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Last Updated on July 12, 2021

How to Live a Full Life With No Regrets

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How to Live a Full Life With No Regrets

Most people fear a life with regrets—because lost time is lost forever. Learning how to live a full life is no easy task.

But life shouldn’t be about trading off important things to achieve another. You can’t achieve true happiness that way.

The reality is that different aspects of your life are interlinked and interdependent. Everything influences the other. For example, a bad relationship is likely to drain your energy and could end up destroying your health, wealth, and happiness.

The secret is to not just balance all areas of your life—but to excel in them, too.

In this article, I’ll show you exactly how you can do this and how to live a full life as a result.

Understanding Life Aspects

The first thing you need to know is that you should always work smarter, not harder.

Now, you’ve probably come across this simple piece of advice before, but have you actually put it into action in your life? If not, then don’t worry, as I’m going to explain an easy way for you to achieve this.

It’s all to do with two concepts: Life Aspects and Core Skills.

I developed these concepts early in my career, after I burnt myself out through pushing myself more and more—until my mind and body eventually gave up!

When my health had been compromised, I lost the energy and motivation to keep going with my career. This also led to a decline in my self-confidence and a drop in my creative abilities.

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However, it wasn’t all bad news; I used the downtime as a wake-up call. I realized that anything taken to the extreme is not sustainable and that a happy, healthy, and successful life only comes when all parts of our lives are in balance.

This was the impetus for creating Life Aspects: six areas of life that need to be balanced and fulfilled in order for us to function naturally and optimally.

Let’s take a look now at the six Life Aspects.

1. Physical Health

Just imagine how much more you could achieve in life if you had tons of drive and energy. Simple things like improving your diet, exercising more, or learning meditation could lead to big gains in your physical and mental health. And this would inevitably lead to gains in ALL areas of your life.

2. Family and Relationship Fulfillment

Our relationships are critical to our success and well-being. Where possible, you should limit the time you spend with negative people and increase the time you spend with creative, enthusiastic, and supportive people.

3. Work and Career Prosperity

When you focus on progressing your career, you’ll have goals to aim for. Furthermore, research has shown that striving towards goals makes people happier[1].

4. Wealth and Money Satisfaction

Despite what you may have heard, money is not the root of all evil. That’s the love of money! Your focus should be on offering a service to the world. If it’s something that people need, then you should charge fairly for it and enjoy the rewards.

5. Spiritual Wellness

While I’m predominantly a logical person, I don’t believe that every decision and action has to be based on facts and figures. Sometimes we need to follow our intuition and our heart. Whether you believe there is a power greater than us or not, spiritual practices such as contemplation, breathing exercises, and singing can help you to tap into a world beyond logic.

6. Mental Strength

It’s easy to spot someone with a weak mind. They have no focus, no discipline, and they lack drive and conviction. On the other hand, someone with a strong mind is easy to spot, too. They will be dynamic, purposeful, and engaging. They’ll also impress you as someone who can “get things done.”

My recommendation is that you take some time to study and think about the six Life Aspects. Look for areas that you should limit and areas that you should expand.

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Once you’ve successfully balanced the six Life Aspects—you’ll have put “working smarter” into action.

Now let’s take a look at the Core Skills and how you can live a full life by using them.

8 Ways to Transform Your Life

There are eight core skills (I call them the Multipliers) that you should strive to develop. On their own they can be effective, but when combined, they’ll create unstoppable momentum in your life.

I’ll describe each of these skills now, including examples and tips for each that will help you to quickly understand the power behind them.

1. Self-Empowerment

A person with self-empowerment has sustainable motivation and confidence about what they want to achieve. They are clear about their purpose and know how to stay positive and motivated during adversity or while stretching their comfort zone.

Think back to a time when you set your heart and mind on something. Perhaps it was a new guitar, a new house, or a vacation. But once you had a burning desire for it, you quickly found the necessary motivation, ideas, and energy to achieve what you wanted.

2. Self-Control

A person with self-control consistently sets clear goals and plans for themselves and always follows them through. They also know how to build constructive habits and routines that support their goals. And they create these habits in such a way that makes sure they stick.

If you’ve tried to give up alcohol, cigarettes, or junk food, you’ll know just how hard this can be. But the secret to success in these endeavors is to replace a bad habit with a good one. For instance, instead of ordering your usual glass of wine, you could instead order a fruit juice. Do this often enough (typically for a month or more) and you’ll find that you’ve discarded your old habit and created a new one.

3. Renewable Vitality

A person with renewable vitality is physically fit and healthy because they exercise regularly, eat well, and know how to look after themselves. And they always have enough energy to handle all their daily demands.

