Leading a Good Life is generally speaking a subjective experience. What might appear to be a good life for a person might not be perceived the same way by the people around him/her. Equally, a person might be considered leading a good life while he or she may not agree with such a statement.
It can be expected, that a good life leads to happiness and contentment with one’s life. Research has shown us that such a state of being is rarely achieved by accumulating ‘things’ and ‘gadgets’, but predominantly through the quality of the relationships people are able to establish. Most experts agree that happiness is not an experience or a consequence of following moral or Christian laws. Happiness is not a state that we are born with or that can be achieved. Happiness is an activity, a discipline that needs to be worked at.
Considering the above cautious ideas, we will uncover the ingredients to a ‘Good Life’ and point out the 7 main steps needed to achieve it.
- Take care of your health: Taking care of your physical and emotional well being is an important part to happiness. There is plenty of information available about healthy nutrition and a balanced diet. Balancing the intake of a wide range of food with the burning of energy through living an active lifestyle is still the best way ensuring good health. Healthy regimes also require that you get enough sleep, that you limit alcohol and smoking, and that you exercise rigorously a few times per week. Exercise not only guarantees your physical wellbeing, it also is necessary for your mental wellbeing. Thirty minutes of exercise per day are considered necessary to maintain overall health. If in doubt have a medical check and/or see a nutritionist.
- Choose a job that you enjoy: The average person spends more time at work than with family and friends. Certainly if we consider the time travelled to and from work places. In general the more personal skills and strengths are utilised by a job the more pleasure we experience. Are you getting recognition and adequate remuneration? Do you like your working environment and do you get along with your colleagues? Does your workplace offer you opportunities for promotion and continuing training?
- Make time for recreational activities: It is of great importance to balance work with enough play. Do things you’ve always wanted to do. Brain researchers advise people to do something like learning a new skills or a new language. It’ll keep your brain alert and functioning well. Choose recreational activities that you can do with your friends, you give happiness a double chance to come your way. Making time for recreational activities is important for re-charging your batteries, developing your creativity, and for countering the stressors in life.
- Nurture your relationships: If you have been following my writings, you know by now that having loving, caring relationships are not only the highway to happiness-heaven, they are also of vital importance for physical and mental well-being. Caring relationships help us to regulate our internal physical and emotional states. As you work on achieving a ‘Good Life’, you need to spend time with your family and friends, and even think about increasing your circle of friends.
- Create physical safety: When your home is your castle you are well on your way to physical safety. Make sure that your home meets your need for mutual space and also accommodates your need for time out from your family. Create your home in such a way that it is the safe harbour where you can rest, replenish your energy, and take in resources for facing the 'wild seas of life' again.
- Continue with your education: Are you providing your mind with enough stimulation? Maybe this is the time to learn a new skill, take a course in communication, time management, or improve you professional qualifications through enrolling in a more formal course. Becoming involved again in learning not only keeps your brain healthy and flexible, it also will improve your self-confidence and your self-respect.
- Take your Self seriously: Off course you have heard people talk about self-care often enough. Why do I include it here? Because self-care is immanently important for you having an experience of the ‘Good Life’. By you giving importance to your Self, you counter any shortcoming in caring that you may have had earlier in your life. Also, only a strong and visible YOU is able to be in a relationship that is based on mutual recognition, equality, and deep friendship. So go ahead, pamper yourself with soaks in the bath-tub, walks, massage, a beauty treatment, time-out, an afternoon on the sofa with a good book … Be guided by your creativity.
As you can see, achieving the ‘Good Life’ is not rocket science. However, it requires some commitment and dedication. Sometimes it is hard for people to keep on track all by themselves and they need to enlist help. Of course, the most obvious help can come from your friends and family. Share your plan(s) with them and you will see that people are usually very willing to support a person who wants to improve his/her life. You can also get a professional coach or counsellor to help you achieve your goals. Whatever you do, important is to start now. “The best ideas are worth nothing unless you go into action mode”! JUST DO IT √