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Living your best life involves understanding what your best life looks like to you. Living a good life means knowing what constitutes a good life in your own opinion, not in other’s opinions. It is difficult to know what you really want and need for happiness with all the noise in your head from your family of origin, your community, and society.

If you really want to be happy and live a full and satisfying life, you need to release yourself from other people’s standards and focus on what really matters to you. First, you need to figure out what really matters. Once you do that, you can stop comparing yourself to others and live your life the way you define it, not by what others expect of you.

What Really Matters?

For you to focus on what matters, let’s discuss how to determine what really matters. The best way to do this is to look at the research, specifically, death bed research. Two researchers at the University of Illinois commissioned a survey of 370 men and women who were dying.

The four things that came up, again and again, are knowing your purpose, staying as healthy as possible, spending the time you have wisely and productively, as well as cultivating healthy relationships. While no one knows what they will personally regret on your death bed, data can reveal what most people feel, and you can use that information on which to base the choices you make from now on.

Your Purpose or Your Why

Why you want to do things and how you approach the world is defined by your life purpose or your why. Your why is defined by your long-term goals or the impact you’re hoping to achieve. For example, ask yourself, what is the point of doing this thing? Where am I trying to get? What do I want more of in my life? What do I want less of in my life? Why do I get up in the morning? What makes me feel excited and eager to get on with it?

Time Because It’s Finite

You’re born with the same number of hours in a day as the next person. However, everyone chooses different ways to exchange time for what they want. Some people get wage jobs. Some people start businesses. Some people are fortunate to receive a living from their inheritance. However, it doesn’t change the fact that you have the same amount of time in a day as everyone else, and how you choose to focus that time based on your other circumstances is what matters most.

Health Because Not Everyone is Equal

If you are healthy, you’re lucky. You can use it to your advantage. If you’re not healthy, if you have any control over fixing it, then you should. If it’s an illness you were born with that isn’t due to the lifestyle, you will need to find ways around it so that you can mitigate the damage it causes. If you neglect what you need health-wise, you may not live the ideal life you want to live. Therefore, you must place a top focus on your health to be as good as it can be.

Relationships with Others and Yourself

Humans are meant for other human connections. Even if you’re an introvert, you need a certain amount of human connection to be truly fulfilled. Whether this is having relationships with people in your community, or a closer love relationship with a significant other, or your relationships with your kids – whatever the relationship, it’s essential to be connected to others in some way. They are the foundation of our lives. Also imperative for happiness and contentment is a good relationship with yourself.

Your purpose, how you spend your time, the state of your health, and the way your relationships manifest with your community and loved ones all are essential for your happiness. We know this is due to studying data over time, which shows what most people value on their death bed compared to what they valued as they were living their life. No one wishes they worked more, stayed busier, or that they cared less about their environment to chase more dollars with no point or purpose. Most people claim to want a balanced life with good health, community, and enough time to do it all.

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