6 Exceptional Tips For a Great Life I Wish I Knew Earlier
Enhance your happiness, lifestyle, growth, and more.
What does it mean to live a “great life?”
A “great life,” to me, means having a lifestyle you enjoy, work that fulfills you, and the freedom to make the most of your time without being controlled by others. And thankfully, you don’t need a billion-dollar startup to do so. (“Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”)
I want to share a few rules I’ve learned to help me in my journey to live my best life. By following these rules, you can eliminate uncertainty and common pitfalls—all you have to do is apply them and they’ll help guide you through life. Here’s how:
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1. Build a Lifestyle, Not Just a Career
Many people only focus on building a career and so they squeeze their “normal life” into the remaining time. But that sometimes creates a situation where there’s no work-life balance and their life becomes unfulfilling.
In fact, a lot of people with massive salaries and businesses are utterly miserable. (Not all, but there are quite a few.) And all the things they thought they wanted eventually became their chain.
Yet we are holistic beings: If you change one thing, you’ll affect the other. That’s why it’s important to consider both your career and your lifestyle.
“Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls — family, health, friends, and integrity — are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.”
— Gary Keller
One great exercise is to simply write out your ideal lifestyle. That way, you consider your job and how it integrates with the rest of your life. Rather than doing what everyone else tells you to do, you can consciously decide your end goal and work backward to achieve it.
Let’s say you want a lifestyle where you only work 20 hours a week. Now you know what it takes to get there. That might, however, take a few years of working, say, 50 hours a week to create that, but because you know your end goal (the lifestyle you want), it gives you direction and it’ll be a sacrifice worth making.
2. Stop Trying to Prove Yourself
Why do you want to live a “great life?” Why do you want your goals? Is it because it’s the life you truly want or is it because it’s the life you think you should want?
Many people set life goals to prove something to others and themselves—they want to prove their self-worth, showcase their achievements, and validate their existence. Yet this pursuit is self-defeating, and the more they do it, the worse it gets.
No achievement will make you more worthy as a person. And if you’re constantly seeking approval, praise, and validation, you’ll rely on others for your self-worth, self-confidence, and ultimately, your happiness.
If you truly want to live a great life, you must give up the need to prove yourself—otherwise, you’ll never be free. You’ll never be able to set the rules in your life, you’ll never have a strong sense of self, and you’ll end up feeling empty no matter what you accomplish.
Instead, find goals and a purpose that’s intrinsically motivated—things you would want to achieve even if no one knew you achieved them. That way, you’re not influenced by approval and you can do things soley for enjoyment and love. A simple test is to ask yourself: If you could never tell a single person about your successes, would you still pursue them?
3. Don’t Focus on Cost, Focus on Value
I understand the need to keep a budget, but many people let a big price tag scare them because they only focus on “how much it costs.” Instead, the question you should really ask is “how much is it worth to me?”
Sometimes paying an extra $100 or even $1,000 is worth 10X in value due to the extra features, durability, personal value, etc.
For example, many years ago, I spent a lot on a laptop, but I knew I would use that laptop practically every single day of my life for work, passion projects, entertainment, and more.
The one I bought successfully handled over seven years of heavy work and travel. But if I only focused on the cost, I would’ve picked something cheaper, which may have broken down faster or become obsolete quicker.
This is just one example so I don’t miss the forest for the trees. Whether it’s investing in a course to grow your life, buying a higher-quality jacket, or taking the trip of a lifetime, sometimes the absolute cost just doesn’t measure the value that you’re really getting.
4. Decide Faster
In my life, whenever I’ve said, “I can’t decide,” I was lying: The truth was that I was scared to commit and I wanted two (or more) things at once. But that’s impossible; when I make a real choice, I must say “no” to other things.
Many people have a fear of missing out by closing their options — so they don’t make a decision. Instead, they’ll hesitate, delay, or stay in paralysis by analysis and time will pass by.
But the longer it takes to decide, the longer it takes to get to where you want. That’s why being decisive is one of the best skills you can cultivate. It helps you move forward in life and free up the mental energy wasted in deliberation. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you’re “wrong” because you won’t know until after you take action anyway; only then can you correct course.
“The best thing is to do the right thing; the next best is to do the wrong thing; the worst thing of all things is to stand perfectly still.”
— Alfred Henry Lewis
5. Always Prioritize Growth
Many of us have goals in areas like money, possessions, relationships, and health—but what happens once we achieve them?
We stop. We’re done. Then, we spend our time protecting what we have and living life on defense than going after new things and living life on offense. And once that happens, we lose our drive, become tentative, and feel aimless.
“Functionally, a man is somewhat like a bicycle… A bicycle maintains its poise and equilibrium only so long as it is going forward towards something. You have a good bicycle. Your trouble is you are trying to maintain your balance sitting still, with no place to go. It’s no wonder you feel shaky.”
I feel most alive when I’m learning, growing, and challenging myself. Yet there was a time about three years ago when I felt like I wasn’t growing anymore. As a result, I decided to give up my comfortable life and move to a new continent—and I never regretted it for a second.
Never stop growing. Never stop reaching new heights. It’ll give you the purpose and motivation to wake up with excitement and overcome setbacks along the way.
6. Remember Where You Live
Where do you live?
I don’t mean your hometown. I don’t mean your apartment or house. I mean, where do you truly live?
You live once you step outside your door and go out into the world. You live once you leave your four walls and explore the world around you.
Make an effort to disconnect from devices and connect back with reality. Yes, technology is valuable, but we tend to rely too much on screens and the internet to entertain us at the expense of our own goals, passions, and priorities — and gives us little to show for it.
Create strong boundaries on devices and push yourself to spend more time in the real world. By understanding what’s real life and what isn’t, you can start to make the most of your time on this Earth.
And over time, this will help you live a great life.
CONTRIBUTED BY Anthony J. Yeung
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