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Published on July 7, 2020

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!

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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.

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.

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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.

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 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 the Core Skills now, including giving you some 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.

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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.

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.

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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.

The Bottom Line

By concentrating on the development of the six Life Aspects and the eight Core Skills, 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

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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