“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs (101 Most Inspiring Quotes of All Time)Advertising
How do you feel about your life today? Are you living every day in exuberance? Do you love what you’re doing? Are you excited every single moment? Are you looking forward to what’s coming up next? Are you living your best life?Advertising
If your answer to any of the above is a no, maybe or not sure, that means you’re not living your life to the fullest. Which really shouldn’t be the case, because your life experience is up to you to create. Why settle for anything less than what you can get? You deserve nothing but the best. In the past years of my life, especially since after I pursued my passion in ’08, I’ve been living every day to the fullest, filled with joy, passion and rigor. It’s an amazing experience that I want you to experience that too.Advertising
This is a list of 101 timeless principles I use to live my best life, and I hope they’ll help you to do so too. As you live in alignment with them, you’ll find yourself becoming more conscious, more alive, and more importantly, experiencing life on a whole new level. Be sure to bookmark or even print out this page and refer to it daily to guide you to your best life.Advertising
Here are 101 ways to live your life to the fullest:
- Live every day on a fresh new start. Don’t be held back by what happened yesterday, the day before, the week before, the year before, and so on.
- Be true to who you are. Stop trying to please other people or be someone else. It’s better to be an original version of yourself than an exact duplicate of someone else.
- Quit complaining. Don’t be like the howling dog, always howling and never doing anything. Stop complaining about your problems and work on them instead.
- Be proactive. Stop waiting for others around you to do something and take action yourself instead.
- Rather than think “what if”, think “next time”. Don’t think about things you can’t change (namely what has happened and thoughts of other people) or unhappy things because these are disempowering. Instead focus on the things you can action upon. That’s the most constructive thing you can do in any situation.
- Focus on WHAT vs. How. Focus on WHAT you want first, before you think about HOW to do it. Anything is possible, as long as you set your mind, heart and soul to it.
- Create your own opportunities. You can wait for opportunities to drop in life. Or, you can go out there and create your own opportunities. The latter is definite and much more empowering.
- Live more consciously each day. Stop sleepwalking through life. Your life is something to be experienced, not coasted through.
- Be committed to your growth. In the Map of Consciousness, there are 17 levels of consciousness – from Shame to Enlightenment. The higher level of consciousness you are in, the richer your life experience. Achieving higher consciousness comes from your commitment to growth.
- Know your inner self. This means knowing who you are and what you represent. Be clear of your personal identity.
- Discover your life purpose. Set the mission statement for your life; one that will drive you to life your life to the fullest.
- Live in alignment with your purpose. What can you start doing immediately that will let you live 100% in alignment with your purpose? How can you live true to your purpose within every context/situation/environment you are in, every second of the day?
- Set your life commandments. Define your personal commandments to live your best life. What adages and principles do you want to follow in your life?
- Discover your values. Values are the essence of what makes you, you. Read article #11: Discover Your Values in Personal Excellence Book (Volume 1) on the importance of values, my values and how you can create your own.
- Hold yourself to the highest conduct. Every one of us have our own set of ethics, principles and moral codes. Live true to them every day. Also, live in full alignment with your purpose (#11), commandments (#13) and values (#14).
- Design your ideal life. What is your ideal life? Design it. First, assess your life at the moment via the life wheel. Then, ask yourself what it takes to live a 10/10 life (in all 10 areas – career, health, love, social, etc…). What is the life that will make you the best person you can ever be? Set your BHAGs – big, hairy and audacious goals! There are no limits in life – only those you set for yourself!
- Stop putting life on hold. Are you putting any parts of your life on hold? What is one area of your life you have been putting off/avoiding/denying? Uncover it and start working on it.
- Create your life handbook. Your life handbook is your life-long personal manual to live your best life – from your mission statement, your values, your long-term goals, short-term goals, personal strengths, blind spots to address, plans, among others. Create your book first then build on from there.
- Set your goals. After you design your ideal life, set your 5-year, 3-year and 1-year goals. The more specific your goals, the better! Read the 10 principles on how to get winning goals.
- Take action on your goals and dreams. Create an action plan with your strategy, plan and immediate next steps. ESPER: 7-part Goal Achievement series is a great tool to get you started.
- Create your bucket list, i.e. things to do before you die. Then, get out to achieve them.
- Don’t do things for the sake of doing them. Always evaluate what you’re doing and only do it if there is meaning behind them. Don’t be afraid to quit the things that don’t serve your path.
- Do the things you love, because life is too precious to spend it doing anything else. If you don’t enjoy something, then don’t do it. Spend your time and energy on things that bring you fulfillment and happiness.
- Discover your passion in life. What sets you on fire? Go out there (and explore inward) to know what you love to do.
