A universal quote that I discovered long ago on the topic of essentials for living a full life comes from Joseph Addison. “Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” And while I couldn’t agree more, I’ve always wanted more specifics or more guidance if you will on exactly what each of these entail.
With the purpose of breaking down and putting into words exactly what essentials, when combined, make life truly fulfilling, I have come up with a list for you today.
Keeping in mind that life will never be perfect and that every person’s route to true contentment and fulfillment is different, I tried to examine what general elements are necessary ingredients as we each embark upon each of our unique paths. Here is what I came up with:
To appreciate life and all that is possible and has already been given to us is to live with intention and to be grateful. And in order to live fully we must live with intention. After all, life is so brief no matter how long each of us is granted on this earth and to appreciate this fact is to set ourselves right on the path that will lead to fulfillment.
So many times the misunderstanding of what love should look like in our lives leads us down the wrong path. However, love is a necessary ingredient, but let’s look at exactly what it should be. Having love in our lives does not mean we give of ourselves to the point that we aren’t being true to who we are. Instead it means we give what we are capable of and this will change as we grow and change. Having love in our lives means feeling love from those who accept us for who we are without having to morph into something else. While we shouldn’t live life to be accepted by others, we must learn to love and accept ourselves as we are even when we know we are a work in progress (I will go more in depth below in “self-respect & self-confidence”).
By having gratitude we are then able to appreciate what our bodies can do for us when we take care of them. By exercising regularly in a way that is challenging, yet enjoyable and by eating a balanced diet, our machine that will carry us to each experience will allow us to live to our fullest potential. Keeping a healthy mind is also something to include whether it is through meditation, prayer or other avenues. Click here to learn specific ways to take care of your body and here to learn how to get and stay in shape.
A Healthy Social Circle
As I shared last week, the ability to find balance in life between work and home is to create a healthy social circle in our personal lives that is uplifting and positive. Click here to learn about the specific elements that are needed to create this necessary part of life.
Be an Effective Communicator
Being able to effectively communicate with those you live with, are friends with or work with is essential to success everywhere in our lives. When we are able to clearly explain what we are feeling in a manner that is not attacking, hurtful or defensive, we then encourage others to respond in a similar respectful way. By keeping the lines of communication open, we help to create stronger relationships. While it is most helpful when we learn these positive behaviors by those around us in our childhood, it is still possible to acquire these necessary skills as an adult. Click here to learn more specifics on how to be heard and here to be a better listener.
Self-Confidence & Self-Respect
In order to live our own lives, to chase our own dreams and to successfully be the best person we can possibly be, each of us must know who we are, respect ourselves and be confident so much so as to be able to propel ourselves out into the world when those times arise when we doubt ourselves and our abilities.
Whether one’s purpose is in a particular career or in raising a family, each person must find their own fulfilling direction in life. This purpose must not be something that is placed upon us making us uncomfortable, but instead be something we are passionate about and can give to with our whole heart. When we have discovered our purpose, we have helped ourselves out by determining the direction of our lives. Now the purpose may change throughout the different stages of life, but the key is to listen to our hearts and trust that the we are capable of making the journey. Click here to learn more about how to discover your purpose.
Opportunities to Grow
No matter what our age, we must always be learning and growing. To learn is to allow ourselves to improve, discover new things and to feel alive. The world around us is constantly changing, and we too are dynamic creatures, so it is imperative that we look for new opportunities to learn something that piques our curiosity (a skill, a part of history, etc) to challenge our minds and forever remain young at heart. Click here to learn about ways to challenge yourself on a regular basis.
Ability to Find the Balance
There is so much of life that is unknown, the motives of the people around us, what awaits us in the future and what our past has prepared us for. Being able to know when to live in the moment, how to have a healthy sense of humor, and when it’s appropriate to look ahead and be cognizant of the consequences of our actions and when to let go are key skills to acquiring balance. Click here to learn specific ways on how to achieve a balance in your life because as we know it is a constant process that always demands our attention.
Acceptance of Life’s Cycles
Once each of us realizes and accepts that life will include ups and downs, births and deaths, successes and struggles, we are then capable of savoring and genuinely appreciating those moments of joy at a level that helps us get through those moments of sadness and frustration. This ability of acceptance also leads back the first essential for life – gratitude. Because it is when we understand that things can go wrong as easily as they can go right that we cheer that much more exuberantly for those moments of joy.
Ultimately, as long as we have hope for a better future, for a new day and for our dreams to come true, we will always bring that positive energy back to us. As stated in Monday’s Inspiration post, it is what we look for that we eventually find. So why not look for what we would prefer to see and experience?
Here’s to a simply luxurious life! Have a beautiful day.