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Last Updated on September 2, 2021

50 Ways To Live A More Fulfilling Life

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50 Ways To Live A More Fulfilling Life

Do you ever have those moments in your life where you realise you’ve been doing the same things repeatedly for days or even months? Almost as though you’re on auto-pilot? That’s no way to live life; life’s about opening up your world to new experiences! It’s about adventure, even in the smallest form of the word. Lori Deschene, founder of Tiny Buddha, has 50 ways you can start living a more fulfilling life today:

“To get something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” ~Unknown

Maybe you feel stuck. Or bored. Or frustrated. It’s not that you don’t like the life you live, it’s just that you suspect there’s something more. Some greater sense of meaning or excitement. New connections. New adventures. New possibilities.

The truth is those possibilities are always within your reach. You may not be able to quit your job or develop new skills by osmosis; but every day contains within it countless opportunities, all dictated by the choices you make.

Some of those choices may seem inconsequential when you face them. They’re the little things, after all. Why not do it how you usually do? Why not stay in your comfort zone when it’s just so comfortable there?

Do it for the possibility. The possibility that if you make one minor change you may set the stage for major fulfillment. Sometimes even the smallest shift in thinking or doing can create the biggest opportunity. Here’s how to get started:

Get Out of Your Head

1. Challenge your beliefs about what you can and can’t do. Maybe you are a good leader.

2. Challenge your ideas about how things should work. Sometimes when you decide how things should be you limit your ability to be effective in the world as it actually is.

3. Have a vision session. Write in a journal, create a video, sketch—anything that lets you explore what excites you most.

4. Look for opportunities in a tough situation. Avoid a victim mentality, and opt instead for a “ready for new beginnings” attitude.

5. Remove something from your life that doesn’t serve you to make room for something better and new. You never know what you might let in when you let something go.

6. Commit to something you always say you’ll do but always fail to start—and then take the first step right now.

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7. Turn your focus from something don’t want to something you do want. This allows you to shift your energy from complaining to taking action.

8. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Positive energy creates positive results.

9. Identify the blocks that keep you from breaking a bad habit. Anytime you improve your habits, you pave the path for personal excellence.

10. Forgive someone if you’ve been holding a grudge. Removing that block will open you up where previously you’d shut down.

Get Out in the Open

11. Walk to work and open your eyes. You may find a gym you want to join or an organization where you’d like to volunteer.

12. Talk to someone while waiting in line and ask what they do. You don’t need to wait for a specified event to network.

13. Make an effort to connect with people you pass—smile and make eye contact for a little longer than usual. Being even slightly more open can open up your world.

14. Learn a new skill. Start taking piano lessons or karate classes.

15. Say yes to something you always talk yourself out of—sing karaoke or take a kickboxing class, even you’re afraid of you’ll feel embarrassed.

16. Take a walking lunch. Walk around your neighborhood for a half-hour with no destination in mind, and then eat at your desk when you return. You never know what will happen when you get out without a plan.

17. Volunteer at your local animal shelter or ASPCA chapter.

18. Start something you always assumed it was too late to do. Take gymnastics, learn guitar. If it moves you, get started today. It’s never too late.

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19. Take up urban foraging—the act of foraging for “free” fruits and vegetables around your city (where harvesting is sanctioned). According to worldchanging.com, “It saves money (free food!), it reduces waste (all that fruit isn’t rotting on the ground) and it builds community (…by forcing interaction between strangers…).”

20. Join an adventure club to try new activities, like white water rafting and rock climbing, and meet new people at the same time.

Get in With People

21. Offer to help someone else. Sometimes it’s the best way to help yourself, and not just for the warm fuzzy feeling it provides. You never know what you’ll learn through the process.

22. Carpool to work. This gives you a chance to get to know coworkers better—good for socialization, and possibly good for your career.

23. Compliment a stranger on something you notice. Everyone likes to be appreciated, and it’s a great way to start a conversation.

24. Take pictures of things you find interesting that other people might not notice. When you’re trying to frame the smiley face of leftover food on your plate, people will naturally want to ask what you’re doing. (I know this from experience).