- Make your passion a full-fledged career. Then, start pursuing it. Stop working in a job you are passionless toward. Quit your job when you are ready to do it full-time.
- Turn your passion into a huge success. Turn your passion into a multi-million dollar business. Better yet, make it a multi-billion dollar one.
- Learn from criticism. Be open to criticism but don’t be affected by it. Criticism is meant to help you be a better person. Learn from it.
- Be positive. Is the glass half empty or half full? How about neither? It’s actually all-full – the bottom half is water, the top half is air. It’s all a matter of perception. Take on empowering perceptions, not those that bind you. If you can see the positive sides of every thing, you’ll be able to live a much richer life than others. Purge unnecessary negativity from your life.
- Don’t badmouth other people. If there’s anything you don’t like about someone, say it to him/her in the face – otherwise, don’t say it at all. It’s not nice to do that.
- Be empathetic. If everyone only see life from his/her own perspective, we’ll forever be close-minded and insular. See things from others’ shoes.
- Be a compassionate person. Show compassion and kindness to everyone around you
- Develop 100% self-belief. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Remove your limiting beliefs and replace them with empowering ones (In Days 26-27 of Be a Better Me in 30 Days Program, you identify your limiting beliefs and replace them with empowering ones). If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect others to believe in you?
- Let go of unhappy past. This means past grievances, heartbreaks, sadness, disappointments, etc.
- Forgive those who may have done you wrong in the past. “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and realize it was you.” – Lewis B. Smedes
- Let go of attachments. Don’t fixate yourself with a certain status, fame, wealth or material possessions. These are impermanent and will ultimately disappear one day when you die. Focus on growing and living life to the fullest instead.
- Let go of relationships that do not serve you. That means negative people, dishonest people,people who don’t respect you, people are overly critical and relationships that prevent you from growing.
- Spend more time with people who enable you. Hang out with people who you compatible with, like-minded people, people who are positive, successful, strong achievers and positive for your growth. You are after all the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
- Build genuine, authentic connections with people around you – strangers, friends, family, colleagues, business partners, customers/clients, etc. Spend more time to know them better and foster stronger connections.
- Connect with an old friend. There is no end to the number of friends you can have. Reach out to people from the past.
- Do a kind deed a day. What is something you can do today that will make the world a better place? Go and do it.
- Help other people who are in need. Voluntarism is one outlet. You can also start with your friends and family.
- Help people when they least expect it, without reason. You don’t need any reason to help others. Do it because you want to. Share the love with everyone.
- Go dating (if you’re single).
- Fall in love ♥
- Review your life. Set a weekly review session to assess how you are doing for your goals and your life. Review your purpose once every 3-6 months too so you know you’re on the right path.
- Overcome procrastination. Procrastination is a huge waste of your time (and your life). Get rid of it once and for all.
- 30 minutes a day. Set aside at least 30 minutes every day to work on a quadrant 2 goal that, when you achieve it, will bring about the biggest source of fulfillment and happiness in your life
- Get out there and make new friends – whether in your workplace, online, friends’ friends, social groups, etc. Read: 10 Tips To Make New Friends
- Make deeper connections. Beyond making new friends, aim to make deeper connections out of them. Read: How To Have More Best Friends in Life
- Be your advisor (from the future). Imagine you’re the future you, 5 years later. How would you advise yourself? Write it down. Now, apply them. Check out Future Prediction Exercise article inPersonal Excellence Book (Volume 1), which teaches you to predict your future, then learn from it.
- Write a letter to your future self. Actually, write 3 letters – for yourself in 1, 3 and 5 years. The longer the letters, the better. Envision how you’ll be like in the future. Make each letter a minimum 2 pages long. Now, seal them and put them in a safe place. Set it in your calendar so you’ll know to open them when it’s time. This will inspire you to work your hardest and achieve your maximum results in the time period.
- Declutter. Start from your computer, then your table, your room, your bag/wallet, and your home. The more you throw the unwanted and old stuff away, the more room you’re creating for new things to enter.
- Keep learning. There is something to learn from everything you see, hear and experience. This includes your mistakes and past misshaps (if any). Learn to interpret each event objectively. Focus on what you can learn from it so you can apply them moving forward.
- Keep developing yourself. Equip yourself with a huge breadth of knowledge. Learn different skills, pick up different hobbies, study different fields.
- Keep upgrading yourself. Equip yourself with a huge depth of knowledge. While you can usually only level up to 99 in video games, in real life you can level up to infinity. Go for further studies if need be. Develop your skills. Level up. Build your >10,000 hours in each skill.
