When deciding how to live your life to the fullest, we must first answer one question: what does it really mean to live life to the fullest?
What does it really mean to live life to the fullest?
The answer to this question is different for everyone because everyone has a different idea of excitement, a different drive and a different purpose in life.
When I think of living life to the fullest I think of living a life without fear or limitations. I envision life without boundaries. The moments I do allow fear or self-doubting thoughts enter my mind, I experience stagnancy; and stagnancy feels like you aren’t going anywhere and you aren’t doing anything, leaving you bored and uncertain. Ten years ago I committed to a new style of living. I committed to finding my fullest. I committed to facing my fears, ignoring self-imposed limitations and finding joy in the race of life that is mine.
It is when we decide to run our personal race without fear and without limitations that we open ourselves up to a life we would have never of imagined otherwise. I believe it is possible to live the life you’ve always dreamed of…and it is this mental shift that has allowed me to experience the following in the past ten years:
- Living and working abroad
- Traveling extensively through Europe
- Completing a full Ironman Triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run)
- Authoring and publishing my first book
- Buying my first house completely on my own
- Being selected to participate in the NBC comeback of American Gladiators
- Getting proposed to in Paris by the man of my dreams
- Marrying the man of my dreams in Bora Bora
- Launching my own online confidence coaching business
- Creating a podcast community that extends worldwide
- Winning the North Face Endurance Challenge Trail Marathon in D.C.
- Learning how to snowboard and surf
- Giving birth to the most beautiful little baby girl
- Signing a book deal with my dream publisher, Howard / Simon & Schuster
- Spending an inordinate amount of long weekends and vacation days with my expansive and wonderful family and friends
Now, those things are living to the fullest for me. They aren’t accomplishments and they aren’t things I’m ticking off my list, rather, they are life events that have nurtured my soul and brought me joy beyond expression.
I want you to find your fullest. To help you, here is a list of 50 different ways that you can really open up and live freely to be who you were meant to be.
#1: Be yourself – chase the limits of the world.
This doesn’t mean that you have to go to every different country on the planet to chase the limits of the world. The beauty about the world we live in is that you can chase the world wherever you are. Even if you can’t leave where you are right now, you can transport yourself through images and information available to you through the power of Google. Furthermore, the mere act of being yourself opens the world up to you in ways you may have never imagined.
Explore everything you possibly can. Explore yourself, explore the world, explore others, and explore different languages. There are so many different cultures, foods, places, things, and people that we can learn more about. Take a step back, open your eyes, and look at the beauty that is right in front of you.
#3: Live in the moment.
So many of us are planning for the future or worried about our past, that we don’t give the present moment the attention it deserves. There is something special in each moment we have in life, embrace that. Learn to appreciate and live actively each and every day you have.
#4: Do the things you love.
This one is simple: if you love it, do it. If what you love doesn’t make sense, do it anyways. Never underestimate the things that bring you joy in life. You love what you love for a reason. If it makes you happy, do as much of it as you possibly can.
#5: Express yourself creatively.
People can creatively express themselves in so many different ways, so even if you don’t consider yourself “creative,” you do have a creative side. Some people cook or bake, some express themselves through their clothes, through the music they listen too, and some express themselves through sports. Creativity and personal expression are so incredibly important to who we are as human beings. Express yourself in any way you know how.
#6: Participate in life instead of watching it pass you by.
It’s very easy to watch life instead of participate in it, because to participate you must be able to live in the present. Living in the present is hard, as most of us allow our minds to exist in the past or the future. What you think about is where you will be. When we dwell on the past, think too much about the future, or let our fear and limitations keep us from living, we are not able to experience the excitement and pleasure of life.
#7: Live each day as if it were your last.
We cannot predict the number of days we have on this earth. So, waste no time letting each day pass you by. Do the things that you know in a few years you would say, “I wish I had done that;” do them now. Each day is a gift and an opportunity for us to become the best versions of ourselves we can be.
#8: Substitute Get to” with “Have to”
Instead of waking up in the morning and thinking, “Oh man, I have to go to the gym today,” think instead, “I get the opportunity to go to the gym today, and better myself.” Wake up in the morning and appreciate that you have another day, another opportunity to grow, become wiser, and to become more invested in your life.
#9: Do one thing a day that scares you.
Good ol’ Eleanor Roosevelt said this one. If you want to live a life that is not controlled or defined by fear, do one thing a day that scares you. By doing this, and facing fear on a daily basis, you will learn to live a life that you control, not one where fear controls you.
#10: Question everything:
By questioning everything, we force our minds to engage creatively. By finding answers to our daily questions we not only learn more about the world we live in, but we also build our confidence. Investigate and research whatever question your minds asks, find the answers and let your mind engage creativity with the world around you.
#11: Push the limits.
The only limits in your life are limits you create. You have dreams and potential to do and go in whatever direction you wish. Believe that you cannot out dream your potential and keep pushing yourself to be the best you possibly can. By doing this you can reach whatever dream you have your heart set on.
