I’ve challenged myself a lot over the years. I’ve done stupid things, and I’ve done some pretty cool things. I’ve learned my own lessons, and I’ve tried to learn from the experiences of others as well.
Today I want to share with you the top five things I believe we can do to fundamentally change our life for the better and start living with more purpose today.
1) Improve Our Physical Health
There are three fundamental ways I believe we can change our health and have vast impact. They are incredibly simple, and yet so hard to follow. I’ll list them in order of ease of accomplishment.
- Start exercising — even if its just once per week at first. Some exercise is better than no exercise, and the science shows it will improve our attitude, happiness, and sense of self-worth.
- Eat more lean meat, vegetables, and fruit — I listed this as an affirmative action, because really this means we have to stop eating so many foods out of a box or package. It’s a tough shift, but it’s one I’ve undergone in my own life recently, and I feel great!
- Stop drinking alcohol — I listed this one last because I know so many of us love their booze. It’s tough to give up. I know because I was a college fraternity man – I had my share of fun. But now that alcohol is very rarely a part of my diet I’ve seen vast improvements of my health. This is by no means a judgment thing – I’m just telling it like it is on the health end.
2) Define Our Values
If you know me at all, you might have guessed that this one would be on here. Why? Because I believe in it SO strongly. I believe that simply putting the 3-7 words that describe what means most to us in the world on paper is one of the most empowering things we can ever do.
Bonus: posting them on our wall, bathroom mirror, dashboard, or anywhere else we’ll see them everyday.
Anyone can do this, because everyone has values. It’s just a matter of defining them and then living by them on a daily basis. We’ll never be perfect – there’s not a day that goes by when I follow my values to a T. But the act of trying my hardest makes me feel incredible.
3) Search for Our Passion
If passion were a fish it would be the one that always gets away. It is so hard to get in the boat. It’s elusive, and the process for finding our passion is so undefined.
But we all know what we really love deep down. So why aren’t we all the most passionate people in the world?
It’s simple — the world (or at least in the US) tells us we’re supposed to rise to the top, make a bunch of money, have a big house, and on and on. And the way to do that is to check the boxes of education, resume building, getting promoted… Or is it?
Our passion maximizes the impact we have on others. The people who have positive impact on others live fulfilled lives. (And I plan to prove or disprove my hypothesis that passionate people have more earning potential in the long run.)
4) Develop Strong Relationships
I know, I know, some people are introverts. But introverts and extroverts alike are humans with big hearts. It’s our nature. We are social beings.
The stronger our relationships with our family, the more fulfilled we will be. I’m using family in a different sense here. I heard this great definition the other day that I’ve now adopted — our family consists of anyone we’ve allowed access to our hearts and minds.
This isn’t a numbers game, its a game of meaning. How many truly meaningful relationships do you have? Should you have? Whatever your answer is, that’s the right number for you.
5) Have Incredible Experiences
Things (possessions) are great on occasion. A new car or a new pair of hiking boots, or a new camera are all fun… But newness wears off.
I am a firm believer in sacrificing things to have incredible experiences. And I don’t mean around the world trips with 15 of my closest friends. An incredible experience could be driving a mile down the road with my girlfriend on a Saturday to finally try a new brunch place and finding out they have incredible coffee.
Incredible experiences depend on your own passions and hobbies and interests. They depend on your family. But no matter how you define them, incredible experiences will almost certainly change your life for the better.
I hope I’ve not offended anyone with any of my points above. I truly believe that these five things will lead to more purpose and fulfillment in anyone’s life. Even though I’m very much still a work in progress (and always will be), these five things have had a huge impact on my life. And I love it.
What would you add to the list? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!