How are you sleeping? If you’re not sleeping well, it’s important you address this as lack of sleep can quickly lead to negative impacts on all areas of your life. If you need help with this, I recommend you read our article 9 Tips For Better Sleep.

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4. Emotion Mastery

A person with emotion mastery can manage and change the way they feel and cope with situations. They are also able to reframe negativity into positive actions[2].

Imagine being told by your boss that your role is no longer needed, and you should pack your things and head out the door. If you weren’t expecting this, then you’re likely to be shocked, incredulous—and perhaps even angry. These emotions could quickly lead you to lose your self-confidence and optimism. However, if you could “snap out” of your negative emotional state, you could begin to see a way forward. Positive emotions lead to positive actions. In this case, an exciting new job at a dynamic company could be just the change you needed!

5. Conscious Communication

A person with conscious communication understands other people’s ideas and is able to express and deliver their own thoughts and feelings clearly. They are also good at influencing others and find it easy to build reliable and long-term relationships.

Have you noticed that the best managers are also the best listeners? By being great listeners, not only do they show respect to their team members—but they also have the chance to learn from them. Communication is an art that you can learn. Start by mirroring your favorite managers.

6. Smart Focus

A person with smart focus gets things done in the most effective and efficient manner. They take control of their time and energy by always working smart.

What’s the first thing you do when you start work at the office? If you’re like most people, you probably log into your computer and start going through all the emails in your inbox. On a good day, this may take you 15 minutes or so, but on a bad day (think Monday!), you might spend an hour or more going through your emails. A smarter start to your day is to spend 5 or 10 minutes planning out your work. High-priority items should be tackled first, low-priority items last. This will guarantee that the important stuff gets done.

7. Learning and Adaptability

A person with learning and adaptability can quickly master any knowledge and skill. They also respond to change swiftly and never stop growing and moving forward.

Leonardo da Vinci once said: “Learning never exhausts the mind.” Wise words indeed. I suggest you make a habit of learning something new every day. This will keep your mind fresh and active and mark you out as a progressive and open-minded individual.

8. Constructive Thinking

A person with constructive thinking has a clear, uncluttered mind. They also know how to utilize their memory and brain power to solve problems and be creative.

To be able to think clearly, you need to take regular breaks from the non-stop onslaught of news, social media, and TV that we all experience nowadays. Try to find some time every day to have a break from this technology. Perhaps take a walk in your local park or do a 10-minute contemplation session in a quiet area of your home or office. When you have peace and quiet, you’ll be able to tap into your creativity and find solutions to any problems that come your way.

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Case Study: A Top Salesperson Who Is Too Busy To Be Fit

Eric is a salesperson. He is hard-working, has steady income, and is one of the top salesmen in the company. Having to reach a sales target every month, he often has to work over time. Luckily, he has a supportive family who is very supportive. Eric is a loving father who even though can’t spend a lot of time with his family, he makes sure all the moments he spends with his family is quality time. So despite a busy schedule, he has fulfilling relationships and a happy family. However, with all the demands in life, he couldn’t find time to stay healthy and he started to gain a lot of weight. He started to feel tired easily, and couldn’t quite catch his breath playing with his 5-year-old kid.

Eric wanted to be healthy again, so that he could manage his life better and most importantly, be able to enjoy his time with his kid more. After all, his kid will only be a kid once. He sought for help from me at Lifehack, and took our Life Assessment. This was his result at that time:

    After taking the Life Assessment, he realized how little effort he spent on aspects other than work, especially on health. He wanted to change this over and so he joined our Busy Yet Fit Home Workout Programme. and learned to build up his multipliers (core skills).

    With the help of my team, Eric first learned how to replan his time and make time for exercising. It wasn’t easy at first, as he sometimes still fell prey to “being too busy” to exercise. But with time, he was able to make exercising every morning his habit. He would go to sleep early so he could wake up early to do some home workouts before going to work. At the beginning, his wife helped him to prepare for his meals, following the diet rules recommended by the fitness coach. But a month later, Eric even started to cook on his own and prepare for his own meals. What was even surprising was that his habits slowly influenced his family to build a healthy routine too. I know that now Eric and his family have a very balanced diet, and always do exercise together during their family time.

    If you also want to find out if you’re living a full life yet, you can take the Life Assessment here for free now!

    The Bottom Line

    By concentrating on the development of the six Life Aspects and the eight Multipliers, you can learn how to live a full life and tackle each day with no regrets.

    Use the six Life Aspects to find balance and harmony in your life, and use the eight Core Skills to create a powerful physical, mental, and emotional state that will continually drive you forward.