- Try new things. What’s something you’d normally not do? Get out of your comfort zone try something different. It can be something simple like taking a new bus route, trying a new food item, picking up a new hobby, or something bigger like studying a different field, picking a new skill, traveling to a country you’ll never visit, etc. You set your own limits.
- Get yourself out there. This applies for everything. (a) Get out there geographically. Go out, travel and explore the world. Set sail into the sea. Go backpacking by yourself and visit as many countries as possible. Get on a road trip and visit the different places that come out. (B) Get out there situationally. Stop sticking to routines and comfort zones. Try something different. (c) Get out there in life. Stop watching TV and living vicariously through the TV characters. Go and live the life of your dreams.
- Be the absolute best in what you do. Go for the #1 position in what you do. If you want to spend your time doing something, you might as well be the best in it. Strive for the best – you don’t deserve anything lesser than that.
- Don’t settle. In the same lines as #58, don’t settle for less. Don’t settle for someone you don’t like as your partner. Don’t settle for a job you don’t like #25). Don’t settle for friends who make you feel like a lesser person (#37). Don’t settle for a weight you are unhappy with. Go for what you really want.
- Stretch yourself. What are you doing now? How can you achieve more? Set bigger goals. Explore your limits and break them.
- Embrace new ideas. Don’t mentally limit yourself; Let your mind be a breeding ground for new ideas. Read: 25 Brainstorming Techniques.
- Create your inspirational haven. Turn your room into a place you love. Do the same for your work desk. Get rid of things that make you unproductive. Surround it with things that inspire you and trigger you to action. Read more: How To Create An Inspiring Room
- Behave as your ideal self will. All of us have an ideal vision of who we want to be. How is your ideal self like? How can you start to be that ideal self now?
- Set your role models in life. With role models, you become much better than you can be by yourself. I personally am inspired by Tyra Banks (for her passion for helping women build their self-esteem and changing notions of beauty), Ivanka Trump (for her success, intellect and beauty), Donald Trump (for his success and drive in life), Oprah (for being who she is), Lady Gaga (for her talent and not being afraid to be different), and many more. Seeing them and what they do reminds me of what I can be and what I can do, so they drive me on to greater heights.
- Get mentors and/or coaches. There’s no faster way to improve than to have someone work with you on your goals. Not only will they drive you to achieve more for yourself, they’ll also share with you important advice which you can use to create even more success for yourself. Many of my clients approach me to coach them and the net result: they achieve significantly more progress and results in their life than if they had worked alone.
- Uncover your blind spots. The more you uncover, the more you grow, the better you become.
- Increase your consciousness. The more conscious you are, the more evolved you become.
- Ask for feedback. As much as we try to uncover our blind spots(#66), there will be areas we cannot identify. Asking for feedback gives us an additional perspective. Some people to approach will be friends, family, colleagues, boss, or even acquaintances, since they will have no preset bias and can give their feedback objectively. Day 17 of Be a Better Me in 30 Days Program: Get Feedback From Others is about getting feedback from others so as to uncover our blind spots.
- Generate passive income. Create passive income streams so your income is not tied to the time you spend on your work. Of course you’ll still continue to work, but only because you want to and not because you have to.
- Help others live their best lives. There is no better way to grow than to help others grow. Ultimately, the world is one. We are all in this together.
- Get married / Start your family / Have kids!
- Improve the world. There are many things in the world that need your attention and help.Poverty. Disaster recovery. Illiteracy. Children in need. Depleting rainforests. Animal rescue.Endangered species. How can you do your part?
- Spearhead a humanitarian cause/organization you are passionate about.
- Give more value than you receive. There is so much unspeakable joy that comes from giving. And when you keep giving, you’ll find that you actually receive a lot more in return, in spades.
- Be big picture focus. You can either set your eyes on the big things or get hung up by the nitty gritty details. The former will help you get a lot more out of life than the latter. Focus on the big rocks in life and put first things first (Quadrant 2 tasks). Practice the 80/20 rule – focus on the 20% things that give you the 80% fulfillment in life.
- Be clear of your end objective. What is the end goal you seek? Is what you’re doing bringing you there? If not, put it aside. As long as you keep taking on things that meet your end goal, you’ll eventually reach there.
- Go the 80/20 route. For every goal you have, there are different paths to achieve it. Pick out the 80/20 path, i.e. the most effective path that brings you there the fastest with least amount of effort.
- Prioritize (80/20 actions). As you embark on the 80/20 path for your goals, focus on the important tasks and cut out the less important ones. That means do the 20% actions that give you the 80% results.
- Live in the moment. Are your thoughts wandering around all the time? Calm your mind down. Be present. The only time you’re ever living is in this moment. Meditation helps to remove mental clutter.
