We have heard a zillion times about the ways about becoming rich, about becoming powerful, on becoming successful and other cool things. I include below the top 10 ways of leading a fulfilling life. If you live a fulfilled life you will pretty soon convince yourself that you have also been successful.
So here goes. The 10 tips in no particular order
- Be content. Be ambitious: The former statements will sound conflicting. But on closer look it really is not. At any given point in your life you should be content with what you have whether it is your personal fortune, your learning or your talents. But at any juncture in your life you must also be ambitious. It is fine to want wealth, to want fame, to want power as long as you do not compromise on true principles. Be ambitious and be proactive. Seize the initiative to make things happen in your life.
- Never let go of common sense: This is another important principle. Any action that you ever take or any new step that endeavor must withstand the test of common sense. If you want to invest in stocks ask yourself “Is this what large majority of people in my situation would do?” Granted no great discovery comes from common sense but a large part of our life is governed by common sense. So for e.g. common sense dictates that we save some part of our wealth for our and our family’s future. Common sense requires that we hone our talents at office so we can move up the ladder. Common sense requires us to increase our friend’s circle. All your actions must have common sense as the foundation.
- Make values your guiding light: This tip requires that we never compromise on true north bound principles under any circumstance. Values of integrity, perseverance, humility, compassion have with stood the test of time. In a way they are common sense. We should never compromise on principles even under adversity. In the long run a principled life will save your day.
- Fraternize, fraternize and fraternize: Never underestimate the power of a social circle. Increase your circle of friends and indirectly increase your circle of influence. In this era of social networking make maximum use of Facebook, Twitter and good old phone calls to say hi to old friends and make new friends. Friends are useful in so many ways. They can be used as sounding boards, to discuss new ideas, to learn from their experience and their failures
- Get to know yourself: This may sound unusual. After all, what is there to know about you yourself? Actually there is a goldmine of knowledge inside you. For one you try to understand what your real strengths and weaknesses are. With a little common sense you can try to further improve your strengths while working on your weaknesses. Besides one should also take a closer look at one’s biases and pre-conceived notions. Dive deep into your past and you are bound to come up with pearls of wisdom on what worked well in your life and what did not.
- Exercise: Exercise your body, mind and spirit. At whatever stage of life you are at make sure you get an adequate amount of physical exercise. You could hit the gym thrice a week, pump irons or just take a brisk walk everyday. After all if you want to live your life well and enjoy it a good body is essential. Read a lot of good books and exercise your mind. Jogging your mind is necessary to stay young as you grow old in life. Finally exercise your spirit by serving people in whatever way you can. You can perform random acts of kindness. Go out of your way to spread joy to people. For those spiritually inclined praying fervently is also
- All good things take time: Remember life is a marathon and one needs to be patient in life. We have to work patiently to improve ourselves and our talents. There are no enduring short cuts in life. Your life will be intertwined with the lives of your grandparents, your parents, your siblings, your children and your grand children. You have to work your way through all the numerous interactions in life. Persevere and work patiently in achieving your goal.
- Lower your expectations: Keep your expectations low. As St. Francis of Assisi said “Expect nothing. Enjoy everything”. As long as you keep your expectations low you are bound to be happy and satisfied with what you get. While you can be ambitious in life you must also keep your expectations of yourself realistic.
- Be grateful: Be grateful for the little things that you have been given in this life. Avoid comparisons to others. While it may appear that your friends and colleagues who may have more that you are happier in reality they may not be. Happiness is not in what you have but in what you choose to be. Choose to be happy and enjoy everything.
- Have a purpose in life: “What is the meaning of my life” may sound rhetorical. But you could have a simple enough reason like making sure that you buy your own house in the next 5 years, to spending an hour a week at an ashram to giving 1% of your salary to the poor every year. A purpose in life will help you tide through troubles in life. As Nietzsche said “Anybody who knows the why of life can almost certainly handle any how”
If you follow even a few of these tips you are bound to have a more fulfilling and hence successful life.