Are you still trying to figure out how to live your life to the fullest? How to live in the present moment? Don’t fret—you’re not alone.
Elisa Robyn, Ph.D.
Psychologist | Educator
We make decisions based on our knowledge and abilities at the time. Each decision gives us an opportunity to grow and evolve. There are no time machines, so we cannot go back and make different choices. What we can do is apologize to those we have wounded, change our actions in the future, and forgive ourselves.
Forgive the people around you
Everyone is evolving. Everyone is dealing with some sort of wound or pain. Forgive them and move on. This does not mean that you trust people you know you cannot trust, or that you forget someone’s actions. It does mean that you have let go of your own anger or pain.
Push your limits
Try something that is just a bit intimidating. Are you nervous about eating out along? Try it. Have you always wanted to take a dance lesson but are afraid you have no rhythm? Look for a “try one free” offer and go by yourself. Do you want to travel but have no one to go with? Try a short trip to a planned retreat. Start with something that feels just a bit scary, but also a bit safe.
Plan time with your positive thinking friends
Connect. Talk. Walk. Spend time with people you care about. Be willing to limit the time you spend with negative people. This can be difficult will improve your life.
Charlene Walters, MBA, PhD
Author | Leader | Motivational Speaker
I have several tips regarding living life to the fullest as a result of my unique journey. Unfortunately, my life hasn’t turned out as I expected it to. I found myself in the middle of a major tragedy when my husband passed away suddenly leaving me and my two young daughters behind.
He left for work one evening and never came home; it turned our whole world and seemingly perfect bubble upside down. It’s been ten years since the accident, and I’ve been able to gain some life lessons from the experience that I like to pass on to others.
Own your other
When life doesn’t turn out the way that you planned or thought that it would, you’ve got to embrace and accept it. The more you fight your altered path, the more difficult it will be for you to move forward and to be happy. The sooner you embrace whatever it is you need to accept, the quicker you will begin to thrive and find true happiness in your life.
We are only here in this world for a short period of time, so we should make the most of that time and do what we can to have a positive impact on others. There are many charities out there that are worthy of our time and talent. It’s part of our responsibility to donate our energy to them and others who need it.
Part of this charitable work should include giving back to those who are near and dear to us, the little ones who look up to us at home or co-workers who admire us on the job. In short, just be kind. The smallest actions and gestures go a long way. Plus, when we are helping others, we are also helping ourselves.
Find joy in the mundane, every day
Smile at the Mom you see pushing triplets down the street in an extra-wide stroller, the man you spot enthusiastically singing in the car next to you at the traffic light or the cashier who’s dancing while putting groceries into your cart. There is joy everywhere. Look for it and see how you can add to it and reign it in. The more joy you can capture, the fuller your life will be.
Shannon Battle, LPCS, LCAS
Licensed Professional Counselor
Stop comparing yourself now to your future self
The two are not parallel because the latter has a culmination of experiences, failures, successes, and wisdom that develops into the image of that future person. Rather, embrace the person you are today and who you will become tomorrow.
Be intentional everyday you wake up. Don’t try to fix all your problems immediately. Your problems help to strengthen you emotionally and mentally when they properly come together. Don’t worry about having balance, just integrate things as necessary so you can give yourself and others the attention they both deserve.
Success Life Coach
Get out of balance
We look at finding balance in our lives, yet forget that sometimes balance could lead to stagnancy. How confusing can this be? Let’s break it down: We find that perfect balance in our lives between work, life, energy, health, etc. It feels good and we are in a groove. However, over time this becomes comfortable and we don’t evolve or grow as much as we hope.
In order to live life to the fullest, we want to then explore how we can challenge or reignite inspiration in a part of our life. This gives us that chance to really learn something new, get uncomfortable and continue living life to the fullest.
Find people that inspire you
We get tired after a day of work and all we want to do could be to curl up on the couch and watch Netflix. What happens is we get into this rut. It’s time to get up, put something on and make the effort to go out and make connections.
Find people who excite, engage, and challenge you. This will bring in new connections, new opportunities and a sense of purpose. Get out there and get uncomfortable. In the end, we want to feel a connection and purpose. By finding those who bring us up, we feel we are really taking advantage of lives.
