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Last Updated on January 28, 2021

How to Live a Full Life With No Regrets

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

    Reference

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    Leon Ho

    Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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    Last Updated on March 30, 2021

    How to Build Self-Esteem: A Guide to Realize Your Hidden Power

    How to Build Self-Esteem: A Guide to Realize Your Hidden Power

    Self-esteem is a driving force behind our confidence and how we see and feel about ourselves. It encompasses our sense of value, significance, and self-worth. That’s why learning how to build self-esteem is essential to personal growth and happiness.

    Research has shown that over 80% of people struggle with varying levels of low self-esteem. Yet, having a solid sense of self-esteem has the chance to positively impact and powerfully transform every area of your life – from your relationships to your career, from your health and well-being, to your fulfillment and levels of success.

    A deep feeling of self-esteem is something that needs to grow and be nurtured over time. In this article I will show you the things you can do right now to learn how to improve self-esteem. Then, you will realize your hidden potential and your self-worth.

    What Is Self-Esteem?

    While the dictionary defines it as “confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect,” put simply, self-esteem is the overall sense or feeling you have about your own self-worth or self-value.

    Self-confidence, on the other hand, is more about how you feel about your abilities and will vary from situation to situation. You can have great self-esteem (feeling good about yourself overall) but low self-confidence about a particular situation or event (e.g. public speaking). Or, maybe you’ve got great self-confidence in an area (e.g. a sport that you play) but low self-esteem overall.

    A strong and solid sense of self-esteem comes from deep within, from a belief in your importance, your value, and your worthiness. The good news is that there are many ways to improve self-esteem, which we will look at below.

    Causes of Low Self-Esteem

    Low self-esteem can stem from many areas. It is largely influenced by how other people see and treat us, and our relationships, which is why the influence of our parents has the most significant impact on our self-esteem. Here are some of the most common causes of low self-esteem:

    An Unhappy Childhood

    Those who grew up with critical, abusive, or neglectful parents are more likely to face challenges with their own self-worth, while those who experienced acceptance, approval, and affection are more likely to have a higher sense of self-value.

    Traumatic Experiences

    Lower levels of self-esteem can also stem from bad experiences or traumatic events, such as being bullied or being in an emotionally abusive relationship. Essentially, it can stem from anything that has brought up feelings of shame, guilt, or worthlessness.

    Experiences of Failure

    For some, lower self-esteem is connected to their success and accomplishments, or lack thereof, including experiences of failure, or not achieving goals or expectations.

    Negative Self-Talk

    Many cases of low self-esteem are perpetuated by negative self-talk. This could be a story that you have created yourself or that someone else created for you long ago that you continue to believe, and it gets in the way of learning how to build self-esteem.

    Maybe for you, like for many others, low self-esteem is rooted in your feelings about your appearance or body image. It’s not just about how you look; it’s about how you feel about how you look. We are bombarded with messages from an early age about being too fat, too thin, too short, too tall, or too much of anything, or not enough of something else.

    What Happens When You Lack Self-Esteem?

    Low self-esteem can lead to significant physical and mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and addiction. In fact, research shows that adolescents who suffered from low self-esteem grew up to have more physical and mental problems, higher rates of criminal convictions, lower earnings, and challenges with long-term unemployment[1].

    On the flipside, a strong sense of self-esteem will help you experience greater health and well-being, better relationships, and higher levels of happiness, fulfillment, and success. One study even correlated higher levels of self-esteem with higher earning potential[2].

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    Assess Your Own Self-Esteem

    Individuals with low or compromised self-esteem can see themselves as inadequate, incompetent, and even unlovable. While they often know at a “conscious” level that these things aren’t true, they still feel that way deep within. That’s what makes challenges with self-esteem so tricky; it’s often not about the reality of what is, but the perception of what someone feels.

    Those with low self-esteem may appear socially withdrawn or quiet, negative, insecure, indecisive, unhappy, or even angry. They are more likely to find themselves in unhealthy relationships, have a fear of failure, and worry about what others think.

    On the flipside, those with high self-esteem, more often than not, feel a strong sense of self-worth and value, feelings of confidence and acceptance. They tend to find themselves in healthy relationships (and ditch the bad ones), take care of themselves, and are more resilient when faced with setbacks, obstacles, and failures. In general, they tend to stand up more for what they believe in and aren’t afraid to speak their minds.

    Self-esteem can be measured on a scale of high to low: while too little has its obvious downsides, you can also have too much of a good thing. Those with an overly strong sense of self-esteem may appear cocky, narcissistic, and self-important.

    Finding the balance of a strong sense self of self-worth and humility is important as we go through life, which is why it’s so important to learn how to build self-esteem the right way.

