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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 March 21, 2019

11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

Most gurus talk about habits in a way that doesn’t help you:

You need to push yourself more. You can’t be lazy. You need to wake up at 5 am. You need more motivation. You can never fail…blah blah “insert more gibberish here.”

But let me share with you the unconventional truths I found out:

To build and change habits, you don’t need motivation or wake up at 5 am. Heck, you can fail multiple times, be lazy, have no motivation and still pull it off with ease.

It’s quite simple and easy to do, especially with the following list I’m going to show to you. But remember, Jim Rohn used to say,

“What is simple and easy to do is also simple and easy not to do.”

The important things to remember when changing your habits are both simple and easy, just don’t think that they don’t make any difference because they do.

In fact, they are the only things that make a difference.

Let’s see what those small things are, shall we?

1. Start Small

The biggest mistake I see people doing with habits is by going big. You don’t go big…ever. You start small with your habits.

Want to grow a book reading habit? Don’t start reading a book a day. Start with 10 pages a day.

Want to become a writer? Don’t start writing 10,000 words a day. Start with 300 words.

Want to lose weight? Don’t stop eating ice cream. Eat one less ball of it.

Whatever it is, you need to start small. Starting big always leads to failure. It has to, because it’s not sustainable.

Start small. How small? The amount needs to be in your comfort zone. So if you think that reading 20 pages of a book is a bit too much, start with 10 or 5.

It needs to appear easy and be easy to do.

Do less today to do more in a year.

2. Stay Small

There is a notion of Kaizen which means continuous improvement. They use this notion in habits where they tell you to start with reading 1 page of a book a day and then gradually increase the amount you do over time.

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But the problem with this approach is the end line — where the “improvement” stops.

If I go from reading 1 page of a book a day and gradually reach 75 and 100, when do I stop? When I reach 1 book a day? That is just absurd.

When you start a habit, stay at it in the intensity you have decided. Don’t push yourself for more.

I started reading 20 pages of a book a day. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’ve read 101 books in that period. There is no way I will increase the number in the future.

Why?

Because reading 40 to 50 books a year is enough.

The same thing applies to every other habit out there.

Pick a (small) number and stay at it.

3. Bad Days Are 100 Percent Occurrence

No matter how great you are, you will have bad days where you won’t do your habit. Period.

There is no way of going around this. So it’s better to prepare yourself for when that happens instead of thinking that it won’t ever happen.

What I do when I miss a day of my habit(s) is that I try to bounce back the next day while trying to do habits for both of those days.

Example for that is if I read 20 pages of a book a day and I miss a day, the next day I will have to read 40 pages of a book. If I miss writing 500 words, the next day I need to write 1000.

This is a really important point we will discuss later on rewards and punishments.

This is how I prepare for the bad days when I skip my habit(s) and it’s a model you should take as well.

4. Those Who Track It, Hack It

When you track an activity, you can objectively tell what you did in the past days, weeks, months, and years. If you don’t track, you will for sure forget everything you did.

There are many different ways you can track your activities today, from Habitica to a simple Excel sheet that I use, to even a Whatsapp Tracker.

Peter Drucker said,

“What you track is what you do.”

So track it to do it — it really helps.

But tracking is accompanied by one more easy activity — measuring.

5. Measure Once, Do Twice

Peter Drucker also said,

“What you measure is what you improve.”

So alongside my tracker, I have numbers with which I measure doses of daily activities:

For reading, it’s 20 pages.
For writing, it’s 500 words.
For the gym, it’s 1 (I went) or 0 (didn’t go).
For budgeting, it’s writing down the incomes and expenses.

Tracking and measuring go hand in hand, they take less than 20 seconds a day but they create so much momentum that it’s unbelievable.

6. All Days Make a Difference

Will one day in the gym make you fit? It won’t.

Will two? They won’t.

Will three? They won’t.

Which means that a single gym session won’t make you fit. But after 100 gym sessions, you will look and feel fit.

What happened? Which one made you fit?

The answer to this (Sorites paradox)[1] is that no single gym session made you fit, they all did.

No single day makes a difference, but when combined, they all do. So trust the process and keep on going (small).