25. Do something you enjoy alone. Go to a museum or read a book in the park. You’re more accessible when you’re not engulfed in a crowd, making it easier for new people to approach you.

26. Wear an interesting T-shirt, something funny or nostalgic. You likely won’t get through a day wearing a Gem or Alf shirt with at least one conversation with someone new!

27. Move one of your friends into a new pool. Take one from the “we keep things light and casual” pool into the “we share our dreams and confide each other” pool. Research shows people who have five or more close friends describe themselves as happy.

28. Bring enough lunch to share with other people at work—particularly childhood favorites. Nothing bonds like shared nostalgia.

29. Pay attention to other people’s body language and expressions so you can offer assistance when they seem to need it.

30. Help someone else get out of their comfort zone. You just may set the precedent that you challenge each other in your friendship.

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Get into Your Work

31. Show up a half-hour early or leave thirty minutes late. You’ll get more done, you may impress your boss, and you might open yourself up to opportunities for growth, particularly if your coworkers aren’t around.

32. Speak up in a meeting, even if you don’t feel confident or you’re afraid you’ll be embarrassed. Your ideas can only take shape if you put them out there.

33. Hold your meeting outside. People work and engage differently in new environments, particularly when they can feel sunlight on their faces.

34. Hold a meeting standing up. This will most likely make it shorter, meaning you’ll be more efficient and create more time to work on something else.

35. Create a business card that speaks to what really matters to you, like Meng Tan’s “jolly good fellow” card.

36. Start learning a new language. The more people you can communicate with, the more valuable you become, particularly for work that involves traveling abraod. Only six percent of the world’s population speaks English.

37. If you don’t work in your dream industry, volunteer within it. This allows you to be your purpose now, even though you don’t have the job; gain experience; and make valuable connections.

38. Find a mentor. Ask someone who does what you’d like to do for tips.

39. Attend a networking event or conference that’s big in your industry. Collect at least ten business cards, and follow up with emails the next day.

40. Consider one of these creative ways to turn everyday situations into opportunities.

Get Caught in the Web

41. Check the Craigslist Community section for activitiesevents, and classes—and then send at least three emails today. Don’t wait.

42. Start a group at Meetup.com to connect with like-minded people, or join one that already exists.

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43. Ask on Twitter if anyone can offer you tips to move forward with your dream.

44. Learn to cook one tweet at a time. @cookbook tweets entire recipes and instructions in 140 characters each.

45. Learn how to do anything that interests you on eHow, Instructables, or wikiHow.

46. Have a “friend trade” day on Facebook. Introduce your friends to one of yours, and ask them to do the same.

47. If you blog, find other bloggers in your niche and email them to introduce yourself.

48. Search WeFollow.com to find the most influential people in your niche, then initiate contact them through Twitter or email.

49. Become a host on Airbnb if you have a room to rent; it’s a great way to meet new people and earn a little extra cash!

50. Join the TinyBuddha forums to seek help and help others who need it. (Or subscribe to tinybuddha.com for more tips to live out loud!)

There’s a lot of information here—way more than you can tackle all at once. But it’s more about quality than quantity. Even just one small change can have a ripple effect into every area of your life. Of course it’s up to you to decide what’s possible.

How do you open your world to new possibilities?

The article was originally published in 50 Ways To Open Your World To New Possibilities | Tiny Buddha

Featured photo credit: Sudo via unsplash.com

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Siobhan Harmer

Siobhan is a passionate writer sharing about motivation and happiness tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on October 7, 2021

How to Make a Change With the Four Quadrants of Change

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How to Make a Change With the Four Quadrants of Change

Quitting smoking is the easiest thing in the world. Some people quit smoking a thousand times in their lives! Everyone knows someone with this mindset.

But this type of change is superficial. It doesn’t last. For real, lasting change to take place, we need to consider the quadrants of change.

Real change, the change that is fundamental, consistent, and longitudinal (lasting over time) has to happen in four quadrants of your life.

It doesn’t have to be quitting smoking; it can be any habit you want to break — drinking, biting your nails, overeating, playing video games, shopping, and more.

