post written by: Marc Chernoff

8 Ways to Add More Life to Your Years


8 Ways to Add More Life to Your Years

Experience.  Dream.  Risk.  Close your eyes, jump, and enjoy the free fall.  Choose exhilaration over predictability.  Choose growth over comfort.  Choose potential over safety.  Wake up to the magic of life.

Make friends with your intuition.  Trust your gut.  Discover the beauty of uncertainty.  Know yourself fully before you make promises to others.  Make lots of mistakes so that you will know how to discern what you truly need.

Learn when to hold on and when to let go.  Love hard and often and without reservation.  Seek knowledge.  Open yourself to possibility.  Keep your heart honest, your head high, and your spirit free.  Embrace your darkness along with your light.  Be wrong every once in a while, and be okay with it.

Awaken to the brilliance in ordinary moments.  Live the truth no matter what the cost.  Own your reality without apology.  See goodness in the world.  Be Bold.  Be Fierce.  Be grateful.  Be wild, crazy, and gloriously free.

Go now and add more life to your years.  Here are few ways to do just that:

  1. Be you. – There’s no better freedom than the freedom to be yourself.  Give yourself that gift, and choose to surround yourself with those who appreciate your decision.  Don’t let someone change who you are, to become what they need.  Be you in the beautiful way only you can, to become what you need.
  2. Treat yourself the way you want others to treat you. – The amount of abuse you tolerate in a partner is equal to the amount of abuse you heap on yourself.  If you are used to telling yourself that you’re ugly, that you are destined to fail, and that you’re not capable of performing in the world without someone holding your hand, then you will accept, and feel most comfortable with, a partner who reinforces these same negative beliefs.  Read The Mastery of Love.
  3. Breathe your passion. – It’s not what we do every once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.  There is a proverb that says, “He who half breathes, half lives.”  Writing is my breath, so I breathe it every day.  Whatever your breath is, breathe it deeply and consistently so that you may live wholly.
  4. Act out of love.Love your life to the fullest.  Love is natural.  When we do not act out of love, it goes against our very nature.  That choice results in emotional, mental, and even physical pain.  Love heals the pain that was caused by the absence of it.  Always act out of love.
  5. Make your gratitude list longer than your worry list. – Don’t let a bad moment ruin your day.  Think of it as a bad minute, not a bad day, and you’ll be okay.  Stress thrives when your worry list is longer than your gratitude list.  Happiness thrives when your gratitude list is longer than your worry list.  So find something to be thankful for.  And remember, pretending to be happy when you’re struggling is just a small example of how strong you are as a person.  When it rains on your parade, look up rather than down.  Because without the rain there would be no rainbow.  Read Tuesdays with Morrie.
  6. Keep your mind wide open. – Make a promise to yourself.  Promise to stop the drama before it begins, to breathe deeply and peacefully, and to love others and yourself without conditions.  Promise to laugh at your own mistakes, and to realize that no one is perfect; we are human.  Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible.  All of us are imperfect, so there’s no point judging each other or ourselves.  In the understanding of this truth lies our perfection.
  7. Take chances. – Take lots of them.  Because honestly, no matter where you end up and with whom, it always ends up just the way it should be.  Stop regretting things and start accepting them as the teachers they are.  Your most significant opportunities will be found in times of great difficulty.  Your mistakes make you who you are.  You learn and grow with each choice you make.  Everything is worth it.  Listen to your heart.  Continue to follow your path, and be okay with the challenges that lie ahead.  Read The Last Lecture.
  8. Let go of old wounds. – Change can be terrifying, yet healing requires change.  Sometimes you have to find the good in goodbye.  Because the past is a place of reference, not a place of residence.  Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars on the playground: You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.

Photo by: Light Knight

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30 Comments

  • Regarding your point on treating yourself the way you want others to treat you, I can’t agree more. You have to take care of number one, and show others that you respect yourself first and foremost.

  • Another great read from you that instantly brightened my day. Absolutely loved #8!

  • I think it’s all about point number 6. Keep that mind open to possibility, and keep looking at the beauty coming over the horizon.

    Regards for another good post.

  • Fantastic post! I try hard to live these things everyday - may have to print this one out and read it every morning just to give myself a daily reminder of what’s important :)

    I were to add a #9 to it (sorry if that’s cheeky) - I would say make sure PAUSE once in awhile and really look at everything and everyone around you. Being mindful, for me anyway, seems to slow down the clock and add more depth to living.

    Thanks again for the lovely post and inspiration!

  • Here’s another tip… Do what you want and don’t allow anyone, and I mean anyone, to hold you back. Life is too short to be live for the approval from others and life is too short to be a people pleaser. Please yourself first because if you’re not happy, no one will be happy.

