Life is beautiful! And even more so if you are living a life filled with happiness, peace and contribution. However, many people, including myself, have lived a life full of possessions, with a soul full of hatred, a job that sucks the very life out of them, and an emptiness inside.

Even with its struggles and difficulties life can be beautiful, depending what you focus on. A beautiful life is one that makes you feel fully alive, is full of inspiration and creates a deeper, more connected environment for us to live in. With this in mind I’ve come up with a few steps on how to live a beautiful life.

1. Always be grateful for the blessings and gifts you already have.

A must for all people who want to or who are already living a beautiful life. If you can do just one thing out of all of these steps, I’d recommend this one: being thankful for all that you already have is the key to a beautiful life. Taking time out to be thankful even through the tough times will set you up for a happier, more peaceful existence. It will not only touch your own life but also those around you. How wonderful is that?

2. Try to know and understand yourself.

Most of us have an idea of ourselves, yet very few actually know or understand who we really are. To begin the wonderful journey of living a beautiful life this is very important. You’ll need to take a good, hard look at the stuff that you may have been denying for years and that which has been under wraps without you even knowing. This is a chance for self-discovery and will include rediscovering your passions, desires, fears and insecurities. It might not be as easy as you first thought, so I’d suggest involving a good, trusted friend to help you dig a little deeper. Either way, this process will open your eyes and help you to see how your life has the potential to be beautiful.

3. Work out what a beautiful life means to you.

If you don’t feel that your life is beautiful right now, perhaps it’s time to ask yourself what it is that you think is missing? Is it a purpose, inspiration, happiness, or something else? Questions that delve deeper are important here like asking: “What is it that is keeping me stuck in this cycle of unhappiness? Is it fear of failure, rejection, or making the wrong choices?” Whatever it is, none of these are good enough reasons to be unhappy or not living a beautiful life.

4. Start to make changes to towards living your beautiful life.

When you know that a beautiful life is there for the taking, it will mean changes will need to be made in some areas of your life. It’s no good doing the same stuff because you’ll get the same results. All it takes is a little time to work out what maybe missing from your life or what needs letting go of.

For example, if you want to find your purpose in life, perhaps it’s time to surround yourself with people who inspire, lift and encourage you rather than spending time with the same friends who have always brought you down. It might also mean that you need to start standing up for yourself a little bit more and saying no a bit more often; it’s the little things that can make all the difference.

5. Give away love to feel more love.

In order to live a beautiful life, love is one of the things that make life worth living. The thing is, however, most of the time we expect it to be given in order for us to give it back. Instead of thinking this way, why not live your life with love being the principle aim in all that you do, especially when interacting with other people in your day-to-day life? Everyone needs love in their life, whether it’s from a partner, a friend, family or a perfect stranger. Make your beautiful life more meaningful by giving love to everyone you meet in the form of kindness, understanding, tolerance, acceptance and generosity.

6. Practice forgiveness.

How can you have a beautiful life if you are full of resentment and bitterness? You can’t, is the simple answer! However, when someone has wronged you or let you down, it can prove difficult to forgive and forget.

Forgiveness, however, is not about letting someone of the hook: it’s more about letting yourself off the hook! You see, forgiveness not only takes tremendous stress out of any situation, but it also sets you free. Why? Because if you hold on to anger, bitterness and resentment, they will only eat away at you, keeping you a prisoner of your feelings and hurting yourself in the meantime. It does you no good, and it also ensures that any steps you take towards your beautiful life will be in vain. So do yourself a favor, forgive and then move on with your life.

7. Look at things from a new perspective.

In times of trouble, when your circumstances leave a lot to be desired, it can be difficult to see what you are going through as a gift. However, if you look at the struggle as a new learning opportunity and ask yourself: “What is this situation trying to teach me?” you’ll go a long way to living a more beautiful life.

It’s that change in perspective that makes the harder times seem less so because you are taking the situation and turning it around. This is a wonderful way to view your life because the more you are mindful of what you can learn in any given situation, the more you will breeze through your struggles with effortless grace. Now that sounds great, don’t you think?

8. Be more flexible in your thinking.

When our thinking is rigid and inflexible, it gives little room for change or improvement. To live a beautiful life it is beneficial to have the kind of mind that can be open and flexible, so that new information or unexpected situations can be grasped with less drama or stress. It’s when we are flexible in our approach to life we can enjoy and experience it with unbound possibilities.

9. Expect the best not the worst.

Life can be a roller-coaster ride, with its ups and downs, as well as triumphs and disappointments. When we expect the very best from people and situations, we start to fill our lives with a more positive outlook, as well as creating a more compassionate and understanding environment. If you learn to expect the best, you’ll bring more situations to you that will only ever be the best!

10. Live a beautiful life to make a difference in the world.

This isn’t about preaching to others on how you’ve changed your life, but more about being the kind of person who inspires others to live a beautiful life too. As Mahatma Gandhi famously said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” In short, if you want to see a difference in the world and to make it a more beautiful place, then start with yourself!

So, are you ready to live a beautiful life?

Featured photo credit: Flickr sierra ryan via flickr.com

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