brave. Be strong. Be
happy. Be free.
4. Be who you really are. – If you’re lucky enough to have something
that makes you different from everybody else, don’t change.
Uniqueness is priceless. In this crazy world that’s trying to make you
like everyone else, find the courage to keep being your awesome
self. And when they laugh at you for being different, laugh back at
them for being the same. It takes a lot of courage to stand alone, but
it’s worth it. Being YOU is worth it!
5. Choose to listen to your inner voice. – Life is a courageous
journey or nothing at all. We cannot become who we want to be by
continuing to do exactly what we’ve been doing. Choose to listen to
your inner voice, not the jumbled opinions of everyone else. Do what
you know in your heart is right for YOU. It’s your road, and yours
alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.
And be sure to appreciate every day of your life. Good days give you
happiness, bad days give you experience, and the worst days give you
the best lessons. Read Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No .
6. Embrace change and enjoy your life as it unfolds. – The hardest
part about growing is letting go of what you were used to, and moving
on with something you’re not. Sometimes you have to stop worrying,
wondering, and doubting, and have faith that things will work out.
Laugh at the confusion, live consciously in the moment, and enjoy
your life as it unfolds. You might not end up exactly where you
intended to go, but eventually you will arrive precisely where you
need to be.
7. Choose your relationships wisely. – The best relationships are not
just about the good times you share, they’re also about the obstacles
you go through together, and the fact that you still say “I love you” in
the end. And loving someone isn’t just about saying it every day, it’s
showing it every day in every way. Relationships must be chosen
wisely. Don’t rush love. Wait until you truly find it. Don’t let
loneliness drive you back into the arms of someone you know you
don’t belong with. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re
lonely. A great relationship is worth waiting for.
8. Recognize those who love you. – The most memorable people in
your life will be the ones who loved you when you weren’t very
loveable. Pay attention to who these people are in your life, and love
them back, even when they aren’t acting loveable.
9. Love yourself too. – If you can love children, in spite of the messes
they make; your mother, in spite of her tendency to nag; your father,
even though he’s too opinionated; your sibling, even though she’s
always late; your friend, even though he often forgets to return what
he borrows, then you know how to love imperfect people, and can
surely love yourself.
10. Do things your future self will thank you for. – What you do
every day matters more than what you do every once in a while. What
you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your
life for it. Make sure it’s worthwhile.
11. Be thankful for all the troubles you don’t have. – There are two
ways of being rich: One is to have all you want, the other is to be
satisfied with what you have. Accept and appreciate things now, and
you’ll find more happiness in every moment you live. Happiness
comes when we stop complaining about the troubles we have and
offer thanks for all the troubles we don’t have. And remember, you
have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your
life. Read The How of Happiness .
12. Leave enough time for fun. – Sometimes you need to take a few
steps back to see things clearly. Never let your life become so filled
with work, your mind become so crammed with worry, or your heart
become so jammed with old hurts or anger, that there’s no room left
in them for fun, for awe, or for joy.
13. Enjoy the little things in life. – The best things in life are free.
There is absolute joy and wonder to be had in the simplest of
moments. Watching the sunset over the horizon or spending time
with a family member. Enjoy the little things, because one day you
may look back and discover they were the big things.
14. Accept the fact that the past is not today. – Don’t let the past
steal your present and future from you. You might not be proud of all
the things you’ve done in the past, but that’s okay. The past is not
today. The past cannot be changed, forgotten, or erased. It can only
be accepted. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret
things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your
struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day
and your future.
15. Let go when you must. – It’s not always about trying to fix
something that’s broken. Some relationships and situations just can’t
be fixed. If you try to force them back together, things will only get
worse. Sometimes it’s about starting over and creating something
better. Strength shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the
ability to start over again with a smile on your face and passion in
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