“Let us first be as simple and well as Nature ourselves.” ~ Thoreau, Walden
Have you ever wished: “Wouldn’t it be great to ‘live well’?” Yet, through our frequently hurried and jam packed schedules it’s common to wonder what living well really means. Is it about living “healthy”? Eating right to support your body? Is it about working out regularly? Managing tension?
Your answer, not unexpectedly, is probably “yes” to all of these questions. However, before exploring what you can “do” to live well, let’s first have a look at who you really are. After all, you have to understand who you are now to develop the structure and identify required changes for a healthy, fulfilling life.
How to choose who you are? Many people currently believe in a greater source, a higher power, if you will. But for our question, we’ll take it one step at a time. We’ll call this sense of “being” your own personal self. And, what’s important for a life of living well, is the connection you make to this frame of mind. The easiest way to do this is to examine your own personal belief system.
Why Consider Your Own Belief System?
If living well includes first developing a relationship with your personal self, let’s take a look at a couple of reasons that you need to cultivate this relationship:
It Helps Explain the Unexplainable:
Sometimes, science and logic can’t explain everything. How is it that some individuals just seem to recover quicker from every negative situation? How is it that they seem to constantly be moving toward their goals while you seem to be stuck in reverse? Or, how about this? Have you ever been in a situation where the “right individual” seemed to show up in your life just when you needed them? Maybe it was a mentor who got you “re-motivated” or someone helped you solve a problem that had been preventing you from success.
For example: just the other day, I was thinking of a friend of mine from my high school days I hadn’t spoken to in a while — an hour later she called me.
Your personal self can provide you hints to why all of this is true. Try taking stock of yourself. Have you ever had a “hunch” or a “sensation” about something and it turned out to be real? I believe all of us have.
Challenge yourself by recalling all such incidents you can, then write them down. Understand these connections to the future and make note of them.
It Helps Your Quest for Joy
While some cultures and religions believe in reincarnation and multiple lives, one thing is certain. At the present time, you have only one life to live. Forget what is in the past. You can’t change it, so why let it affect you? Embrace the concept of “Carpe Diem” – Seize the Day! The future is but a function of the choices you make.
To improve the chances of finding joy, recognize those things that already bring you joy. Many people find joy in their family or personal relationships. It could be the work you do. Physical activity and athletic competition can be a great source of joy. Whatever “does it” for you, look for ways to multiply their occurrence. From another standpoint, what in your life disappoints you? Identify those things and the changes required to make them joyful.
Once again, take personal stock by writing these things down and developing a plan of action. Becoming aware of where you are right now and where you want to be will help you set your sights on directed, personal improvement.
It Gives You a Sense of the Larger Picture
It can be very liberating to get your life in order. The big picture is made up of a lot of little pictures. For the little pictures in your life which are holding you back from success, what changes do you have to make to improve things? Make the commitment to yourself that you will make small, daily steps toward being the individual you want to be. You can choose to be kind. You can choose to lead a healthy lifestyle, be more energetic, and live the life you want while achieving success.
Take note of those small, daily steps you need to take to become who you want to be. Write them down and put them into action. Invest a few minutes each day to review them. Assess how well you are doing the things you’ve identified. Don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t do everything every day. Likewise, don’t settle for mediocrity. Do what you can and do the best you can. In this way, you will be advancing to the person you want to be in a steady, rational manner.
The Bottom Line: Learn to Live in the Moment with an Eye Toward the Future
Living well is a choice. Sometimes, it’s not the easiest choice or the obvious one. If you want to live well, every day you have to assess the things you do and the choices you make. Are you committed to the changes required to live well? Is your job holding you back from living well? What actions are you taking to change that? Are you getting enough exercise? How do you commit to getting fit? Is the amount of sleep you get affecting your health? What do you need to do to get more rest? Dedicate yourself to taking those incremental steps of improvement.
Your future is in front of you and living well in that future is an obtainable goal. Working through discomforts and worries to obtain that goal is just a part of life. Be open to the possibility of living well. Use the assessments and recommended actions in this article to guide you. Enjoy the experience! Soon, you will find you are living well with a healthier, more satisfying life.