How to Live Your Best Life

Four Parts:Finding Your PurposeBeing Mindful to Promote HappinessStaying Positive in Your LifeTaking Action in Your Life

"Live your best life." These four simple words, made famous by Oprah Winfrey[1], give a single instruction to follow for happiness and success. While the quote is priceless in its meaning and simplicity, it's an instruction many don't know how to follow. There are many things you can do to start living your best life.

Part 1
Finding Your Purpose

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    Realize your full potential. Give your best effort to everything you do. When you have a task or a project, complete it to the best of your abilities. Even if it’s not something you want to be doing you should still do the best job you can. Giving less than 100% won’t make you feel better or bring any positive rewards.[2]
    • Work on cultivating the skills you already have and learn new ones when you’re able.
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    Find your place and your purpose. This is perhaps one of the hardest steps to living your best life, and many people take their whole life to find their purpose. A lot of people never fully realize it during their lifetime, but it is absolutely essential to living life to the fullest. Think about a talent that you were born with, something that you enjoy doing and you feel would benefit the world by doing.[3]
    • The key to finding your place in the world is to be open-minded about where your path will take you and trying different things so that you can discover what you love. It might be something unexpected.
    • The main way to determine if you aren’t in the right place is by looking at the amount of satisfaction you feel in your life. If you feel satisfied with your work and your surroundings on a daily basis, then that is a good sign.
    • Finding your place doesn’t necessarily mean that you must have a prestigious job or lifestyle. It just means that you are in a position that makes you happy on a daily basis.
    • Even if you don’t feel like you have a specific marketable skill that leads to a dream you want to pursue, you can still find your purpose. Maybe your purpose is to help others by volunteering at a homeless shelter. If this activity makes you feel good about yourself and your life, then that is something you should continue to focus on.
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    Know your own limitations. It is important to recognize your full potential, but you should also recognize your limitations. Sometimes being persistent at a specific task is not the right choice because your skills might be put to better use somewhere else. Think about what you’re good at and try to cater to your own skillset when you make decisions.
    • For example, if you are very skilled at drawing and other art-related tasks but you aren’t very tech savvy, you should try to focus your energy on endeavors that allow your creative side to shine rather than technology-based pursuits. This will allow you to be more successful in the things you attempt and more satisfied with the outcome.
    • But be careful not to become too stationary and unwilling to change or adapt because of this.

Part 2
Being Mindful to Promote Happiness

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    Be mindful. One of the greatest sources of many people's stress is the fact that even when they are doing something completely unrelated, their mind wanders to a place of dread, fear, or some other sort of stress. Keep your head in the present moment and enjoy every second. Life is way too short to waste worrying about a problem that you've likely blown way out of proportion.[4]
    • Being mindful means being present in the moment and carefully considering the things you encounter in your life. This kind of meditation and self-awareness will help improve your life by allowing you to enjoy it more and take stock of what is truly important.
    • One mindfulness exercise you can try is meditation. Meditation doesn’t have to be performed as an organized ritual for it to be beneficial to you. You can spend as little as two minutes every day simply sitting quietly and reflecting to see results. Try focusing on your breaths to keep your mind free from distraction while you meditate.[5]
    • Another mindfulness exercise you can try is yoga. Doing yoga is great for your physical body, but it also helps develop your mind by giving you time to think about your body, how your body works, how your body relates to the world around you, and how your mind relates to your body. This kind of self-reflection is a great exercise in mindfulness.
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    Be spiritual. This does not necessarily mean you have to be religious. A spiritual person is one who walks his or her own path to find truth and connect with his/her source/God. Forming your own philosophy isn't always the easiest way, but in the long run it is worth it.[6]
    • Being spiritual means connecting with the universe and those around you. Be thankful for the life you have and show gratitude in your attitude to others. Treat other people with respect and kindness. Appreciate the relationships you have and the beauty in the world around you.
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    Find a helpful advisor. Find someone you can trust to confide in and to give you advice. This may be an old friend or a professional counselor/therapist. Sometimes making decisions can be difficult and it will help your ability to make mindful decisions if you have someone to talk to about these issues. Talking things through with a counselor can lower your stress and anxiety levels as well as give you more confidence in your decisions.[7]
    • A counselor can help you be more self-aware, which will allow you to be more present and mindful in your life.

