Updated on November 6th, 2018
Are you at a crossroads or dead end in your life? Treading water in your life? Dissatisfied, and living a life you don’t enjoy anymore? Do you feel it’s time to take stock, and evaluate where you’re at? Are you dreaming of creating a life you love, yet don’t know what that entails? Then how about some inspiration?
Find out what my 10 Key Ingredients for a Life You Love are – and which one(s) you are missing. Read on…
I talk to people a lot about living a life they love.
And when I mention that I coach on this, they often ask me for my best tips. This is when I say that, sadly – or perhaps fortunately – there is no magic formula. Because the life you love is as individual and unique as you are. And living it is really all about discovering what’s in you, and bringing that to its fullest expression.
However – from my observations of people who live a life they love, from my own life and coaching experience, and from a bit of informal research, I have distilled 10 Key Ingredients for a life you love.
How many of them – and which ones – are present in your life? Which ones are missing? And what could you do to introduce the missing ingredients into your life – and love your life more for it?
1. Knowing and loving yourself
The basic ingredient for a life you love. People who love their life know what they’re truly and honestly about. What they’re good at, and where they struggle. What works for them, and what doesn’t. What’s more, they have learnt to accept, respect and love themselves, warts and all. They know, own and use their strengths. And are aware and compassionate about their weaknesses – improving and developing them where possible, or managing them, where not. In short: They make the very best of what they’ve got in them.
Your life becomes one you love when you set yourself free to express who you really are, and live your life according to that – independently of others’ opinions, expectations or judgments.
You know you’re living an authentic life when you don’t feel you’re wearing a mask. When what you do, in work or personal life, feels distinctly you. When you are happy and proud to be seen being distinctly you by others. And when you are prepared and able to stand for the parts of it that really matter to you.
Have you ever come across people who live what looks like quite a challenging life with remarkable ease and satisfaction? Having a sense of why you’re doing what you’re doing in your life, and what higher outcomes this serves for you and the world around you, will greatly increase your motivation to do those necessary, yet challenging or even disagreeable things every life presents at some stage. And make you happier with your life by giving you a sense that you’re living purposefully.
We cannot always choose what life throws at us. And sometimes, our choices of how to respond to what happens to us are limited, too. But there is always an opportunity to reflect on, interpret and learn from every experience.
Finding the valuable nuggets of meaning in what you do, or in what happens to you – your interpretation of what it means – will help you get over difficulties, let go of grudges, keep growing – and feel more satisfied with your life overall.
No life happens in complete isolation, even if it can sometimes feel that way. Tapping into and honing our connections with others, with nature, or with something greater than ourselves, supports and carries us. It also brings enjoyment, and – yes – it creates meaning. People who radiate that they live a life they love know how to be in loving, giving and taking connection to other people and the world around them. And they keep learning about it, too.
People who live a life they love have established a balance that works for them. They’ve put some thought into who and what is important to them, which experiences they want, and how much time they give to each of them.
They’ve tried things out to see what works for them and what doesn’t, and then made the necessary changes to live their very own mix of relationships, time alone, activities and experiences. At a pace that works for them, too.
Then they work to maintain their balance – or to get back onto it if life throws them off, as it often does. They check in regularly to see if it is still what they need, and they adjust it if they or their circumstances have changed.
Living your life with awareness means paying attention to what’s going on, around and inside you, at any time.
It means truly experiencing the things, people, environments, or activities you’re exposed to, or choose to get yourself into. Just noticing the small and the big, the pleasant and the unpleasant, the fast and the slow, or the bitter and the sweet – and the manifold shades of grey in between.
8. Growth, development, learning
These are not just much of what life is about – they kind of are life. And so, anything that fosters these connects us with the life force within us, and makes for a life we love (more).
People who love their life actively seek out opportunities to keep growing and developing. They might choose to: Learn a new skill. Take on a new role at work. Build their own business. Face and overcome a long-held fear. Take on a challenge. Start a project that benefits others. Work on themselves to become a better parent, partner, or friend.
It’s about doing something different(ly), and stretching or reaching beyond the safe boundaries of what we normally do. And then reflect on the experience, and draw insights from it.
There are many ways to keep growing, developing and learning. What’s yours? (Want some ideas? Check out my 25 Simple Tweaks to Make a Difference in Your Life)
To be who we are. To freely express our characteristics, gifts and talents. To make our own choices and decisions. To live our life as it suits us. To be the master of how and where we spend our own time. To have our own experiences. To live free of danger.
Or whatever this represents for you!
For yourself first. Then for others. This is an absolute cornerstone of a life you love.
People who love their lives know that only from a steady, rested and nourished place they can effectively and enjoyably do their thing, contribute to the world and help others.
They know that restoration is necessary in order to put back (at least some of) what life takes out, so that they can continue to be immersed in life at their best.
And they know that good health cannot be taken for granted, and is not entirely in their power either – but they calmly and steadily do what they can to support theirs.
And they have learnt to put themselves first in a practical, unselfish, being-kind-to-themselves sort of way.
So tell me, if you please:
How many key ingredients – and which ones – are present in your life?
Which ones are missing right now?
And what could you do to introduce the missing ingredient(s) into your life – and love your life more for it?
Over to you
Which are your Key Ingredients for a life you love? Please share them in the comments below!