Do me a favor. Take a step outside your shoes and look at your life from a different perspective. Are you living a fulfilling life?
Maybe you have a job that pays well and provides for your family...but you want more money for a newer car. Have you lost focus to what is important in life? We often think we need more than we actually have. We focus on wanting the newest and best things in life, not truly happy with the things that matter.
I'm not saying it is bad to want a better life. In fact, it's something we should all strive to have. However, focusing on the wrong things doesn't make us happy, it just creates an empty hole where joy should be. So, how do you cultivate a happy and fulfilling life?
Realize what's important
What things really matter in life? Make a list of what makes you happy. Are the things on your list things you can buy? Or is your list filled with your hobbies and the people in your life? Things that challenge you, make you a better person and bring others happiness are what really matter.
Enjoy the little things
Growing up in Panama, my family used to go starfish hunting on the shore. One time I found a small starfish hiding between two rocks; the light blue coloring was stunning. I thought it was so beautiful. Two minutes later my brother found a huge brown starfish. It was about a foot bigger than my tiny 2 inch starfish. My brother got all the attention that day because of his big starfish, but I loved my little blue guy. I may have not gotten the attention from my family, but what really mattered is how much my little starfish meant to me.
Set and achieve goals
While setting goals is important, achieving them is what gives you the satisfaction and happiness you are looking for. Choose goals in separate categories of your life to help create a sense of fulfillment. Make achievable fitness, health, relationship and self-improvement goals to give your life true happiness.
One of the most satisfying experiences in life is to serve others. Instead of spending time watching the big game on your big television, give your time and money to help someone. Volunteer, donate and raise awareness for a cause you care about to be truly happy.
We all have interests and hobbies we love. Challenge yourself by pursuing new passions to give your life direction and purpose.
Have a story
One day you will look back on everything you've done in your life. Maybe not now, or maybe not in 10 years, but there will come a time when you will tell your life story. You'll be reminded of all the memories you made. Have stories to tell your own children; share your wisdom and life experience to those around you.
I hope when you look back on your life you believe it was a good one. I hope you grow old with the person you love. I hope you can show your grandchildren how to live a happy and fulfilling life.