    Make it a great week! :)

  • How appropriate (for me) that this was posted on September 30! Coincidence? Maybe not. September 30 was my 83rd birthday. A long time ago I issued an ultimatum: “Don’t give me any presents that I have to dust.” This year my request was that my son take me on my first ever motorcycle ride. We went about 70 km with a stop for lunch in the middle. My DIL followed in the truck in case I decided to chicken out. The weather was perfect, the countryside was beautiful, and it was an altogether marvellous day. And, no, I have no plans to bungee jump on my 84th :)

  • When I’m having a hard day, your blog provides the energy to fulfill my soul. Thanks guys.

  • Good points all but “Know yourself fully before you make promises to others” resonates the most. Over the last year I’ve had to eliminate many commitments because I got involved for no good reason other than being asked.

    In our ADD culture we’re so concerned about living up to our Facebook feed and the pressures of parents, pastors, and professors that we lose sight of an authentic central purpose.

    Tom Peters said that one of the secrets to productivity is to have a very big waste basket. His point being that in order to achieve what we want we have to be willing to be focused on it at the expense of other alternatives for our time and resources.

    -Aaron

  • I just stumbled upon your blog and I’ve come to love it! You know just the right words to inspire and motivate anyone. This is an amazing post! Love # 3.

  • Really impressive advice, and yet so simple.

    Great way to jump-start my week.

  • Wow to #8.

  • Bea - that is awesome, what a wonderful way to spend your 83rd birthday. You are inspiration to us all!

  • These are some great thoughts on staying positive and properly enjoying life after taking the leap into the life you were meant to live.

  • I always appreciate when you reference a book. I have now read many of your “books we like”. Very helpful & encouraging!

  • Every time I read your post, there’re a few points that concur with my thought, and additionally, I like the fact that there’re also new thoughts in your post that I find inspiring along with the book recommendations.

    After reading one of your blog posts, I picked up The Power of Now, which had been on my to-read list for well over a year. It’s the kind of book you don’t read at your leisure, but need to read a little bit every day repeatedly until you fully internalize the idea.

  • wow, again great articles..thanks, I now have to start my day with full of inspiration and delighted insights about this world..
    really refreshing…
    :-)

  • thanks for this :)

  • Andrea Nordstrom, I can’t agree more with you that we need to PAUSE to live deeply. Too often we find meaning in being busy, as if not being busy would disqualify us from being productive, intelligent, useful people. Pausing helps us live in the moment and is fully mindful of our blessings. Pausing is a great way of recharging our energy.

  • I really like number three of this list, breathe your passion. I also like to write and philosophize and that is why I created my personal development blog. Life feels so meaningless and so desolate when I am not doing what I love.

  • Marc, been reading you for a while but this was absolutely brilliant and really needed to hear it. not sure where you get your wisdom from….i am 58 and have just begun a new journey to retirement and changed countries (from the US to Italy)…it has been wonderful and painful all at once….keep up the great work!

  • Brilliant post as usual.

  • You have an amazing wellspring of humanity and you contribute to mine. I subscribe to very few feeds; yours is one I count on. Thank you for your important work.

  • You seem like a very knowledgeable man. I can’t imagine the life experiences that brought about this wisdom.

    I agree that being yourself is the number 1 way to add life to your years. When people are forced to take jobs where they must pretend to be another to fit into the office politics - that time does not belong to them.

    It is wasted life, you can only live when you can be proud to express the real you. The times when I bottled myself up inside and displaying a facade of another person - were the times in my life that I was extremely unhappy.

  • This came right in time. I am facing big business challenges these days, and so I need inspiration. Thanks for your tips.

  • I found your website at a very confusing and hard time in my life. The life lessons have helped keep me grounded. I was laid off after 17.5 years and my job was the support system for the company. My whole focus was taking care of other people and their needs. Now I need and want to concentrate on me but it is very foreign. I am a young 62 and I read: Follow your passion-what if you don’t know what that is? I want to make the rest of my life personally rewarding, productive and fun whether in a job or not.

  • great tips. thanks for such lovely elaborative ideas.

  • I just came across your website -love it!
    I read your post from 9/30 and tears just started to fall. I had to end a love relationship yesterday and saying goodbye is so hard. As I start my new day I read this and see some good in the goodbye. The past was a reference.
    Thank you so much, I look forward to reading more

  • I keep re-reading your older posts, and the immense power of positivity that I gain from your blog is unbelievable! Right now, I feel my heart could burst with love. And this morning, I was in a dark mood running in my head all the things that are not working at the moment. Now it’s all gone! And only love is left :)

    Thank you!

  • I love this advice… I hope you don’t mind if I quote and link to you on my blog.

    Excellent.. thank you :)

  • Fantastically written. A lot of the points resonate with me, but I really struggle at taking chances. Anybody else in my shoes? I need someone to really encourage me to take the plunge into uncomfortable so that I can learn from the failures that may come due to taking a chance.

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