#12: Ignore the status quo.
Be the person that refuses to live an average life. It is when we think we cannot step out of our comfort zone for fear that we may be judged for doing something different, that we let this fear control our decisions and dreams. Break free from the status quo – from doing what everyone else is doing…from living an average life – and your life will become a never-ending adventure.
#13: Bushwhack your own path.
Do not follow in the footsteps of others. Instead, create your own path to follow for your own journey. You do not need to follow all the latest trends and do what every one else is doing. You don’t need to know where this new path may lead you yet, but start it and see where it takes you.
You can still travel even if you don’t have a big budget. The world is your oyster and there may be places you haven’t even noticed right outside your back door. See the world, get on a plane, get in a car, get on a bike and look around. There are so many things we see each and every day that we take for granted. Open your eyes to those things and appreciate the beauty in them.
#15: Read and learn something every day.
We can travel the world through the different types of text we read. Whether you read a travel magazine, or a Jodi Picoult book that takes you to a story in Nantucket, you can keep exploring. You can also explore your mind and your perspective through writing. No day is wasted if it a day in which you have learned something.
#16: Follow your hopes, not your fears.
Fears hold us back from stepping out of our comfort zone. Follow those hopes and dreams that fill your mind and your heart, and don’t let them out of your sight. Look past the fears and follow your hopes until you finally catch them.
#17: Celebrate your strengths.
Each of us is unique. We all have different strength and weaknesses and that’s what sets us apart from one another. Don’t be afraid to take pride in yourself and celebrate the things you can do and do well. Don’t be afraid to celebrate yourself on a daily basis.
#18: Celebrate others.
We can celebrate others by complimenting, praising, and building people up with our words and actions. Be the person that encourages other people to live their life to the fullest. Be the person that carries a little bit of sunshine wherever you may go and sprinkle it on everyone you meet.
#19: Know your inner self.
We need to understand ourselves from the inside in order to live life to the fullest on the outside. Self-reflection opens our minds and hearts to new levels of living.
#20: Live in alignment to your purpose.
Once you start understanding your inner self, you will have a better understanding about who you are and what you need as an individual. This will help you clearly state your purpose in life. Decision-making will become easier and the right decisions will become clearer, which will allow you to make better decisions for yourself, and your life, in the long run.
#21: Hold yourself to the highest conduct – be the best version of you possible.
Try your best at every task that comes your way. Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. Do your best, give it your all, know that you tried your hardest, and you will feel accomplished no matter what the outcome may be. Make a commitment to be the best version of yourself that you can be each and every day.
#22: Design your ideal life.
You have control over what you want and where you go in life. Ask yourself questions like: What do I want my life style to be?, and, What is important to me? , and then you can start living your life, making decisions, and bushwhacking the path that will get you there. Identify your ideal for yourself and it with the people around you.
#23: Stop putting your life on hold and take action.
Stop putting off your dreams, and stop saying, “maybe one day,” or, “maybe when I have more time.” We are the ones that make time in our lives, so start making time in your life to do the things that matter to you. Take action today, right now even, and start living your life to the fullest.
#24: Give yourself permission to excel and explore.
Too many of us are scared of doing something great, or doing something that will make us stand out, that we don’t really give ourselves permission to express ourselves for fear of being different. Break free from the status quo, be who you are, excel and explore life in your own way.
#25: Learn from criticism without taking it personally.
We all dislike it, but criticism can be constructive and helps us grow and learn from our past mistakes. Resist the temptation to be overly sensitive to criticism and instead look at it as a welcomed blessing. Learn from the criticism you are given and be grateful for the opportunity to learn something that you can improve on.
#26: Speak words of life to yourself.
Your mind is a powerful tool, and when we decide to fill our minds and speak to ourselves in a positive way we will become even more confident in ourselves. Saturate your mind with truth and surround yourself with positive influences. Allow yourself to think successfully to yourself internally and also externally.
#27: Speak words of life about others and to others.
Choose not to engage in gossip and instead speak positively and successfully about others. Simply walking away from a group that is gossiping is an easy way to start showing and speaking words of life to others. Use your voice to speak about the good characteristics in others to help build them up so they can live life to the fullest as well.
#28: Let your past refine you, not define you.
It is extremely difficult to let go of our past, but it those people who do who are able to really maximize their present and ultimately their futures. We often get stuck in a cycle of thinking back to our past mistakes, which keep us from moving forward in life. Learn to grow from your past instead of letting the past control your life. Our pasts refine us, they don’t define us.
#29: Forgive others and forgive yourself.
We tend to be pretty hard on ourselves, beating ourselves up for our “mistakes” and shortcomings. Because we are so hard on ourselves we also subconsciously punish ourselves in the process. Forgive yourself and let go of those mistakes, otherwise they will haunt you. It is difficult to live life to the fullest if you are living in self-condemnation.
#30: Eliminate toxic relationships.
