Do you spend every waking hour either working, or thinking about work? That’s how I used to be and, even on the few days that I did take the kids out, I would be on my phone to work half of the time. Sure, I had the car, the house and the money that come with a high pressure, well paid job, but then I also had the mental breakdown to go with it too! Today, my ex-wife has the big house, the car and the kids, and I have very little, but do you know what? I have honestly never been happier. I write online content for a living and it’s a job that I love. I have also learned, the hard way, that there is a lot more to be gained from life than mere material possessions.
If you want to reach the end of your life and have achieved something more important than just a Mercedes and a six-bed house in the country, here are ten ways that you could be making more out of your life.
1. Get your priorities right and have a plan
Don’t get me wrong, money is a great thing to have, but you do have to consider if perhaps you are making that too much of a priority. Take some time to list out what you really want from life and then plan out how you are going to get there. All that money won’t bring you happiness, if you don’t have the time to do things that you really want to do.
2. Simplify your life
People often yearn for the simpler life of yesteryear, yet they do nothing to simplify their lives. Kick into touch all the things that you really don’t need and life really does become a lot simpler. I’m not talking about anything as drastic as taking the family off to live in the wilderness, but do you really need three phones, two cars and membership to multiple gyms and sports clubs? Cut out the stuff that you don’t need and you will find you have more time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
3. Be yourself
I never really was the person that I pretended to be. I wasn’t a natural high flying entrepreneur; I was play acting a role that I thought would impress people. Being true to yourself is what brings real happiness and doing the things that you want to do, not the things that people expect you to do.
4. Don’t give up on your dreams
Don’t just sit around complaining that you never get the time to do the things you always dreamed of, make that time happen. It might not happen overnight and we do all have responsibilities that we have to take into account, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t ever follow your dreams. Don’t end up sitting in your retirement home regretting all the things that you didn’t do!
5. Material possessions are just the icing on the cake
I’d be lying if I said that owning nice things is not something that can be enjoyed at all, but what you own does not define who you are. The really important things in life, like spending time with your family and getting some quality time for yourself, don’t need to cost a penny. Your friends and family will love and respect you a lot more for being there for them, than they will for the things that you own.
6. Don’t let regrets weigh you down
The worst kind of regret would be to regret not having even tried, so when you are faced with a challenge, or given the opportunity of doing something amazing, grab it with both hands. If things don’t go to plan, put it down to being just one more of the many great experiences that you will have in your life.
7. Don’t miss out on the small pleasures in life
Don’t forget to be grateful for the little things in life that you have too, and don’t let them pass you by unnoticed. It’s the things that you take for granted today that you will really miss tomorrow, like a picnic with the kids, a walk in the park with your partner or a drink in the pub with some good friends.
8. Slow down and give yourself a break
Getting some quality ‘me time’, as they call it, is so important too. Don’t feel guilty about doing nothing; chill out and read a book, or go for a walk on your own. Everyone needs some time to relax and enjoy themselves and, if you do take a break, you will work much more efficiently after it.
9. Don’t worry when you get it wrong
Stressing over mistakes that you have made is a complete waste of your time. I know it’s an overused cliché, but the only real mistakes are the mistakes that you don’t learn anything from. You can’t change the past anyway, so pick out the good that can from a mistake and move on swiftly to the next challenge.
10. Enjoy every single day
You will never get another today, so make the most of it! Be present, look at what is happening around you, and take it all in. If you spend all your time worrying about the past, or the future, you will miss out on all the wonderful things that happening today.
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