- Relish in the little moments. Snuggling under warm covers on a rainy day. Ice cream on a hot day. A kiss with your loved one. Being with your best friend. A walk by the park. The breeze on your face. Quiet, alone time. Watching the sun rise/set. Soak in all these little moments of life. They are what make up your life.
- Take a break. Being the best also requires you to take breaks when needed. Make sure you rest when needed. Doing so lets you walk the longer mile ahead.
- Stop wanting things a certain way. I wrote a 3-part series before on the downsides of perfectionism and how to overcome them. Be firm on your end goals (your objective goals) and your ideals, but let go of the fixation that things have to be a certain way. You’ll realize it’s by doing that that you achieve what you want.
- Focus on creation. Think about what you can bring to the world, and create that.
- Don’t criticize or judge others. Respect others for who they are.
- The only person you can change is yourself. Stop expecting others to behave in a certain way. Rather than demand that others around you change, focus on changing yourself. You’ll be happier and live a more fulfilling life this way.
- Embrace gratitude. Be grateful for everything you have today, and everything you will get in the future.
- Express gratitude. Let the people who’ve touched you know of your gratitude toward them. You’ll be surprised what a little act like this can do. If you don’t tell them, they’ll never know.
- Let loose and have fun. Sing at the top of your lungs. Dance in the rain. Run barefoot and feel the ground underneath your feet. Release of your self-imposed shackles and be free .
- Get into nature. Many of us live in concrete jungles. Soak in the beauty of nature.
- You have a choice. Recognize you always have a choice in how to live your life.
- Laugh more. Are you reading this with a straight face? Smile and have fun.
- Embrace change. The only thing that’s constant is change. Change means growth. Rather than resist change, learn to versatile such that you can make the best out of the changes that come. In fact, become an agent of change.
- Be more risk-inclined. Don’t be afraid to take risks. The bigger your risks, the bigger your return.
- Embrace mistakes. The more mistakes you make, the faster you learn. Make sure to draw lessons so you can build on them. (#53)
- Embrace disappointments. Many people try to avoid feeling disappointed. They develop a resistant relationship with disappointment. However, disappointment is part and parcel of being human – it reflects your real passions. Don’t resist it – instead, embrace it. Understand it, then channel into it to create more in life. Read: How To Overcome Disappointment (4-part series)
- Challenge your fears. All of us have fears. Fear of uncertainty, fear of public speaking, fear of risk… All our fears keep us in the same position and prevent us from growing. Rather than avoid your fears, recognize they are the compass for growth. Address and overcome them. Read: How To Overcome Fear (3-Part Series).
- Maximize your mind, body, heart and soul. Living your best life requires you to maximize yourself mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. If you’re highly successful, very materially abundant, have a big circle of friends, very spiritually aware but you neglect your physical health, that’s not living your life to the fullest. The same for other scenarios where a part of you is blocked off. Maximize all 4 aspects of you.
- Be your best self. Essentially all the articles here at Personal Excellence are about being your best self and achieving your highest potential. It’s only through being the best we can be that we live our life to the fullest. This is why the motto of the site is “Be your best self, Live your best life“.
- Love yourself. You are the person you have to live with for the rest with your life. Treasure and love yourself.
- Love others. Be grateful for all the people around you because they help you to grow. They enrich your life experience. Without them, your life would not have been the same.
- Last but not least: Love life. I always find living to be a fascinating experience. How we’re all on earth, with millions of species, 30,000 different life forms, over 7 billion people, and all thriving in its own way, existing, co-existing and in co-creation mode. There’s so much we don’t know out there, so much to be experienced in life, that it’s just wonderful.
101 Ways To Live Your Life To The Fullest | Personal Excellence
Last Updated on May 21, 2019
How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship
For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.
If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:
You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.
You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.
In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.
You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.
People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.
You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.
You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.
The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.
You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.
Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.
If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.
Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:
- Understand your own communication style
- Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
- Communicate with precision and care
- Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger
1. Understand Your Communication Style
To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.
In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.
Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.
2. Learn Others Communication Styles
Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.
If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:
“How do you prefer to receive information?”
This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.
To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.
3. Exercise Precision and Care
A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.
On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.
Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.
I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.
I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.
In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.
The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.
Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.
4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger
Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.
In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,
“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”
Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.
Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.
It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.
It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.
It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.
Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.
Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.
The Bottom Line
When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.
I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.
More Articles About Effective Communication
- Conflict Management Styles for Effective Communication at Work
- 13 Best Communication Books for Stronger Social Skills & Relationships
- How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home
- 7 Most Important Communication Techniques to Master in the Workplace
Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com
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