Practice, permission, and perseverance
Imagine a time where you are starting to try new things, get out there and you find your groove and then you hit that wall. That wall could be anything but it is a bump or full stop into frustration, hopelessness or confusion. Many people give up here and figure they cannot do it. The trick to know is that the more we practice getting out there, the more likely we are going to also fail. What we forget is to give ourselves permission.
Permission to fail, permission to succeed, permission to try again and permission to feel what we do. From there, take another step forward (no matter how small the step is) and persevere because chances are, the more we try and sometimes fail, that success is only that much closer.
Stop using the word “busy”
We use the word busy to describe a full on day, however, when someone asks how you are, the word busy is not a feeling. We need to stop using this word in the way we do. We live in a world where busy is important but it has become diluted in what we want to really express and also internally places this feeling that we have no time.
Instead of using the word busy, really touch base with your feelings. What could you be feeling instead and see that the activities you do can have a bigger impact?
Learn to ignore the naysayers
Stop listening to people who only find the fault in your plan, who tell you to limit your reach, and who don’t see how you could possibly do anything great.
Yes, it’s very difficult. Probably – but not always – because they do have what they think are your best interests in mind. If you think that’s their perspective and they’re just trying to help, you can politely listen to them. Is there something you can learn from their concerns? But remember that every project and ambition has problems and potential roadblocks. If we let those possibilities stop us, we’ll never find out if it is possible.
Accomplished people have a vision and just start taking action. You’ll usually find that your momentum will carry you over the difficulties or that you’ll figure out a solution along the way.
Believe in yourself. Listen to your inner voice instead of the outer, doubting voice from naysayers. Remind yourself that you are the one doing the work and taking the risks and that you don’t need to people who are only sitting on the sidelines offering only criticism!
Author | Family Physician
Have a goal
A goal gives our lives purpose and focus – a reason to get up each morning. I have found that I always want to be reaching towards a new goal, striving to do more.
When I was first diagnosed with MS, I felt like my options were suddenly limited. Then I realized that MS was not an excuse to relinquish my dreams but to seize them more forcefully. I set a goal to run a marathon, and I did it – twice. I learned to garden, and each season I try to make the garden more productive. I wrote a memoir, and my goal now is to get it published. I recently rode the MS150 – a 163-mile bike ride from Houston to Austin. It was strenuous and exhausting, but that made achieving my goal even more worthwhile. I encourage everyone to set a goal – something tough, but attainable – and Go For It!
Taking care of yourself is critical if you want to live life to the fullest. First, make sure you follow the basic tenets of good health: regular exercise, adequate sleep, a healthy diet, and recommended preventive care from your doctor.
Self-care beyond the basics requires some personal insight – figuring out what brings you joy and what depletes you. Journal-writing, talking to friends or family who know you well, or going to a counselor can help you if aren’t sure what you need for optimal self-care. Once you know what fills you up, make time to do it. Self-care helps prevent burnout, and it keeps you engaged in life – able to live in the moment.
Inventor | CEO, Micrel Semiconductor | Author, Tough Things First
Learn to do the tough things first
From exercising the first thing in the morning to tackling those pesky budget reports the minute they hit your desk, doing the tough things first frees you up to enjoy other tasks and motivates you power through because you are making mere pebbles of perceived boulders.
People often skip projects not because most of the steps are hard—most are easy. They forsake the opportunity because one really difficult or unpleasant task looms before them. It is the mountain they don’t want to climb.
But consider that concert pianists practice their scales every day before rehearsing or composing and have done so every day of every decade since their first piano lesson as a child. They have discipline. CEOs review monthly inventory and sales reports despite having hired people more than capable of understanding the metrics because they want to feel the pulse of the company and be aware of warning signs. They have discipline.
Thus, by doing the tough things first, one develops the discipline that spreads throughout one’s life; this is key to living life to the absolute fullest.
Senior Marketing Director, World Financial Group
It’s the little things
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. What makes one person fly forward to success and a great life and one person deteriorate in their day to day life? It’s the little things. The little things that aren’t so little.
It’s our habits
The rituals that we do every day. What are your daily habits? What time do you get up in the morning? Do you hit snooze or get up?