    How to Build Self-Esteem (A Step-by-Step Guide)

    Self-esteem issues are generally found in the gap between who you are and who you think you should be. Paradoxically, most causes of low self-esteem stem from how others see or treat you, yet the solution to increasing your self-esteem is something that needs to come from the inside out, not from the outside in.

    Learning how to increase self-esteem is not an easy task. While I wish I could wave a magic wand for you, what I’ve learned is that building and nurturing your self-esteem takes time. However, it is a worthwhile investment. Once you’ve done the work, you’ll reap the many rewards and benefits for a lifetime.

    Below are some great strategies to start your journey.

    1. Get to the Root Cause

    Identifying the real, root cause(s) for your low self-esteem is one of the most important things you can do to build it back up.

    We named many reasons above. Maybe one of them, in particular, resonated with you. Perhaps your parents said you were “never good enough” or that you wouldn’t amount to anything. I work with clients all the time who share stories of their parents’ behavior and the significant impact it has had on their self-esteem.

    Whatever experiences you may have had, and whatever the root issue might be for you, I strongly recommend you get someone to support you through the process to identify and deal with it. Find a counselor, therapist, coach or someone who is trained in helping uncover and address these traumas, past experiences, and root issues. These folks have proven tools, tactics and strategies – and best of all, they help you experiment in a safe space.

    While you may be able to do a lot of work on your own, my experience is that if you don’t address the root cause, that feeling will creep back in over time. You can’t run away from the truth, and you can’t band-aid over old wounds. You’ve got to get to the source, which won’t be easy, but if you want to learn how to build self-esteem, it needs to be done.

    For this step, Lifehack’s Free Life Assessment may help. It can show you where you feel fulfilled and where you feel you are lacking. Try it today!

    2. See Yourself How Others See You

    See yourself how others see you, and talk to yourself as others would talk to you. What do I mean by this? Think about the person who loves you the most in this world.

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    Now, take a moment, zoom out, and imagine you are standing in their shoes and watching through their eyes. Look from their perspective and see yourself as they see you.

    What do you notice about you? What would they say to you? What do they love about you? What do they see in you?

    3. Do Your Best

    Simple advice is often the best advice. When you do your best and place your full effort into each and every day, you start to feel better about yourself.

    Now, your best might change from day to day, and some days, your best won’t be as good as it was the day before. It’s important to remind yourself that you are doing the best you can with what you have, right now, in that situation, with that time frame, your level of skill or knowledge.

    When you know you’ve done your best, you have no regrets and nothing about which to feel bad or guilty. If you do your best and then someone criticizes you, it’s easier to brush off when you know you did the best you could.

    I ask my clients (and myself) this question all the time, whether they’re ruminating over something they’ve said, thinking about what they could have done better, or just disappointed about an outcome they had hoped to achieve. Did you do your best? If the answer is yes, then there’s nothing more you can do – until next time.

    4. Engage in Activities That Satisfy You

    The key word here is satisfy. Find things that give you a deep sense of satisfaction, a feeling of fullness and purpose.

    Too often we engage in activities or relationships that leave us feeling self-conscious, empty, or terrible about ourselves. It’s time to put more focus, time, and effort to do those things that feel good for your body, mind, and spirit, and to engage in things that make you feel whole and full.

    Identify what satisfies you mentally (e.g. solving a big problem or creating something new), emotionally (e.g. hanging out with friends or volunteering), physically (e.g. exercising, eating right, or taking care of your body), and spiritually (e.g. meditation or going to your place of worship).

    When you engage in something that makes you feel good and, even more importantly, makes you feel worthwhile, you will experience greater self-esteem.

    5. Identify Who You Are and Be True to That

    Self-awareness and a little soul searching are critical to your success in life and key to learning how to build self-esteem. In some cases, lack of self-esteem stems from a lack of knowing the kind of person you truly are, and the value you bring. Many of us have spent so much time trying to fit in and please others that we’ve completely lost our sense of self.Spend time paying attention and getting to know yourself. Take time to identify who you are. Some things to think about include:

    • Identifying your strengths and talents
    • Acknowledging your value and worth, and uncovering your passions
    • Understanding your values and what’s important to you
    • Thinking about how you want to serve or contribute to the world
    • Acknowledging your blind spots

    6. Accept Yourself

    Make the decision to accept the imperfectly perfect you. Know that regardless of what you have been told, what has occurred, what wrong you have done, or what challenges you have faced, you are enough. You are doing the best you can with what you have.

    We all want to be accepted for who we are. But first, we must accept ourselves.

    7. Stop Compromising Yourself

    When you let others push you around, put everyone else’s needs before your own, or cave in to what everyone else wants because you don’t want to rock the boat, it lowers your self-esteem. You are putting their needs ahead of yours, and your mind thinks to itself, “I guess I’m not that important.”