    Once you do this, you’ll find yourself living a full life with no regrets.

    More Tips on How to Live a Full Life

    Featured photo credit: Irina Murza via unsplash.com

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    Reference

    More by this author

    Leon Ho

    Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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    Last Updated on October 7, 2021

    How to Make a Change With the Four Quadrants of Change

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    How to Make a Change With the Four Quadrants of Change

    Quitting smoking is the easiest thing in the world. Some people quit smoking a thousand times in their lives! Everyone knows someone with this mindset.

    But this type of change is superficial. It doesn’t last. For real, lasting change to take place, we need to consider the quadrants of change.

    Real change, the change that is fundamental, consistent, and longitudinal (lasting over time) has to happen in four quadrants of your life.

    It doesn’t have to be quitting smoking; it can be any habit you want to break — drinking, biting your nails, overeating, playing video games, shopping, and more.

    Most experts focus on only one area of change, some focus on two areas, but almost none focus on all four quadrants of change. That’s why much of change management fails.

    Whether it is in the personal life of a single individual through actions and habits, or in a corporate environment, regarding the way they conduct their business, current change management strategies are lacking.

    It all stems from ignoring at least one part of the equation.

    So, today, we will cover all four quadrants of change and learn the formula for how to change fundamentally and never go back to your “old self.”

    A word of warning: this is simple to do, but it’s not easy. Anyone who tells you that change is easy is either trying to sell you something, or they have no idea what they’re talking about.

    Those who want an overnight solution have left the article now, so that leaves you, me, and the real process of change.

    The Four Quadrants of Change

    There are four areas, or quadrants, in which you need to make a change in order for it to stick. If you miss or ignore a single one of these, your change won’t stick, and you will go back to your previous behavior.

    The four quadrants are:

    1. Internal individual – mindset
    2. External individual – behavior
    3. Internal collective – culture/support system
    4. External collective – laws, rules, regulations, teams, systems, states

    All four of these quadrants of change may sound like they could carry change all by themselves, but they can’t. So, be sure to implement your change in all four quadrants. Otherwise, it will all be in vain.

    First Quadrant — Internal Individual

    This quadrant focuses on the internal world of an individual, and it concerns itself with the mindset of a person.

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    Our actions stem from our thoughts (most of the time), and if we change our mindset toward something, we will begin to process of changing the way we act.

    People who use the law of attraction fall into this category, where they’ve recognized the strength of thoughts and how they make us change ourselves.

    Even Lao Tzu had a great saying regarding this:

    “Watch your thoughts. They become words. Watch your words. They become deeds. Watch your deeds. They become habits. Watch your habits. They become character. Character is everything.” [1]

    One of the most impactful ways you can make a change in this quadrant is to implement what James Clear calls identity-based habits. [2]

    Instead of prioritizing the outcome of a change (ex.: I want to lose 20 pounds), you prioritize your identity as a person (I want to become/remain a healthy person).

    Here are a couple of examples for you to see the strength of this kind of resolution:

    I want to watch many movies = I am a cinema lover
    I want to clean my apartment = I am a clean person
    I want to harvest my crops = I am a harvester (farmer)
    I want to swim = I am a swimmer

    This quadrant is about changing the identity you attach to a certain action. Once you re-frame your thinking in this way, you will have completed the first of the quadrants of change.

    Second Quadrant — External Individual

    This quadrant focuses on the external world of an individual and concerns itself with the behavior of a person.

    This is where people like Darren Hardy, the author of the Compound Effect reside. Hardy is about doing small, consistent actions that will create change in the long run (the compound effect).

    You want to lose 30 pounds? Start by eating just 150 calories (approximately two slices of bread) less a day, and in two and a half years, you will have lost 30 pounds.

    The same rules apply to business, investing, sports, and multiple other areas. Small, consistent actions can create big changes.

    This works — I’ve read 20 extra pages a day for the past two years, and it accumulated into 90 books read in two years. [3]

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    Here, you have two ways of dealing with change behaviorally: negative environmental design and positive environmental design.

    Negative Environmental Design

    This is when you eliminate the things from your environment that revert you to the old behavior. If you want to stop eating ice cream, you don’t keep it in your freezer.

    If you want to stop watching TV, you remove the batteries from the remote and put them on the other side of the house (it works!).

    Positive Environmental Design

    This is when you put the things that you want to do withing reach — literally!

    You want to learn how to play guitar? Put your guitar right next to your sofa. You want to head to the gym? Put the gym clothes in a backpack and put it on top of your shoes.

    You want to read more books? Have a book on your nightstand, your kitchen table, and on the sofa.