Part 3
Staying Positive in Your Life

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    Focus on the positive. This is another one of the essential steps because everything is as you perceive it. Even the most dreadful of situations can take a turn with a positive attitude. Instead of thinking "I have to sit in traffic," think "I have some unexpected time to reflect on my life while I sit in traffic."
    • Positivity is a choice. Choose to look on the bright side of things and find the silver lining when possible.
    • Positive thinking can also reduce the amount of stress you feel about your life.[8]
    • For example, instead of thinking “I’ve never done that before,” try thinking “This is an opportunity to learn something new.”
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    Be appreciative of what you have. No matter what your situation in life is, you have things to be grateful for. If you take for granted the people and things in your life, you will always be looking for the next thing – always wanting more. Take some time to reflect on what you do have so that you can be happy in the moment.[9]
    • Even if you feel like you have nothing to be thankful for, that isn’t true. For example, if you are reading this, that means you have access to the internet and electricity (luxuries that much of the world can’t afford) and the free time to research topics for pleasure. These are things to be grateful for.
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    Avoid jealous thoughts and behaviors. Jealousy is not a positive trait and it is not attractive to most other people. Being a jealous person will only push away people in your life. And being jealous about other people’s possessions is pointless because they are simply things that don’t matter in the long run. You can’t take them with you when it’s all over![10]
    • If you find yourself feeling jealous, try focusing on what you have instead of what others have. Think of the things you’re thankful for in your life and practice being grateful.
    • Also, instead of being jealous of things others have (a negative emotion), try picturing the thing you want as a goal that you will work toward achieving (a positive emotion). This way, you aren’t upset that someone else has something you want. You are simply being mindful of the next step you want to take in your life.
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    Stop complaining. Whining is a very negative trait. It will not attract positive people you’re your life. Think about all of your blessings and try to move on. If you feel like complaining about something, consider why it bothers you so much and try to think about any negative situation as a learning experience. Then you have nothing to complain about because you’re always learning and growing.[11]

Part 4
Taking Action in Your Life

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    Live an active and healthy lifestyle. Living your best life means being healthy and taking care of your body. The better you treat your body, the longer it will stay healthy and functioning well for you. This means you’ll be able to live your best life even longer because you’ll be in good health longer into your old age.
    • Adults should try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity in each day.[12]
    • Eat a balanced diet. Avoid fatty, fried foods and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
    • Drink lots of water. Adult men should drink about 3 liters of liquids every day and adult women should drink about 2.2 liters every day.[13]
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    Make active decisions. Think about what you want in your life and go after it. Make a plan and take steps to reach your goal. Be decisive in your daily life and in your long-term goals. Don’t let others pressure you into making decisions that aren’t right for you.[14]
    • If you want to go to college or change careers, think about it carefully, weigh your options, and then make a decision. Then consider the steps you’ll need to take to make these changes a reality in your life.
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    Be proactive. Life is short – and it only seems to pass faster as the years go by. In contrast to the infinite past and infinite future, your life is really only a flash in time. Make the most of every second.[15]
    • Don’t sit around and wait for thing to happen to you. Go after what you want in your life. Once you have decided what you want, pursue it. When an opportunity comes along, be brave and take it, even if there is a risk involved.
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    Be willing to invest in things that matter. Most things in life take time. Whether you are trying to make a marriage work or create a successful business, all endeavors worth pursuing take time. If you want to live your best life, be willing to put in the effort for the things that matter and give it time.[16]
    • Don’t count on easy fixes. If something seems too easy or too good to be true, it probably is.
    • If you have a fight with your partner, it doesn’t mean you should break up immediately. You need to be willing to put in the time and effort to resolve the disagreement instead of just throwing the relationship away.
    • When your child does something wrong, you don’t immediately punish them every time. Sometimes you use the situation as a learning experience in which you teach your child valuable life lessons. You invest your time and energy into your child because they are important in your life.

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Categories: Creating Life Balance | Happiness & Optimism