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50 Ways To Live A More Fulfilling Life

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 thingsshould 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?

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She is the author of the Tiny Wisdom eBook series (which includes one free eBook) and Tiny Buddha’s Guide to Loving Yourself. She’s also the co-founder of the eCourseRecreate Your Life Story: Change the Script and Be the HeroFollow @tinybuddha for inspiring posts and wisdom quotes.

50 Ways To Open Your World To New Possibilities | Tiny Buddha

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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 July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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