Try to eliminate anything toxic in your life. Start building up and holding on to the relationships you have with the people who build you up to become a better person. Those are the relationships that will last and grow stronger.
#31: Surround yourself with truth.
When we live a life saturated in truth, the negatives and artificial things that fill our minds with negativity will slowly disappear. Living and surrounding yourself with truth will help you understand your purpose in life and help you get there. This will help you live life to the fullest in a clear and positive way.
#32: Be authentically you.
When you give yourself permission to be true to yourself, you free yourself from a lot of fears that may be holding you back. When you accept yourself and express yourself in your own personal way, you will truly be able to live life to the fullest.
#33: Stop comparing yourself to anyone else.
You are the only you on this planet. Try to stop comparing yourself to others because there is no one else that is going to be exactly like them, just like no one will be exactly like you. The act of comparison clutters your life, distracting you from living your own life, and bringing you down. Celebrate the uniqueness inside you and embrace it. You are one of a kind.
#34: Look forward to each day of your life: see it as a gift.
Each day we have is precious and special. When you wake up in the morning, look out your window and be excited that you have been given the gift of another day to live, grow and better yourself.
#35: Learn something new every day – keep upgrading yourself.
Keep upgrading yourself and keep getting better. Every day you are becoming a better version of yourself through what you learn each day. By learning something new, we broaden our thoughts and horizons.
#36: Try new things.
There are so many different ways to try new things in life. Trying something new could be as simple as trying new foods or as big as traveling to a different country and experiencing a new culture and language. Trying new things permits us to break out of our comfort zone and really get to experience all that life has to offer. Real life happens outside of the comfort zone.
#37: Never settle.
Never settle for just “getting by” when you know life can be better. Stop settling for being “okay” when you know that you can be great.
#38: Embrace new ideas and new thinking.
When we keep an open mind to new ideas and different ways of thinking we broaden our minds to see how things work from a new perspective. We all think and see things differently and it is from these differences that we can receive some of our greatest lessons and growth. Allow yourself to embrace those new ways of thinking and to learn something from every single person that crosses your path.
#39: Know that you are a work in progress.
Each day is an opportunity to grow and become a better version of you. What is so exciting about living life to the fullest is that each day can become more and more full as a result of your own daily development. There are always new ways and opportunities to become a better you. With this attitude life simply gets better and better every day.
#40: Become just a little bit better at being you every day.
Make it your mission each and every day to become a better version of yourself mentally, physically and spiritually. A day in which you grow is a day that has not gone to waste. We are all a work in progress and therefore we should commit to bettering ourselves little by little each and every day so that we can be more of who we are meant to be.
#41: Dare to dream big.
You never know where dreaming big can take you until you try it. You can do anything you set your mind to so don’t let your fears hold you back from dreaming big.
#42: Celebrate the uniqueness of others.
Just like we need to celebrate our own uniqueness, we also should celebrate the uniqueness of others. Everyone is different; everyone thinks differently and dreams differently. We should all be celebrated for our differences and for the unique qualities that make us who we are.
#43: Improve the world with your legacy – contribute!
Contribute to the world. Give back and be generous with your time, words, love, ideas and money. Let the world and the people around you feed off of your positivity and generosity. A smile is contagious and so is the power of being and staying positive.
#44: Give more than you receive.
When we give back to people, we feel a sense of gratitude within ourselves. Always be the first person to say hello, the first person to out-love, and the first person to give with back without expecting anything in return. Generosity changes the lives of other and that will ultimately change our hearts.
#45: Relish the little things.
Enjoy the little things in life. There are little pleasures of life you can celebrate each day. The little things could be as simple as you getting good nights sleep, the smell of coffee in a coffee shop, a hug from a friend, a walk with your dog, the smell of rain on the horizon, the sparkle of a rainbow in the sky, the refreshment of ice cold water, or the first taste of a glass of wine. They may be small, but they should always be appreciated, as it is the little things that really make up life.
#46: Express gratitude daily.
Gratitude journaling can be life transforming. The act of writing down in list format of what you are grateful for will expand your gratitude muscle. Furthermore, it will open your perspective to seek out more things for which you can be grateful.
#47: Have fun, let yourself be you.
Be goofy, have fun, laugh until your stomach starts to hurt. Laughter is the best medicine for any situation so live life, laugh and have fun.
#48: Accept change as opportunity to grow.
Change is uncomfortable but it happens all the time. We are always changing, and thereby, change is inevitable. Embrace change as a new opportunity, think of change as a new chapter and new chance to learn and grow. It is when we get stuck in the same routine and stuck in the safety of our comfort zone that we don’t allow ourselves to really live life.
#49: Challenge your fears.
Stand up to your fears because if you don’t, your fears can become so big that they hold you back. You are braver and more confident than you think, so start standing up to those fears and pushing through them to experience a well-lived life.
#50: Live in love.
Live in love and you will live life to the fullest. When we live with a daily aspiration to do everything with love, our days will never be lacking.