Most experts focus on only one area of change, some focus on two areas, but almost none focus on all four quadrants of change. That’s why much of change management fails.

Whether it is in the personal life of a single individual through actions and habits, or in a corporate environment, regarding the way they conduct their business, current change management strategies are lacking.

It all stems from ignoring at least one part of the equation.

So, today, we will cover all four quadrants of change and learn the formula for how to change fundamentally and never go back to your “old self.”

A word of warning: this is simple to do, but it’s not easy. Anyone who tells you that change is easy is either trying to sell you something, or they have no idea what they’re talking about.

Those who want an overnight solution have left the article now, so that leaves you, me, and the real process of change.

The Four Quadrants of Change

There are four areas, or quadrants, in which you need to make a change in order for it to stick. If you miss or ignore a single one of these, your change won’t stick, and you will go back to your previous behavior.

The four quadrants are:

  1. Internal individual – mindset
  2. External individual – behavior
  3. Internal collective – culture/support system
  4. External collective – laws, rules, regulations, teams, systems, states

All four of these quadrants of change may sound like they could carry change all by themselves, but they can’t. So, be sure to implement your change in all four quadrants. Otherwise, it will all be in vain.

First Quadrant — Internal Individual

This quadrant focuses on the internal world of an individual, and it concerns itself with the mindset of a person.

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Our actions stem from our thoughts (most of the time), and if we change our mindset toward something, we will begin to process of changing the way we act.

People who use the law of attraction fall into this category, where they’ve recognized the strength of thoughts and how they make us change ourselves.

Even Lao Tzu had a great saying regarding this:

“Watch your thoughts. They become words. Watch your words. They become deeds. Watch your deeds. They become habits. Watch your habits. They become character. Character is everything.” [1]

One of the most impactful ways you can make a change in this quadrant is to implement what James Clear calls identity-based habits. [2]

Instead of prioritizing the outcome of a change (ex.: I want to lose 20 pounds), you prioritize your identity as a person (I want to become/remain a healthy person).

Here are a couple of examples for you to see the strength of this kind of resolution:

I want to watch many movies = I am a cinema lover
I want to clean my apartment = I am a clean person
I want to harvest my crops = I am a harvester (farmer)
I want to swim = I am a swimmer

This quadrant is about changing the identity you attach to a certain action. Once you re-frame your thinking in this way, you will have completed the first of the quadrants of change.

Second Quadrant — External Individual

This quadrant focuses on the external world of an individual and concerns itself with the behavior of a person.

This is where people like Darren Hardy, the author of the Compound Effect reside. Hardy is about doing small, consistent actions that will create change in the long run (the compound effect).

You want to lose 30 pounds? Start by eating just 150 calories (approximately two slices of bread) less a day, and in two and a half years, you will have lost 30 pounds.

The same rules apply to business, investing, sports, and multiple other areas. Small, consistent actions can create big changes.

This works — I’ve read 20 extra pages a day for the past two years, and it accumulated into 90 books read in two years. [3]

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Here, you have two ways of dealing with change behaviorally: negative environmental design and positive environmental design.

Negative Environmental Design

This is when you eliminate the things from your environment that revert you to the old behavior. If you want to stop eating ice cream, you don’t keep it in your freezer.

If you want to stop watching TV, you remove the batteries from the remote and put them on the other side of the house (it works!).

Positive Environmental Design

This is when you put the things that you want to do withing reach — literally!

You want to learn how to play guitar? Put your guitar right next to your sofa. You want to head to the gym? Put the gym clothes in a backpack and put it on top of your shoes.

You want to read more books? Have a book on your nightstand, your kitchen table, and on the sofa.

You can even combine this last trick with my early advice about removing the batteries from your remote control, combining the negative and positive environmental designs for maximum effect.

Two Sides of the Same Coin

If you just change your behavior and leave your intentions (thoughts) intact, your discipline will fail you and the real change won’t happen.

You will simply revert back to the previous behavior because you haven’t changed the fundamental root of why this problem occurs in the first place.