Goals are powerful
Having goals and having them written down on paper and reading them every day is powerful!
What are these? Using the power of ‘I am’ statements. These programs the subconscious mind which runs 90-95% of our actions.
All the secrets in the world are in books
Read them and then apply the action steps. Listen to good audio. Have your brain on a loop to success. Learn. Apply. Do again.
Your associations are key to success
You are the average of the 5 people you hang out with the most. In business. In relationships. In finances. In life. Be very careful who you let into your circle.
Chief Happiness Officer, Happy Brain Science
Get completely engaged with life
To live life to the fullest, get completely engaged with life. Get engaged by “minding the GAPs”. GAP is an acronym I use twice to summarize the science of engagement:
- Goals: Have clear, meaningful, measurable goals.
- Alignment: Align goals to your values, and to use your strengths.
- Progress: Progress is engaging. Measure, facilitate, and celebrate progress.
- Growth: Be learning and growing throughout your life.
- Appreciation: Feel and express gratitude for the good things in your life.
- People: Quality relationships are a central source of well-being.
If we mind the GAPs, we are making sure we are fully engaged at work and in life.
Author | Speaker
Try new things
When I turned fifty, I made the commitment to make age 50 to 75 the best years of my life. I had lived a good life so far, so this was a big challenge.
The key thing for me over the past three years has been to try new things. I had spent much of my life only doing things I felt comfortable with and did not stray too far outside my comfort zone.
Now I do all kinds of things that seem hard or not what I would choose to do. Including hiking and camping (always been city activity kind of person), and I took up stand up comedy. Over the past year, I bombed at a lot of open mic nights but kept trying. It has become fun, and while still challenging, I have been invited to be in some local comedy shows.
By getting beyond my “normal” I am having more fun, and my mind is always racing in new directions. I am thinking much deeper about everything I do and my interest in people I meet is stronger. The conversations I am having with people from all types of backgrounds are causing me to see the world in new ways.
If you want to live life to the fullest, the first thing you have to do is be willing to get out of the rut you have lived in and choose to meet unique and new kinds of people. At the same time be open to activities that seem odd or scary. Trying new things is key.
Author, Healing Words | Speaker | Educator
Be aware of yourself
Living Life to the fullest is what I teach people to do and what I write about. In order to do this, you must become aware of yourself and what is holding you back.
Usually, the answer is the repetitive patterns you learned growing up. Even when you did not like what mom, dad, friends did, you tend to repeat it because this is what you learned to do.
Every person’s life is about what they need to learn in order to become a more loving and peaceful person. You cannot live life to the fullest while being a complainer or a grouch. And you cannot be sad or depressed while you are being grateful and thankful for your life.
When you stay in the “now” moment and to be thankful and grateful, you must choose happiness! This, in turn, leads you to live life to the fullest!
Author | Speaker
Carefully choose who you spend time with
The people you spend time with will influence your ambitions, change your attitude (to the good or the bad), and even make you healthier and happier (or less healthy and happy!). I choose to spend my free time with people who see possibilities and don’t limit their lives based on what they lack.
One of the ways I do this is by creating “mastermind” or “accountability” groups for specific projects. For example, I’m growing my speaking business, so I reached out to a number of speakers who were in a similar place in their careers. I invited them to join me every Tuesday morning to check in with each other and state just one or two specific goals we wanted to accomplish that morning.
But I also make sure that these aren’t just people who have the same goal. I want them to be people who are exhibiting the traits I would like to have in my life, such as positivity, dedication and the goal of helping others.
I’ve also chosen – maybe by accident or maybe luck! – a hobby (running) where I’m also surrounded by people who have the traits that I want to strengthen including determination, dedication and gain encouragement. Runners who race have the knack of being competitive and encouraging of others at the same time. A good trick!
And perhaps I’ve either lucked out, I subconsciously avoid negative people or I’m just too annoyingly cheerful for them to be friends with, but I don’t really know a lot of negative people and that helps me live a very full life too!
Clinical Hypnotist | MAHC Hypnotist of the Year
Know what “living your life to its fullest” would look like in your mind
Living your life to its fullest means different things to everyone. We each have our own idea of what living life to its fullest means. In order to live your life to its fullest, you have to know what “living your life to its fullest” would actually look like in your mind and in your imagination. If you don’t have a clear picture of what that looks like you will never be able to get there.
