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How to Live Life to the Fullest

How to Live Life to the Fullest

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“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” – Mark Twain

You only live once, and life is tragically short. It’s easy to look at people who are happy and assume they don’t understand your pain. The older you get, the more you realize that happiness takes work. People who smile in public have been through every bit as much as people who cry, frown, scream, etc. They just have the courage and strength to smile through it anyway. So how do you ensure you’re living life to the fullest? Here are some tips to help you out:

Anonymous in the Park
    Versability Meditating in the Park
    • Decide what’s important to you. It doesn’t matter what it is. Don’t do what you think people want you to do. Your parents, friends, community, and society in general all have their opinions, but at the end of the day, you’re the only person who will be around for every moment of your life. Do what makes you happy. Everything else will fall into place.
    • Take risks… a lot of them. Sometimes there’s danger involved in life, but every reward carries risk with it. If you never take risks, you’ll never get anywhere in life. When people look back on their lives, they regret the chances they didn’t take more than the ones they did.
    • Tell people you love them. Family will always appreciate hearing you love them. It will brighten a stranger’s day. If you have a romantic interest in someone, just go for it. There are a lot of ways it may end, and only one of them keeps them in your life forever. Just go for it. You have nothing to lose.
    • Live in the present. Your past is important to learn from. Your future is important to work towards. At the end of the day, though, the only thing that exists outside of your head is the present. So think about your past and future, but only dwell on the present.
    • Ignore the haters. No matter what you decide to do with your life, there will always be someone around to point out the many ways you’ll fail. Know that every winner loses, but not every loser wins. Successful people don’t start out successful. What makes them successful is that they keep pushing through failure.
    • Don’t compromise your values. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Don’t compromise on your internal code of ethics. Life doesn’t work like a movie. It’s filled with gray areas. Trust your instincts. Do whatever you want so long as you can look yourself in the mirror.
    • Do charitable acts for others. Every day, you’ll see someone who could use help. It’s easy to look at a homeless person on the street and think, “I wish I could help him.” What will happen if you do? If you gave $1 to that homeless person every day, you’d be out $365 a year if you worked every day. It doesn’t take much.
    • Keep your mind open. Just because you’re right about something doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to look at it. Listening to ideas you don’t agree with or understand keeps your brain active and healthy.
    • Speak through your actions. You’ll hear people say, “I had that idea,” every time you see someone create something great. Everyone had the idea for Facebook first. The reason Mark Zuckerberg got rich off of it is because he went out and did it while everyone else was talking about it. Ideas are useless if you don’t act on them.

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    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    No!

    It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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    But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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    What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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    But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

    1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
    2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
    3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
    4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
    5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
    6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
    7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
    8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
    9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
    10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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