That is why you need to create change both in the first quadrant (internal individual — mindset) and the second quadrant (external individual — behavior). These quadrants of change are two sides of the same coin.

Most change management would stop here, and that’s why most change management fails.

No matter how much you focus on yourself, there are things that affect our lives that are happening outside of us. That is the focus of the two remaining quadrants.

Third Quadrant — Internal Collective

This quadrant focuses on the internal world of the collective where the individual resides, and it concerns itself with the culture of that collective.

There are two different distinctions here: the Inner Ring and the Outer Ring.

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The Inner Ring

These are your friends and your family. The Inner Ring is the place where the social and cultural norms of your friends and family rule.

So, if everyone in your family is overweight and every lunch is 1,000 calories per person, then you can say goodbye to your idea of becoming healthy.

In this case, the culture of your group, the inner norms that guide the decisions, actions, thoughts, ideas, and patterns of behaviors are all focused on eating as much as possible. [4]

You need to have the support of your Inner Ring if you want to achieve change. If you don’t have this support, the the best way to proceed is by either changing your entire Inner Ring or distancing yourself from it.

Beware — most Inner Rings won’t accept the fact that you want to change and will undermine you on many occasions — some out of habit, some due to jealousy, and some because supporting you would mean that they have to change, too.

You don’t have to cut ties with people, but you can consciously decide to spend less time with them.

The Outer Ring

The Outer Ring consists of the culture of your company, community, county, region, and country. For example, it’s quite hard to be an open-minded person in North Nigeria, no matter how you, your friends, and your family think.

The Outer Ring is the reason why young people move to the places that share their value systems instead of staying in their current city, county, or country.

Sometimes, you need to change your Outer Ring as well because its culture is preventing you from changing.

I see this every single day in my country, where the culture can be so toxic that it doesn’t matter how great of a job you have or how great your life currently looks — the culture will change you, inch by inch, until you become like it.

Fourth Quadrant — External Collective

This quadrant focuses on the external world of the collective where the individual resides, and it concerns itself with the systems, teams, laws, and rules of that collective.

This quadrant is about the external manifestations of the collective culture. If the majority of the environment thinks in a certain way, they will create institutions that will implement that way of thinking.

The same rules apply to companies.

One example for companies would be those managers who think that employees are lazy, lack responsibility, and need constant supervision (or what is called Theory X in management).

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Then, those managers implement systems that reflect that kind of culture– no flexible work hours, strict rules about logging work, no remote work, etc.

Your thoughts, however, may be different. You might believe that people want responsibility, that they are capable of self-direction, that they can make good decisions, and that managers don’t need to stand on their necks if they want something done (this is called Theory Y in management).

Then, you would want to have flexible working hours, different ways of measuring your productivity (for example, not time on the job but work produced), and remote work, if possible for your profession.

This is when you enter into a conflict with the external collective quadrant. Here, you have four options: leave, persevere, neglect, and voice.

Leave

You can simply leave the company/organization/community/country and go to a different place. Most people decide to do this.

Persevere

This is when you see that the situation isn’t good, but you decide to stick at it and wait for the perfect time (or position) where you can implement change.

Neglect

This is where you give up on the change you want to see and just go with the flow, doing the minimal work necessary to keep the status quo.

These are the people who are disengaged at work and are doing just the bare minimum necessary (which, in the U.S. is around 65% of the workforce).

I did this only once, and it’s probably the only thing I regret doing in my life.

Voice

This is where you actively work on changing the situation, and the people in charge know that you want to create a change.

It doesn’t matter if it’s your company, community, or your country; you are actively calling for a change and will not stop until it’s implemented.

Putting It All Together

When you take it all into account, change is simple, in theory, but it isn’t easy to execute. It takes work in all four quadrants:

  1. Internal individual — mindset
  2. External individual — behavior
  3. Internal collective — culture/support system
  4. External collective — laws, rules, regulations, teams, systems, states

Some will require more work, some less, but you will need to create a change in all four of them.

But don’t let that discourage you because change is possible, and many people have done this. The best time to start changing was yesterday, but the second best time is today.

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Featured photo credit: Djim Loic via unsplash.com

Reference

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