This simple exercise has helped many of my clients create a clear picture of what living their life to fullest looks like and then be able to have their minds drive toward that every day.
Every night while you are in bed, right before you fall asleep, imagine what it would be like living your life to its fullest. Use your imagination and engage all our senses.
What would it look like? What would you see? What sounds would you hear? What would you feel? What would you smell and taste in that picture? Make that picture in great detail and then simply fall asleep.
When you give a clear picture to your mind as you are falling asleep, your subconscious mind takes that picture all night long and begins to absorb and works on figuring out how to make it a reality. It will change your outlook, perspective and your actions helping you live your life to its fullest. The power of this exercise lies in consistency.
Related: The 11 Best Self Hypnosis Books
Clinical Hypnotherapist, HypnoBusters
Spend most of it in the “now”
The past is just our memory of things, and the future is our anticipation of what may happen. The problem with these two things is that they can be wrong. We may look back with “rose tinted glasses” and think our past was more pleasant than our present.
Our memories won’t recall every minor detail, so you actually see a sort of highlight reel. Your present life will never be as good as a highlight reel of your entire life. This can cause people to think their current life is much worse than it actually is.
When we think about the future too much, we naturally find things to worry about. The more we think about the future, the more things we find that “could go wrong”. This can lead to anxiety. It’s best to let go of the future because we cannot control it anyway.
Stop worrying a lot and trust yourself to get through whatever life throws at you-you have always managed to get through so far!
Of course, it is healthy to occasionally reflect on our past, or plan for the future. But once we have done this, we should return to living in the present. Spend the majority of your life in the now, rather than in the past or the future. Everything is much more joyful when living in the now, and you don’t miss what’s actually going on around you.
Founder, Cat Turner London
Embrace a new set of goals
Write a list at the beginning of each year of goals that you’d like to achieve by the end of the year. This can take as little as a few minutes.
Mix it up a bit. Choose a few big things that take time and effort and a few smaller things that are more easily achievable in the short term. You could, for instance, choose a couple of house goals (e.g. clearing the garage), work goals (e.g. asking your manager to recommend you for a training program), family goals (e.g. taking up a shared hobby as a family) or lifestyle goals (e.g. choosing to buy more ethically made products).
Personally one of my favorite goals has always been about travel –sitting down in January and mapping out the year’s bank holidays so that I could plan what parts of the world I would explore that year! This completely explains why I now own a brand focused on beautiful sunny escapes!
Make sure you keep this list somewhere visible (not in a draw!) and plan or action small steps every week that take you a step closer to making each goal a reality. Tick each item off the list as you accomplish it.
I promise you you’ll feel an enormous sense of accomplishment and happiness throughout the year as you work your way through the list and progressively make those dreams and goals a reality.
This simple task at the beginning of the year will help you to focus on what is important in different areas of your life and plan to achieve a lot more than if you had just floated through the year without any direction. At the end of the year, you’ll be ready to embrace a new set of goals the following year supported by feelings of ambition, courage, and energy from achieving what you have just achieved.
Dillon William Hill
Co-Founder, One List One Life
It’s okay to accept that life is hard
In 2017, my best friend was given a cancer prognosis of one-year to live. Hearing that news, I dropped out of college and started a video series as we tried to accomplish our video series before he passed. After experiencing dozens of incredible things (touring SpaceX, backflips in helicopters, meeting Danny Devito, etc) we aimed to cross #4 off of our bucket list: Beat a world record.
We created a campaign to break the world record for most bone marrow donor signups in one day. In the end, we ended up inspiring 11,000 people to join the bone marrow registry – one of those people, a stranger from Europe, was a match for my friend. His life was saved.
From that experience, I learned that it’s okay to accept that life is hard. It’s okay to be afraid of what’s next…but if we all work together because we know how hard life is we can create incredible memories. Living life to the fullest means doing our best to make every day what we want it to be…sometimes that’s working our butt off, sometimes it’s playing video games all day.
Now, I create a video series that tries to convey that message by helping other cancer patients experience their bucket lists.
