How to Live a Full Life (Without Compromising on What Truly Matters)
By Leon Ho, Founder of Lifehack
Most of us juggle between work and life, and learning how to live a full life is no easy task. Why?
For some of us, it needs not be a long life as long as it’s been a fulfilling life of achievements, happiness and no regrets. But, how many of us actually go on to experience that entirely? It sometimes sounds more like a pipe dream–a fantasy rather than reality.
It’s a common misconception that you must sacrifice certain parts of your full life to fulfil others — from work, to health, to relationships.
Maybe you’re overwhelmed by all the daily demands. Maybe you don’t feel like you have enough time and energy. Or maybe you just haven’t untapped your own strengths and potential to achieve everything you want in life, and so when in times of adversity, you just give up trying to balance them all.
And then you’ll also get comments from some, saying that this ‘fulfilling life’ is only possible if you’re so rich that you don’t have to care about working, paying the bills or providing for your family. While there is some truth to that, I’m happy to say that financial freedom isn’t the only answer to living a fulfilling life.
But here’s the truth:
We cannot afford to keep trading one important part of our lives to achieve another. No one can achieve true happiness this way.
The reality is that different aspects of your life are interlinked and interdependent. Everything influences the other; for example, a bad family life can bring down your career, and poor health can bring down everything.
What you don’t realize is that you will pay great consequences later if you trade off one thing to achieve another right now. And these consequences are almost irreversible.
The secret is to not just balance all areas of your life—but to excel in them, too.
What Is a Full Life?
To live a full life, there’re six aspects of life that you need to take care of. Neglecting any of them will only make you regret later.
Living a full life is all to do with two concepts: Life Aspects and Core Skills.
I developed these concepts early in my career, after I burnt myself out through pushing myself more and more—until my mind and body eventually gave up!
When my health had been compromised, I lost the energy and motivation to keep going with my career. This also led to a decline in my self-confidence and a drop in my creative abilities.
However, it wasn’t all bad news; I used the downtime as a wake-up call. I realized that anything taken to the extreme is not sustainable and that a happy, healthy, and successful life only comes when all parts of our lives are in balance.
This was the impetus for creating Life Aspects: six areas of life that need to be balanced and fulfilled in order for us to function naturally and optimally.
Let’s take a look now at the six Life Aspects.
1. Physical Health
Just imagine how much more you could achieve in life if you had tons of drive and energy. Simple things like improving your diet, exercising more, or learning meditation could lead to big gains in your physical and mental health. And this would inevitably lead to gains in ALL areas of your life.
2. Family and Relationship Fulfillment
Our relationships are critical to our success and well-being. Where possible, you should limit the time you spend with negative people and increase the time you spend with creative, enthusiastic, and supportive people.
3. Work and Career Prosperity
When you focus on progressing your career, you’ll have goals to aim for. Furthermore, research has shown that striving towards goals makes people happier .
4. Wealth and Money Satisfaction
Despite what you may have heard, money is not the root of all evil. That’s the love of money! Your focus should be on offering a service to the world. If it’s something that people need, then you should charge fairly for it and enjoy the rewards.
5. Spiritual Wellness
While I’m predominantly a logical person, I don’t believe that every decision and action has to be based on facts and figures. Sometimes we need to follow our intuition and our heart. Whether you believe there is a power greater than us or not, spiritual practices such as contemplation, breathing exercises, and singing can help you to tap into a world beyond logic.
6. Mental Strength
It’s easy to spot someone with a weak mind. They have no focus, no discipline, and they lack drive and conviction. On the other hand, someone with a strong mind is easy to spot, too. They will be dynamic, purposeful, and engaging. They’ll also impress you as someone who can “get things done.”
My recommendation is that you take some time to study and think about the six Life Aspects. Look for areas that you should limit and areas that you should expand.
Once you’ve successfully balanced the six Life Aspects—you’ll have put “working smarter” into action.
Let’s take a look at one of our students’ journey in realizing the importance of balancing all the Life Aspects.