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    I worked with two different clients just last week on this very thing. They were both putting everyone else’s needs ahead of their own, and it was having a significant and negative impact on their health and well-being.

    Now, I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t take care of your kids and spouse, meet your work deadlines, or be there for your friends. But you’ve also got to take care of you. We compromise ourselves to fit in, to be loved, and to be acknowledged. However, if you are constantly compromising yourself, you will never truly feel satisfied.

    How often do you let what others think of you or need from you dictate your actions or decisions?

    If you want to learn how to build self-esteem, be strong, and stand up for yourself. It’s time to identify what you need and want for your life.

    Decide what is important to you. Naming these things will give you an inner compass to guide you. Then, identify your boundaries and the non-negotiables in your life. What are you not willing to put up with anymore? 

    Get clear on these things now, so when the time comes to push back, stand up, or politely say no, you have the back-up and inner guidance to do so.

    8. Look for the Good

    We tend to find what we are looking for. Put simply, people tend to (often unconsciously) look for things that reinforce what they already believe to be true.

    The same goes for how you see yourself. If you believe you are worthless or unlovable, you will find data to back that belief up. However, if you believe you are worthwhile and beautiful, or courageous and strong, you will soon find data to back that up instead.

    The challenge with those who suffer from low self-esteem is that they have gotten into a habit of finding what’s wrong. Often, there is a negative message lodged in their subconscious mind. In some cases, they’ve just gotten really good at seeing all their faults and shortcomings.

    The easiest way to change what you see is to change what you’re looking for. Catch yourself doing something right.

    Try this: Grab a journal, and for the next 21 days, write down 3 things you value, appreciate, or like about yourself. This might include acknowledging your wins or successes, things you are proud of, or noticing what you feel good about. While it may feel challenging at first, you’ll soon start to rewire your brain to see more of what’s right and less of what’s wrong.

    9. Stop Negative Self-Talk

    Much of your belief systems come from the negative story you are telling yourself. Your mind believes what you tell it, and if the story you are playing (over and over again) in your mind is one of the horrible mistakes you’ve made, that’s what you will continue to reinforce and strengthen through negative thoughts, which makes building confidence very difficult.

    Tell yourself you are worthless and incapable; your mind will believe that. Tell yourself you are able and awesome; your mind will believe that, too.

    Catch the negative self-talk and replace it with positive self-talk today if you want to learn how to build self-esteem.

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    10. Find Your Tribe

    Since so much of our self-esteem is influenced by our relationships and how others see and treat us, it’s even more critical that you surround yourself with healthy, uplifting, encouraging, and supportive people.

    Find people who know the real you, people who can speak to the value you bring, your talents and worth. These are people who can be real with you, sharing the positive and the constructive in an uplifting way.

    11. Take Chances

    Many great minds have shared that failure has been key to their success, the stepping stone to their greatness, and the catalyst to their growth. You might have heard the stories about Michael Jordan being cut from his varsity basketball team, Oprah Winfrey being told she wasn’t “meant to be on TV,” and Steven Spielberg being rejected for film school not just once, but three times.

    Taking chances, experiencing failure, and building resilience is key to learning how to build self-esteem. After all, if you never take a chance, you will never know – and you’ll stay stuck in your story.

    12. Find Meaning and Create Goals

    As humans, we all need to learn, develop, grow, and contribute. When you are suffering from low self-esteem, this can create a vicious cycle:

    You don’t feel great about yourself, so you don’t go out there and make stuff happen. Because you’re not being successful, you feel a lack of self-worth.

      It’s time to break the cycle.

      Take steps that allow you to become who you are truly capable of being. Perhaps this is about finding something that gives you meaning, or maybe it’s about the steps you need to take to get from where you are to where you want to be. For example, the act of helping others (contributing, volunteering and being kind) have shown to not only increases self-esteem, but also happiness, health, and satisfaction[3].

      Start with something small and work your way up. Each small success will bring about greater confidence and, ultimately, a stronger sense of self-esteem.

      The Bottom Line

      The journey to higher self-esteem will be challenging, but the challenge is what builds depth, strength, character and resilience. If the reward is greater self-esteem, which leads to greater relationships, a better career, increased health and well being, more success, and a greater sense of self-worth, it’s worth it.

      While you live in a society where you are constantly bombarded with messages of not being enough and how you could be better, just remember this:

      You are deserving of love, happiness, and success. You are imperfectly perfect. It’s not by chance that you have arrived here, on this planet, at this very time, and even if you feel inadequate, unlovable, or unworthy, know that you are none of those things.

      You may not be able to believe this yet, but some part of you, deep down inside, knows this to be true.

      Now, it’s time to take the steps above and realize it for yourself.

      More on How to Build Self-Esteem

      Featured photo credit: Barbora Polednová via unsplash.com

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