Content Manager, Signity Solutions, India
Have a detailed plan of the day
Time will pass whether you plan it or not. Plan the day, and you will be amazed at how much your productivity skyrockets. This way your days will be packed with useful work that will add value to your life.
Vow to get healthier
In the fast-paced society, traditional meal preparation is becoming obsolete. This is leading to an unhealthy lifestyle. If you fall ill, it will overshadow everything going in life. Indulge in workout sessions and eat healthily. Let go all the excuses and start taking care of yourself today.
Don’t follow the herd
Most people do things because others are doing it. They don’t want to miss on what’s going on. But that’s not good because you are doing it for the sake of it. To be yourself is to be an individual. Standing out from the crowd and making unconventional choices is challenging, but they are stepping stones to a better future.
Be a generous individual
You will be hard pressed search for a generous individual who is grouchy and depressed. Be the one who is willing to share your time and talent with the people around you. Gratitude is an imperative part of the equation. Trust me, more happiness comes from giving than taking.
Challenge your fears
Your throat feels thirsty, palms sweaty and shortened breath. This is when you are facing a fear. Anxiety kidnaps and holds you captive. So, build your challenge muscles and face fears. Facing them will expand you every day and will help you see what you are really made up of without feeling the burn of self-doubt.
Get in nature
Take a break from the urban environment and soak nature’s beauty. Dance in the rain, walk bare feet in the grass and embrace nature. Don’t wait for extraordinary moments, bring nature’s beauty in your life.
Celebrate small accomplishments
Everyone is habitual of celebrating big milestones but one should never overlook small accomplishments. Those little wins, no matter how small, deserves a reward as it keeps you motivated in the long run. With this, you are celebrating the better person that you are becoming.
Content Manager, MyFoodSubscriptions
Appreciating every moment
Living a full and enriching life on a day to day can mean different things for all of us, but it usually means appreciating every day and moment in the present without dwelling on past experiences or worrying about the future.
Living life to the fullest means seizing every opportunity you’re given and giving opportunities to others whenever possible. It also means enriching your own life with self-care practices and hobbies you enjoy, while connecting with friends, family, and new contacts on a consistent basis.
Social interactions allow us to live our own lives to the fullest and with meaning. With that in mind, living a full life also means not getting discouraged by perceived failures.
Living life to the fullest doesn’t necessarily have to include skydiving or extreme sports (although it may if that’s what compels you), it can mean pursuing your own personal passions and letting life take you on a journey that satisfies you physically and mentally. It can mean daily yoga and meditation, or daily acts of community service.
By taking action, even though small steps, in pursuing our daily passions and connecting with others, we can create more enriching lives and live every day to the fullest.
Frontman & Manager, Aqua Seca Band
Doing what it is that matters most to you
As the frontman of a band, you may expect me to have some crazy idea on how to live life to fullest, but in fact, it is really simple, if not a bit childish. It can be described in a four-letter acronym, known as YOLO (you only live once).
Now before you say, “this guy sounds ridiculous”, hear me out. In the past, I was always very skeptical when people said “Yolo”.
What does that even mean? Does that mean I am just supposed to drink all night and party all day because it could all end tomorrow? The short answer is, no! Of course not.
Yolo, at least to me, means something entirely different. It means living every day doing what it is that matters most to you. It means doing exactly what it is that you want every day and not taking a prerogative from anybody else.
Dropping out of school to start Aqua Seca was a very trying thing for me to do. Nobody wants to hear that their kid is dropping out of school, but guess what: part of, if not all of my reasoning was Yolo.
I looked at it this way: You only get one shot at this life, might as make it exactly what you want.
Again, does this mean that you should drop everything and move to Vietnam because of “yolo”? Of course not! But if you really want to, then, of course, do it! What I am trying to illustrate is that “yolo” does not have to mean “Big Life Decision” all the time, rather it just means you are trying to live every day as deliberately as possible.
To live life to the fullest you always have to be questioning “Is what I am doing right now the best thing I could be doing with the limited time I have on this earth? Or does it seem to be a waste of time?”
Obviously, I can’t answer those questions for you, but I will say that ever since I started applying a “yolo” mentality to my life, it has certainly made me feel as though I am living life to the fullest.
… And that is all that matters.