Case Study: A Top Salesperson Who Has Lost His Balance
Eric is one of the top salesmen in his company. Having to reach a sales target every month, he often has to work over time. As a father, he always tries his best to spend only quality time with his family. So despite a busy schedule, he has fulfilling relationships and a happy family. However, with all the demands in life, he couldn’t find time to stay healthy and he started to gain a lot of weight. He started to feel tired easily, and couldn’t quite catch his breath playing with his 5-year-old son.
Eric wanted to be healthy again, so that he could manage his life better and most importantly, be able to enjoy his time with his boy more. After all, his son will only be a kid once. He sought for help from me at Lifehack, and took our Life Assessment.
After taking the Life Assessment, he realized how little effort he spent on aspects other than work, especially on health. With the help of my team, Eric first learned how to replan his time and make time for exercising.
It wasn’t easy at first, as he sometimes still fell prey to “being too busy” to exercise. But with time, he was able to make exercising every morning his habit. He would go to sleep early so he could wake up early to do some home workouts before going to work. What was even surprising was that his habits slowly influenced his family to build a healthy routine too. I know that now Eric and his family always do exercise together during their family time.
If you also want to find out if you’re living a full life yet, you can take the Life Assessment here for free now!
How To Live a Full Life
Now you may wonder, so how to balance and even excel in all the six Life Aspects?
Anyone can pursue a life of fullness, and it all starts with the willingness to learn.
How many years has it been since you last attended a class in school? If you’re well into your adult years as a working professional, chances are it’s been a while. Do you remember the times where you had to wake up for early morning lectures? Or the times where you were rushing through a paper or project? And, of course there were the endless exams that you had to cram for.
A lifelong learner is motivated to learn and develop because they want to; it is a deliberate and voluntary act. Lifelong learning can enhance our understanding of the world around us, provide us with more and better opportunities, and improve our quality of life.
Of course, one of the most rewarding reasons for continuous learning, is that it gives you options! Successfully changing career path in mid-life and spending time informally developing expertise is more common than ever, especially during rapidly changing market conditions.
Whatever your age, it’s never too late to start fresh in life. When you start educating yourself and exposing yourself to new knowledge and information, you widen your opportunities. This will allow you to do more than what you may currently be doing, or give you a way out if you’re not happy or fulfilled with where you’re at now.
Our economy is shifting increasingly towards short-term and part-time contracts with more flexible work-patterns. We have to adapt to changes going on in the work-world, make more of ourselves by stepping out of our comfort zones, and break the false ideas about our potential and how we believe life is going.
How to do that? With our unique Full Life Framework.
The Full Life Framework
The Full Life Framework is 5 simple life principles that can help you achieve a full and meaningful life.
1. Life Missions
Life missions are the key aspects of your life that make it worth living. Fulfilling these missions is what gives your life meaning, joy, and completeness.
A life mission can be to fulfill a goal or dream, like to become a children’s author. Or it can be a mission about your relationships to your family. It can be related to health, fitness, or other aspects of your life.
Everyone has life missions, whether you know it or not. They’re programmed into your subconscious and the reason why you care deeply about certain things.
But to really take control, you have to know what they are. You have to consciously recognize what makes you tick, what really makes you get out of bed each day.
2. Compromise the Method, Not the Mission
Ignoring or sacrificing your life missions causes pain and suffering. It causes debt… and the longer you ignore it, the more interest builds up.
99% of people compromise on the mission. They sacrifice what’s really important believing that it’s worth it.
Like giving up your dreams because you believe it’s the only way to be a great parent.
Or sacrificing the relationships that are really important to you for the “greater good” to get ahead in your career.
But you know what? It’s never worth it. These types of sacrifices only end up causing regret.
The problem is that most people believe they don’t have a choice. But they do. You have a choice. That’s why we believe in Compromising the Method, Not the Mission.
There’s always a way. You can always change how you do things, instead of giving up on doing it. But to be able to have the choice, you need the right skills and the right mindset.
3. A Progress Mindset
First, you have to liberate yourself from winning or losing. It’s because we’re so afraid of loss that we never give ourselves the opportunity for true growth.
A progress mindset doesn’t care about “success” or “failure”. It only cares about progress. As long as you can produce growth and improvement, you’ve succeeded.
As long as you can produce growth and improvement, you’re succeeding. As long as you’re making progress each and every time… eventually you will win.
