Below you’ll find 16 ways to create a life that rocks:
1. Plan One Big Adventure a Year. Your adventure can be skydiving, scuba diving, swimming with dolphins, or even hiking a Colorado fourteener. In addition, travel itself can be an adventure. Make a a list of the top 20 world landmarks you want to see during your lifetime–the Eiffel Tower, the Wall of China, Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and so on–, and check one off a year.
2. Plan One Microadventure a Week. A microadventure captures all the goodness of an adventure–the thrill, the escapism, the stretching of your comfort zone–, but they’re cheaper and require a much smaller commitment of time and energy. A microadventure can be any of the following:
- Visiting a museum you’ve never been to before during your lunch hour.
- Trying an activity you’ve never experienced before during the weekend, such as going antiquing or learning to paddleboard.
- Trying the new restaurant with the fusion cuisine.
3. Build a Tribe. We all want to be part of a group, and to feel loved and accepted by others. As I wrote in a guest post I contributed to the blog “Marc and Angel Hack Life”, “A tribe-or a pack, clan, elected family, posse, crew, network, or true friends–is a group of people who share common interests and values and show genuine appreciation and care for each other.”
Your tribe should do all of the following for you: give you a sense of community; encourage you to go after your dreams and achieve your goals; give you a helping hand when you need one; and be there to celebrate your wins. Of course, you also have to do the same for them.
4. Get Fit. You don’t need to have rock-hard abs or be able to run a marathon, but you do need to work toward achieving a weight and BMI–or body fat percentage–that’s considered healthy for your gender and age. Other things to focus on are cardiorespiratory fitness, flexibility or range of motion, and muscular endurance. Think health and having the ability to participate in a wider range of physical activities.
5. Play a Sport. Even if you didn’t play a sport in high school or college, you can still pick a sport and learn to play it well enough. Join the company softball team, enlist a friend and start playing tennis once a week, or join your local cycling group. For those who hate to sweat, there’s always golf and bowling. Playing sports helps you to stay fit, and it fosters camaraderie and friendly competition.
6. Develop a Healthy Relationship With Money. Learn how to channel wealth through your work. Then, notice how, when, where, and why you spend your money. In addition, begin to care for your money and find ways to make it grow. Although money itself can’t get you a life that rocks, financial stress is one of the major deterrents to having a great life.
7. Have a Hobby. Two of our most basic human needs are our need for leisure and our need to create. Whether it’s playing Dungeons and Dragons, knitting, or learning calligraphy, a hobby can help to satisfy both of these needs. Having a hobby can do all of the following:
- It helps to clear your mind.
- It can help you to enter the state of flow–when you’re completely involved in what you’re doing and the rest of the world just falls away.
- Having a hobby can even open your mind to new possibilities. Many people report that they have “Aha!” moments when they take a break from their work and go do something else.
8. Turn Your Living Space Into the Perfect Space. In order to live a life that rocks you have to love the place where you live, and where you probably spend a lot of time. Customize your home to your needs and wants. Walk through each room of your house and ask yourself the following
- What activities do I want to carry out in this room?
- What mood do I want this room to convey?
- What do I need to take out of this room (a large, obtrusive piece of furniture; a painting that reminds you of a relationship that ended badly; a rug that no longer reflects who you are) ?
- What do I need to add to this room (more light; plants; a comfortable chair)?
Then, set out to make it happen.
9. Leverage Your Strengths. Clarify what your strengths are–the things that you enjoy doing and are naturally good at–and find a way to apply those strengths to your work and to your daily life. Do the following:
- Spend most of your time on your strengths.
- Delegate those things that are not your strengths.
- Use your strengths to overcome obstacles.
- Come up with new ways to capitalize on your strengths.
- Apply your strengths in order to help you achieve your goals.
10. Make Music a Part of Your Life. Music can be a refuge, a way to express yourself, a tool for getting through bad times, or a way to express joy. You don’t need to be a musician to make music an integral part of your life. Sing, take a music appreciation course, take a tap dancing class, or simply dance Gangnam style.
11. Follow Your Bliss. There is no better way to have a life that rocks than to be engaged in an activity that you enjoy and to do work that you’re passionate about. If your current situation is such that you cannot be engaged in the work which you like best, decide what it is that you want to be doing and constantly be on the look out for ways in which you can begin to be engaged in that line of work.
12. Learn to Find More Pleasure in Food and Eating. We spend a lot of our time eating, so it’s a good idea to look for ways to increase the pleasure we get from food. The best way to find more pleasure in food is to learn to cook. While everyone loves to eat, not everyone loves preparing food. However, cooking is a great prelude to eating.
Stocking your kitchen with things you really like, chopping vegetables with a sharp knife, taking in the aroma of onions and garlic being sauteed, and inspecting a perfect cut of meat are all part of the sensuality of cooking. Cooking the food that you eat gives you a sense of satisfaction that you could never get by eating out.
In addition, own at least two pieces of cooking equipment that you really enjoy, whether it’s a fantastic stove or a cherry-red food processor.
13. Have a Daily Spiritual or Self-Reflection Practice. Having a spiritual practice can mean a wide range of things, from being a Benedictine oblate–a lay person living in the secular world who lives his or her life in accordance with the rules of the Benedictine Order–, to meditating every morning. Basically, having a spiritual practice means finding a way to connect to something larger than yourself.
In addition, you can simply practice self-reflection daily, by writing in a journal or taking some time to sit quietly and focus within.
14. Do for Others. Whether you volunteer at a food kitchen once a week, help build a house with Habitat for Humanity, or make Kiva loans to low income entrepreneurs in developing countries, to have a life that rocks you need to give back to your community or to the world at large. We all want to feel that our lives have meaning and that what we do matters, and there’s no better way to achieve this than by helping other people.
15. Become a Better Version of Yourself Each Day. Make incremental improvements and get a little bit better each day. Every day you can be just a little bit more confident, a little bit more courageous, a little bit more organized, a little bit more patient, and so on. Could you be one tenth of one percent (.1%) better each day? That’s such a small change that anyone can do it.
Gradually, over time, that .1% adds up, so if you keep it, up five years from now you’ll be an entirely different person. That is, you’ll be a much better version of yourself. And as you get better, your life gets better.
16. Commit to Continuing Education. According to Thomas Jefferson, knowledge is power, knowledge is safety, and knowledge is happiness. The more you know, the more empowered you are, and the larger your world becomes. With open source learning you can now learn anything you want, from the comfort of your home, for free. Rock your world by constantly learning new things.
This is the only life that you have, so make it great. Use the 16 ways explained above to create a life that rocks.
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