7. They Are Never Fully Automated

Gurus tell you that habits become automatic. And yes, some of them do, like showering a certain way of brushing your teeth.

But some habits don’t become automatic, they become a lifestyle.

What I mean by that is that you won’t automatically “wake up” in the gym and wonder how you got there.

It will just become a part of your lifestyle.

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The difference is that you do the first one automatically, without conscious thought, while the other is a part of how you live your life.

It’s not automatic, but it’s a decision you don’t ponder on or think about — you simply do it.

It will become easy at a certain point, but they will never become fully automated.

8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

Marshall Goldsmith has a great book with the same title to it. The phrase means that sometimes, you will need to ditch certain habits to make room for other ones which will bring you to the next step.

Don’t be afraid to evolve your habits when you sense that they don’t bring you where you want to go.

When I started reading, it was about reading business and tactic books. But two years into it, I switched to philosophy books which don’t teach me anything “applicable,” but instead teach me how to think.

The most important ability of the 21st century is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The strongest tree is the willow tree – not because it has the strongest root or biggest trunk, but because it is flexible enough to endure and sustain anything.

Be like a willow, adapting to the new ways of doing things.

9. Set a Goal and Then Forget It

The most successful of us know what they want to achieve, but they don’t focus on it.

Sounds paradoxical? You’re right, it does. But here is the logic behind it.

You need to have a goal of doing something – “I want to become a healthy individual” – and then, you need to reverse engineer how to get there with your habits- “I will go to the gym four times a week.”

But once you have your goal, you need to “forget” about it and only focus on the process. Because you are working on the process of becoming healthy and it’s always in the making. You will only be as healthy as you take care of your body.

So you have a goal which isn’t static but keeps on moving.

If you went to the gym 150 times year and you hit your goal, what would you do then? You would stop going to the gym.

This is why goal-oriented people experience yo-yo effect[2] and why process-oriented people don’t.

The difference between process-oriented and goal-oriented people is that the first focus on daily actions while others only focus on the reward at the finish line.

Set a goal but then forget about it and reap massive awards.

10. Punish Yourself

Last two sections are pure Pavlovian – you need to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. You are the only person who decides what is good and what is bad for you, but when you do, you need to rigorously follow that.

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I’ve told you in point #3 about bad days and how after one occurs, I do double the work on the next day. That is one of my forms of punishments.

It’s the need to tell your brain that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they lead to bad outcomes. That’s what punishments are for.

You want to tell your brain that there are real consequences to missing your daily habits.[3]

No favorite food to eat or favorite show to watch or going to the cinema for a new Marvel movie- none, zero, zilch.

The brain will remember these bad feelings and will try to avoid the behaviors that led to them as much as possible.

But don’t forget the other side of the same coin.

11. Reward Yourself

When you follow and execute on your plan, reward yourself. It’s how the brain knows that you did something good.

Whenever I finish one of my habits for the day, I open my tracker (who am I kidding, I always keep it open on my desktop) and fill it with a number. As soon as I finish reading 20 pages of a book a day (or a bit more), I open the tracker and write the number down.

The cell becomes green and gives me an instant boost of endorphin – a great success for the day. Then, it becomes all about not breaking the chain and having as many green fields as possible.

After 100 days, I crunch some numbers and see how I did.

If I have less than 10 cheat days, I reward myself with a great meal in a restaurant. You can create your own rewards and they can be daily, weekly, monthly or any arbitrary time table that you create.

Primoz Bozic, a productivity coach, has gold, silver, and bronze medals as his reward system.[4]

If you’re having problems creating a system which works for you, contact me via email and we can discuss specifics.

In the End, It Matters

What you do matters not only to you but to the people around you.

When you increase the quality of your life, you indirectly increase the quality of life of people around you. And sometimes, that is all the “motivation” we need to start.

And that’s the best quote for the end of this article:

“Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

Keep going.

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More Resources to Help You Build Habits

Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sorites paradox
[2] Muscle Zone: What causes yo-yo effect and how to avoid it?
[3] Growth Habits: 5 Missteps That Cause You To Quit Building A Habit
[4] Primoz Bozic: The Lean Review: How to Plan Your 2019 in 20 Minutes

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