Imagine applying this way of thinking to different aspects of your life!
4. Self-Control Systems
Just having a progress mindset alone isn’t enough. You can’t just think it! You have to be able to take consistent action.
Consistent means regular, long term, quality actions.
But that takes a lot of willpower and energy. And if there’s one thing over a decade of research and experience has taught us is that…
Relying on pure willpower doesn’t cut it in the long term.
You have to be able to take action effortlessly. You have to be able to do it on autopilot.
And that’s where Self Control Systems come in. These are systems that enable you to program your regular thought patterns and routines in life. So that taking actions towards your life missions becomes something you do unconsciously… as effortlessly as watching tv.
Do you want to know what the real difference between top performers and everyone else is? It’s this. Top performers make their success integrated into their life systematically.
5. Life Multipliers
Last but not least, we have Life Multipliers – the core life skills that give you leverage.
Instead of specific traditional skills, we all need life multipliers. Why? Because to truly live a full life you can’t think and act like the average person.
There will never be enough time and energy to go around. You’re already pulled in a thousand different directions and get bombarded by hundreds of different distractions each day.
Life Multipliers are the secret to make you become superhuman (to the average person).
Because they are core skills that can give you huge gains in multiple aspects of your life at the same time. They are like foundational skills that life your confidence, ability and effectiveness to a whole new level.
Now let’s take a look at the Core Skills and how you can live a full life by using them.
Life Multipliers — The Core Skills of Life
An important thing you need to know is that you should always work smarter, not harder.
Now, you’ve probably come across this simple piece of advice before, but have you actually put it into action in your life? If not, then don’t worry, as I’m going to explain an easy way for you to achieve this.
There are eight core skills (the Life Multipliers) that you should strive to develop. On their own they can be effective, but when combined, they’ll create unstoppable momentum in your life.
I’ll describe each of these skills now, including examples and tips for each that will help you to quickly understand the power behind them.
A person with self-empowerment has sustainable motivation and confidence about what they want to achieve. They are clear about their purpose and know how to stay positive and motivated during adversity or while stretching their comfort zone.
Think back to a time when you set your heart and mind on something. Perhaps it was a new guitar, a new house, or a vacation. But once you had a burning desire for it, you quickly found the necessary motivation, ideas, and energy to achieve what you wanted.
A person with self-control consistently sets clear goals and plans for themselves and always follows them through. They also know how to build constructive habits and routines that support their goals. And they create these habits in such a way that makes sure they stick.
If you’ve tried to give up alcohol, cigarettes, or junk food, you’ll know just how hard this can be. But the secret to success in these endeavors is to replace a bad habit with a good one. For instance, instead of ordering your usual glass of wine, you could instead order a fruit juice. Do this often enough (typically for a month or more) and you’ll find that you’ve discarded your old habit and created a new one.
3. Renewable Vitality
A person with renewable vitality is physically fit and healthy because they exercise regularly, eat well, and know how to look after themselves. And they always have enough energy to handle all their daily demands.
How are you sleeping? If you’re not sleeping well, it’s important you address this as lack of sleep can quickly lead to negative impacts on all areas of your life. If you need help with this, I recommend you read our article 9 Tips For Better Sleep.
4. Emotion Mastery
A person with emotion mastery can manage and change the way they feel and cope with situations. They are also able to reframe negativity into positive actions .
Imagine being told by your boss that your role is no longer needed, and you should pack your things and head out the door. If you weren’t expecting this, then you’re likely to be shocked, incredulous—and perhaps even angry. These emotions could quickly lead you to lose your self-confidence and optimism. However, if you could “snap out” of your negative emotional state, you could begin to see a way forward. Positive emotions lead to positive actions. In this case, an exciting new job at a dynamic company could be just the change you needed!
5. Conscious Communication
A person with conscious communication understands other people’s ideas and is able to express and deliver their own thoughts and feelings clearly. They are also good at influencing others and find it easy to build reliable and long-term relationships.
Have you noticed that the best managers are also the best listeners? By being great listeners, not only do they show respect to their team members—but they also have the chance to learn from them. Communication is an art that you can learn. Start by mirroring your favorite managers.
6. Smart Focus
A person with smart focus gets things done in the most effective and efficient manner. They take control of their time and energy by always working smart.
