“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 January 24, 2021
How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often
Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?
For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.
But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.
It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.
And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.
Table of Contents
The Importance of Saying No
When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.
In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.
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Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.
Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.
Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”
When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.
How We Are Pressured to Say Yes
It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.
From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.
We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.
And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.
At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.
The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.
How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?
Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.
But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.
3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No
1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.
If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.
2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time
When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.
Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.
3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters
When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.
6 Ways to Start Saying No
Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:
1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter
One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?
Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.
2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)
Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.
Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.
3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No
Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.
Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.
You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.
4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It
Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.
Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.
5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness
When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.
Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.
Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.
6. Consider How to Use a Modified No
If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.
Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.
Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.
Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.
Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.
More Tips on How to Say No
- How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life
- 12 Rules for Self-Management
- 40 Self Care Techniques To Rejuvenate And Restore Yourself
Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com
|||^||Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You|
|||^||Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out|
|||^||Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”|