    You can even combine this last trick with my early advice about removing the batteries from your remote control, combining the negative and positive environmental designs for maximum effect.

    Two Sides of the Same Coin

    If you just change your behavior and leave your intentions (thoughts) intact, your discipline will fail you and the real change won’t happen.

    You will simply revert back to the previous behavior because you haven’t changed the fundamental root of why this problem occurs in the first place.

    That is why you need to create change both in the first quadrant (internal individual — mindset) and the second quadrant (external individual — behavior). These quadrants of change are two sides of the same coin.

    Most change management would stop here, and that’s why most change management fails.

    No matter how much you focus on yourself, there are things that affect our lives that are happening outside of us. That is the focus of the two remaining quadrants.

    Third Quadrant — Internal Collective

    This quadrant focuses on the internal world of the collective where the individual resides, and it concerns itself with the culture of that collective.

    There are two different distinctions here: the Inner Ring and the Outer Ring.

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    The Inner Ring

    These are your friends and your family. The Inner Ring is the place where the social and cultural norms of your friends and family rule.

    So, if everyone in your family is overweight and every lunch is 1,000 calories per person, then you can say goodbye to your idea of becoming healthy.

    In this case, the culture of your group, the inner norms that guide the decisions, actions, thoughts, ideas, and patterns of behaviors are all focused on eating as much as possible. [4]

    You need to have the support of your Inner Ring if you want to achieve change. If you don’t have this support, the the best way to proceed is by either changing your entire Inner Ring or distancing yourself from it.

    Beware — most Inner Rings won’t accept the fact that you want to change and will undermine you on many occasions — some out of habit, some due to jealousy, and some because supporting you would mean that they have to change, too.

    You don’t have to cut ties with people, but you can consciously decide to spend less time with them.

    The Outer Ring

    The Outer Ring consists of the culture of your company, community, county, region, and country. For example, it’s quite hard to be an open-minded person in North Nigeria, no matter how you, your friends, and your family think.

    The Outer Ring is the reason why young people move to the places that share their value systems instead of staying in their current city, county, or country.

    Sometimes, you need to change your Outer Ring as well because its culture is preventing you from changing.

    I see this every single day in my country, where the culture can be so toxic that it doesn’t matter how great of a job you have or how great your life currently looks — the culture will change you, inch by inch, until you become like it.

    Fourth Quadrant — External Collective

    This quadrant focuses on the external world of the collective where the individual resides, and it concerns itself with the systems, teams, laws, and rules of that collective.

    This quadrant is about the external manifestations of the collective culture. If the majority of the environment thinks in a certain way, they will create institutions that will implement that way of thinking.

    The same rules apply to companies.

    One example for companies would be those managers who think that employees are lazy, lack responsibility, and need constant supervision (or what is called Theory X in management).

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    Then, those managers implement systems that reflect that kind of culture– no flexible work hours, strict rules about logging work, no remote work, etc.

    Your thoughts, however, may be different. You might believe that people want responsibility, that they are capable of self-direction, that they can make good decisions, and that managers don’t need to stand on their necks if they want something done (this is called Theory Y in management).

    Then, you would want to have flexible working hours, different ways of measuring your productivity (for example, not time on the job but work produced), and remote work, if possible for your profession.

    This is when you enter into a conflict with the external collective quadrant. Here, you have four options: leave, persevere, neglect, and voice.

    Leave

    You can simply leave the company/organization/community/country and go to a different place. Most people decide to do this.

    Persevere

    This is when you see that the situation isn’t good, but you decide to stick at it and wait for the perfect time (or position) where you can implement change.

    Neglect

    This is where you give up on the change you want to see and just go with the flow, doing the minimal work necessary to keep the status quo.

    These are the people who are disengaged at work and are doing just the bare minimum necessary (which, in the U.S. is around 65% of the workforce).

    I did this only once, and it’s probably the only thing I regret doing in my life.

    Voice

    This is where you actively work on changing the situation, and the people in charge know that you want to create a change.

    It doesn’t matter if it’s your company, community, or your country; you are actively calling for a change and will not stop until it’s implemented.

    Putting It All Together

    When you take it all into account, change is simple, in theory, but it isn’t easy to execute. It takes work in all four quadrants:

    1. Internal individual — mindset
    2. External individual — behavior
    3. Internal collective — culture/support system
    4. External collective — laws, rules, regulations, teams, systems, states

    Some will require more work, some less, but you will need to create a change in all four of them.

    But don’t let that discourage you because change is possible, and many people have done this. The best time to start changing was yesterday, but the second best time is today.

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    Featured photo credit: Djim Loic via unsplash.com

    Reference

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