What’s the first thing you do when you start work at the office? If you’re like most people, you probably log into your computer and start going through all the emails in your inbox. On a good day, this may take you 15 minutes or so, but on a bad day (think Monday!), you might spend an hour or more going through your emails. A smarter start to your day is to spend 5 or 10 minutes planning out your work. High-priority items should be tackled first, low-priority items last. This will guarantee that the important stuff gets done.
7. Learning and Adaptability
A person with learning and adaptability can quickly master any knowledge and skill. They also respond to change swiftly and never stop growing and moving forward.
Leonardo da Vinci once said: “Learning never exhausts the mind.” Wise words indeed. I suggest you make a habit of learning something new every day. This will keep your mind fresh and active and mark you out as a progressive and open-minded individual.
7. Learning and Adaptability
A person with constructive thinking has a clear, uncluttered mind. They also know how to utilize their memory and brain power to solve problems and be creative.
To be able to think clearly, you need to take regular breaks from the non-stop onslaught of news, social media, and TV that we all experience nowadays. Try to find some time every day to have a break from this technology. Perhaps take a walk in your local park or do a 10-minute contemplation session in a quiet area of your home or office. When you have peace and quiet, you’ll be able to tap into your creativity and find solutions to any problems that come your way.
When you’re living a fulfilling life, you’re able to tap into each of these areas harmoniously, without sacrifice. One of the most influential aspects of this work-life harmony is the ability to believe in yourself and have a healthy dose of self-empowerment.
Learn more about how these Life Multipliers improve each Life Aspect in the book The Full Life Framework (The Essential Guide), written by Lifehack’s founder and CEO, Leon Ho.
Taking the Full Life Framework to the Next Level
If you want to adapt to the Full Life Framework fully so you can effectively improve your quality of life and live up to your potential, we have a course for you. It is dedicated to people just like you who aspire to live life to the fullest.
All of the education and training at Lifehack is about teaching you to apply and leverage the Life Multipliers in every aspect of your life. These are the key skills we’ve identified over a decade of research and experience that are absolutely essential to invest in.
You can take your first steps with us by jumping straight into action.
Step 1: Empower Yourself
Self Empowerment is the ability to cultivate sustainable motivation and to have confidence about what one wishes to achieve.
With strong Self Empowerment, you’re crystal clear about your purpose and have the ability to motivate yourself on demand, with concrete plans of action, in a timely manner, all while maintaining a positive work-life-harmony.
This skill also impacts attitude towards challenges or problems. If you have this skill, you will stay positive and motivated about stepping out of your comfort zone or when facing challenges in life.
Recommended actionable tasks to benefit immediately
Step 2: Get Focused
Smart focus is the skill behind managing your energy and time in harmony. It is the art of getting the best of both worlds — being effective in both time and energy at the same time.
A master of smart focus is able to increasingly do a lot more by doing less overall. With such skill, you know how to work smart and take control over your own time.
Recommended actionable tasks to benefit immediately
Step 3: Upgrade Your Mind
Learning & Adaptability are skills that can help you master any knowledge or skill quickly. With the right mindset and toolkit to respond to change swiftly, you will never stop making progress in life.
Instead of resisting change on instinct like most others, this skill helps you to embrace changes and incorporate them quickly in your life.
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Step 4: Master Self-Control
Self-Control is the ability to consistently set clear goals and have plans set out for themselves. With Self-Control, you’re capable of following through with your plans with no problems or hesitations. On a motivation standpoint, you won’t even run into problems.
Self-Control boils down to discipline and determination to achieve anything. This skill allows you to recognize that success and growth doesn’t come overnight. Consistency will become your policy and so long as you stick to it, you’ll grow in any area in life with this sort of model.
To live a full life and truly live up to your potential, you’ll need to make the best use of The Full Life Framework. In our course, you’ll learn how to distill what’s really important, take the reigns, have the confidence to stop doubting yourself, how to live a fulfilling life and decide to pursue your BEST LIFE.
|||^||Psychology Today: Goal Progress and Happiness|
|||^||Neuroimage: How Do Negative Emotions Impair Self-Control? A Neural Model of Negative Urgency|