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How To Select Reading And Entertainment That Enriches Your Life

How To Select Reading And Entertainment That Enriches Your Life

“Every day, think as you wake up, ‘Today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.'”

-Dalai Lama

Let the Dalai Lama’s words inspire you to enrich your life. One of the best ways to develop yourself is through the information you consume.

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Reading enriches life.

As you read, whether fiction or nonfiction, you expand your mind. Reading allows you to experience new worlds, perspectives and ideas.

The more you read, the better you can relate and react to the world around you. As you process all of this information, you will find it is also easier to come up with your own new, unique ideas.

It is up to you to choose reading that will enrich you.

Enriching your life with reading can also be fun and enjoyable. However, reading isn’t the only medium to enrich your life. You can also select audio and video programs that are enriching.

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The question then arises, how to choose materials that are enriching. The best way to choose materials that enrich your life is to ask yourself a few questions.

Is there something new to learn?

Choosing materials that teach you something new will expand your universe.

  • Watch a TV Program on how to do your next home improvement project.
  • Learn about your next vacation destination through guidebooks, podcasts, articles or videos.
    • Explore the culture through local legends
    • Learn some phrases in the local language
    • Immerse yourself in the history of the peoples, land or architecture
  • If you are choosing a fiction book for your enjoyment you can still find it enriching.
    • You may learn about a new place, time or even a profession the characters have.

Strive to learn at least one new thing every day. It’s easy when you surround yourself with great information and resources.

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Is the material mostly positive?

This will not be everyone’s preference. However, I find that keeping the information I consume at least 90% positive makes life more enjoyable. It is easier to see the best in the people and world around you when you focus on the good that surrounds us.

  • Choose news outlets that focus on more positive stories (or simply change the channel for ugly news).
    • Look for sources that focus on positive news
      • http://www.dailygood.org/
      • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/good-news/
      • http://abcnews.go.com/US/Good_News/
  • Read biographies of people who inspire and have accomplished great things.
  • Watch movies that have a positive, uplifting message.

Am I interested in the topic?

Consuming information that isn’t of interest to you can be drudgery. Remember your school days: what was your least favorite subject? I bet the thought of having to attend that class was torture some days.

Better to find a topic or an aspect of the topic that interests you.

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  • Make a list of things you’ve always wanted to learn about.
  • What are your favorite tv shows? They may help point you towards subjects you would like to learn more about.
  • Dislike a topic? Look for a method that makes it more interesting.
    • If you don’t like history, you might enjoy historical fiction or movies that are period based.
    • You may find reading a nonfiction book is a challenge, whereas listening to the same book in audio format while driving is easy and enjoyable.

Reading enriches life. As you enrich your life through your entertainment choices, take a moment to journal each day about what you learned. Processing and recording your thoughts in this way will help you get even more from the material and formulate new ideas.

Featured photo credit: Ed Yourdon via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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