Saturday, 11 June 2011

Top ten tips to find meaning and contentment in life

When I reached what felt to be about the middle of my life, it finally hit. No, I really would *not* live forever! There would be no exception made in my case and a time would come when I neared the end of my days and thought back over my life with one question in mind: "How have I lived the one and only life I was given?"

I realized then that "I sure attended a lot of meetings" or "I really helped make a lot of rich folks richer" or "I got the nice house and the nice car I wanted" were not answers that would satisfy. I realized that I wanted a life that was meaningful, purposeful, and connected. I think we all do.  Here are the 10 easy [not really] ways to have the life that will allow you to live and leave your life with satisfaction:

  1. Strive to appreciate every bit of beauty, kindness, good fortune, and warmth you can find
    It is far easier to complain about what's wrong but it makes you far happier and nicer to be with if you are a person that is grateful for everything. If you can rejoice in a good cup of tea, you will be happy often.
  2. Assume the best of people
    You may be wrong sometimes, but expecting the worst makes you fearful and shrivels your soul. Expecting the best often brings out the best in others around you - it is a gift that blesses them and you.
  3. Don't play it safe all the time
    Take some risks with your life. It is better to have tried and failed than to carry deep regrets in your vocation, your avocation, your connections, or your love.
  4. Persevere
    Nothing worthwhile comes without effort including growth, change, skills, learning, and especially the strength of relationships. If you give up at everything that does not come easily, you will have nothing worthwhile.
  5. Give generously with your heart, your hands, and your wallet
    In serving others, we soften our often hard isolated selves and become part of the larger whole.
  6. Remember every day that your life is precious
    Can you really afford to waste this day?
  7. Let yourself be vulnerable 
    Love can be both exquisitely wonderful and exquisitely painful. We can't have the former without risking - and often suffering - the latter.
  8. Don't take yourself too seriously - laugh!
    Laugh at yourself, your situation, and the whole tragedy of life. Take it all seriously and it will crush you. Take it lightly and you may find burdens floating away like clouds.
  9. Have fun - it's not a crime
    If you have only one life to live, must you really spend it being serious all the time? 
  10. Forgive easily
    Carrying anger harms both you and the target of your resentment. If it is possible, let it go.
No, they are not easy. Every one of these takes work and takes practice. That's life!


  1. Brilliant, Andy! Are you going to post it on the UKS blog as well?

  2. These are things I think we all know inherently, Andy, but in the quest to "get the nice house and nice car" we find it convenient to forget. Or worse, we think we can worry about all that 'live life fully' crap tomorrow because today's minutiae just seems so much more important. Myopic, but human. Thanks for the reminder, Andy, that because death IS coming (one day) today may be our only chance. It sounds depressing, but it's really liberating.

  3. Ah, how lovely and optimistic a post! And truthful as well... if the points are obvious, they are blindingly so. We all need to be given a bit of light philosophy from time to time. :-)