How many times have you been told that you need to live life to the fullest or life is too short? You need to get out there and live your life before it’s too late? It’s all true, but don’t you find it puts pressure on you?
I, personally, start to question why my life in its current form isn’t good enough. Should I be climbing Kilimanjaro? Should I skydive? Am I not living my life to its fullest form if I’m not dancing with death on a daily basis?
Many people panic and think that they’ll end up with regrets on their death bed. I know I used to think this way, but then I had an epiphany. Because I’m kind and caring, I’m going to share it with you. [Read: This is how to kick-ass in all areas of your life]
Different ideas of a full life
You see, it goes a little like this. Everyone’s idea of living life to the fullest is totally different. Yes, for one person that does mean skydiving, rock climbing, fire eating, and all of those other *quite frankly* terrifying pastimes.
For another person, the best life is sitting on their balcony on a warm summer’s evening and reading a good book. Maybe going to a bar with a friend and enjoying a bottle of wine. There is no pressure people, and it’s time we all realized this!
My epiphany occurred during a particular spell when I didn’t think I was doing enough with my life. I had friends who were off doing volunteering and charity work in foreign countries, friends who were having children and telling me how life-altering it all was, and I also had friends who were partying like they were 18 again every other day and loving every second of it.
I started to look at my life and I wasn’t sure what I was doing. Would I end up regretting not doing something life-altering and amazing? But, what could I do that would be life-altering? And I didn’t want to do anything life-altering. So, did that mean there was something wrong with me?
After a rather soul-searching conversation with a friend *and two bottles of wine* I realized something important. When you attempt to life live to the fullest, you’re not doing it right. You’re faking it. You’re trying to fulfill what someone else tells you is the ‘fullest’, but in order to really get this subject matter right, find out what your idea of the ‘fullest’ is, and go with that.
Can you see where I’m going with this? [Read: Don’t overlook these 31 blissful things in your life]
How to find your idea of a full life
If you’re determined to avoid those regrets in later life, and let’s face it, we all are, sit down and do some soul-searching in the here and now.
Are you happy? Ask yourself that question and really think about it. Most of us aren’t really sure what true happiness is. Again, we’re sold a story via movies, books, and TV that true happiness is about bursting into song while walking down the street and not being able to stop smiling, literally.
Firstly, if you start to burst into song in the middle of a public street, you’re going to get odd looks, and secondly, if you really can’t stop smiling, like physically can’t stop, the chances are you have a problem.
That’s the truth. [Read: How to be happy on your own without a relationship]
What is true happiness?
For me, happiness is more about contentment. About knowing that I have what I need and I’m going where I want to go. It’s not about constantly wanting to sing and dance, because those moments come and go. It’s not humanly possible to be 100% happy all of the time, but it is entirely possible to be 100% content and fine with everything. That’s what I aim for. By doing that, I feel I am happy.
Now, if you’re not happy, that’s your starting point. Do a mind map, a brain dump, a brainstorm, whatever it is that you want to call it. Write down everything in your life that you’re happy with and what you’re not happy with. Then, you simply do more of the things you’re happy with, and you change the things you’re not happy with.
From there, identify the things you enjoy, the things which make you smile, and the things which you would like to do. That is how you find your idea of the ‘fullest’.
How to live life to the fullest, according to me
To me, when you live life to the fullest you’re doing the following:
#1 Doing the things you enjoy.
#2 Cutting out or minimizing the time spent doing the things you don’t enjoy.
#3 Spending time with friends and family.
#4 Being kind to others.
#5 Learning new things as much as possible.
#6 Making sure that you’re healthy by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.
#7 Cutting out self-sabotaging or damaging behaviors in your life.
#8 Working towards your dreams and aims, making sure you make progress and reach them.
#9 Always being open to new opportunities.
#10 Going with the flow and seeing where it takes you.
You don’t have to jump out of planes with a parachute strapped to your back because someone told you that’s what defines living life to the fullest. Only bungee jump off a terrifyingly high bridge if YOU want to. You don’t have to trek up a volcano or swim with sharks. These are not necessary things to say that you are living your life to the fullest extent, they are simply things, experiences.
However, they are things you can do if you want to, if these are your dreams. If you can hand on heart say that you really want to skydive, then in order to life your life to the fullest, you need to skydive. [Read: The secret to happiness – An uncomplicated guide for a happy life]
Create the bucket list YOU want
Can you see what I’m getting at here? Living life to the fullest is about being happy first and foremost. It’s also about doing the things you want to do, and working towards the bigger aims in time. Not living life to the fullest would mean that you sit there, saying ‘I wish I could change my career’ but not actually doing anything about it.
You can change your career, and it may change your life. If you don’t do it, you’ll have regrets. That means your life won’t have been a fulfilling one.
I haven’t jumped out of a plane or bungee jumped, and I can’t see myself trekking up a mountain any time soon. But I feel I am living my life to its fullest capacity. I’m slowing ticking things off my bucket list and making sure that I’m healthy and happy every single day. I have a job I love and I worked hard to get it. Surely that’s the equivalent of skydiving, right? [Read: 15 things everyone should know about how to live a happy life]
Seriously, don’t do something you hand on heart don’t want to do simply because you feel it will give you fewer regrets in later life. Quite frankly, I’d rather have a hot bath and a glass of wine than go zip-lining, but I have total respect for those that go for the big adventures!
[Read: How to be more positive and increase the quality of your life]
The pressure to live life to the fullest can be overwhelming. Identify what your idea of living life to its fullest capacity is. Then, stick to that. This is your life, your rules, your dreams, and your story.
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