When writing the story of your life, don’t let someone else hold the pen. Make conscious choices every day that align your actions with your values and dreams. Because the way you live each day is a sentence in the story of your life. Each day you make a choice as to whether the sentence ends with a period, a question mark, or an exclamation point.
How are you writing your life’s story?
Here are ten ideas for writing a life story worth living:
- Find a passion that makes you come alive. – Each new day is a blank page in the story of your life. The secret is in turning that blank page into the best chapter you possibly can. Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs, and what every great story has, are characters who have come alive in the pursuit of something that inspires them.
- Work hard on that passion. – The best dreams happen when you’re wide awake and working hard on something you’re passionate about. A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the new and unfamiliar. So dream big, pursue your passion, and give yourself permission to work toward a future you know you are capable of creating. Read The 4-Hour Workweek.
- Live happily in your own way. – You are not in this world to live up to the expectations of others, nor should you feel that others are here to live up to yours. Pave your own unique path. What success means to each of us is totally different. Success to some may mean fancy cars and homes. Success to others may mean being a good parent, spouse, or friend. For others, it may mean to simply be happy. Or it can be all of the above. Remember, success is ultimately about spending your life happily in your own way.
- Change your path when you must, but keep moving forward. – There are thousands of possible paths one could take up the mountain of life. You get to choose which one you take, and you can jump from one path to another if you run into a hazardous road block. All of these paths are unique, but lead in a similar general direction, so it really doesn’t matter which path you start off on. The only mistake you can make is by wasting time running around at the base of the mountain, telling everyone that your life path is wrong.
- When the going gets tough, keep fighting. – The wisest, most loving, well rounded people you have met are likely those who have known failure, known defeat, known suffering, and have found their way out of the depths of their own despair. These people have experienced many ups and downs, and have gained an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, understanding, and a deep loving concern. People like this aren’t born; they develop slowly over the course of a lifetime. Read The Road Less Traveled.
- Let go of the past and live consciously in the present. – Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. The past is a good place to visit on occasion, but not a great place to stay. Don’t sit around trying to relive or change your past when you have priceless moments unfolding in front of you and your entire future to look forward to.
- Embrace new ideas, lessons, and challenges. – Sometimes growing up means growing apart from old habits, relationships, and situations, and finding something new that truly moves you. There is nothing more wonderful than seeing life as an adventure. You should try things that you’re afraid of. You should look very clearly into the unknown and enjoy it. Because when you come in contact with things that you don’t know, that’s when you’re learning, growing, and truly living.
- Appreciate the little things in life that mean a lot. – What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you were thankful for today? Think of all the beauty that remains around you, and be happy. Be thankful for all the small things in your life, because when you put them all together you will see just how significant they are. Remember, it’s not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy. Read The Happiness Project.
- Live honorably through kindness. – If you live honorably, no matter how old you get, you’ll never lose your beauty; it will just gradually shift from your face to your heart. And remember, there is no better exercise for the heart than reaching out and holding the hand of someone in need.
- Spend quality time with people you love. – Lost time is never found again. People don’t live forever. Appreciate what you have, who loves you and who cares for you. You’ll never know how much they mean to you until the day they are no longer beside you. Spend lots of quality time with the people you love. Someday you will either regret not doing so, or you will say, “I’m glad I did.”
Steve Ray says
Great article! Regarding number 7, I have started this process 6 months to a year ago, I am now just getting into the thick of things and I can tell you this is very liberating and exciting. Letting go of the old me was very challenging and hard to do but I am well on my way and I can’t tell you how good today is and tomorrow is looking.
Well said. Numbers 5 and 10 were flawlessly stated in my mind.
Thank you, as always.
This post is beautiful in its simplicity. Every point spoke to me in some way.
#1 is so true! My husband and I have a story that is something I will treasure forever. We met online, got engaged 6 weeks later. Married three days after that. We have lived in the desert of Arizona, amongst the trees of Oregon, and now we are in the Alaskan Arctic. Sometimes you do have to just live your life unplanned. Amazing things can happen and I have had 8 years with my beautiful loving husband to prove it.
Larry Gould says
Lovely. Achieving fulfilment is all about picturing your ideal life and working passionately to achieve that life as far as possible. I feel this is especially important when going into retirement. A perfect retirement picture outline is the starting point to making the most of the rest of your life.
Another great post. Thanks!
Deborah L. Parker says
Thanks for these on point life reminders. I like the reference to The Road Less Traveled in #5, one of my favorites. My struggle is with #6, but getting there. Gleaned a lot from the past, but don’t always move on from it.
Profound, yet told in a simple and elegant manner. Your writings simply inspire. Enjoyed the post.
Each point has touched me tremendousdly…what a beautiful way to wake up.
Sandy Peckinpah says
Number 1 really launched excitement for what I have to accomplish today! I am transitioning in my life’s work and this was validation I am on the right path. After reading it, I checked my new blog and I reached the next level in “views!” thanks for the inspiration.
Thanks Marc and Angel, another great blog!!!
Bobbi Spargo says
Great post with some wise advice. Actually, I thought your first paragraph would make a perfect first point. People often let circumstances or people push them along the path each day, therefore the pen is out of their hands. Number one should be, Keep the pen in your own hands! Thanks for the post!
I’m a huge fan of your blog, I love your thought process, but I don’t agree with this line…
“If you live honorably, no matter how old you get, you’ll never lose your beauty; it will just gradually shift from your face to your heart.”
Wrinkles, with the wisdom, is beauty. Next time you look at an elderly person, look closely…
Number five sums up the journey most people are on. I found a very similiar quote by Elizabeth kubler Ross. Which is hugely significant to me. To come out of despair, to have mafe it through a difficult time is the sweetest joy ever. Hopefully those words hove hope to some one in despair.
Ara Bedrossian says
In number one, you wrote: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.”
This is important to me.
It reminds me of the saying, “When I was clever, I tried to change the world. When I became wise, I began changing myself.”
Great list and some very nice links and recommendations. I suppose the list could go on and on, but it’s good to focus and master a few at a time.
I like to think of flow. We set out on our personal paths and life offers surprises and rewards and challenges along the way. Appreciate them all. Flow with them. Grow with them.
Good stuff, Marc.
Andrea Stephen says
Great advice! It makes me sad to see people wasting their life away doing something they hate. Life is too short.
Another great list of wonderful things………
Thanks so much for the positive feedback everyone.
@Rob: In hindsight I somewhat agree with you. That line could have been worded better. Beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder. My point is simply that the heart grows more beautiful with age.
Chu Nam says
I just get my inspiration with things that you write.
I have done many of these things and I agree with your opinions here.
Jerry Hislip says
Great Blog-I’ve Thought About Each Of Your Ten Points And Each One Has Touched And Is Meaning Ful To My Life,In Fact I Think Some Of Them Are Active Always In My Life Now In Some Way Eveyday. Thank You So Much For Sharing.
U guys move me!
Nagaraj Pai says
Great article..Better to read it again and again till it becomes daily life habit.. Thank you..
t d says
Great article friends.
Thank you for sharing 🙂
Wonderful post Marc. Being true to ourselves is the first step to writing a story you’ll love living.
Great Article!!! helps in shaping myself better 🙂
I liked the comment that life can only be understood backwards, but we live forwards. A great reminder to live in the present.
I have written these exact words in both fiction and non-fiction forms: life only makes sense backwards, but it must be lived forwards.
What a beautiful list. Thank you. And for the book recommendations, too.
I really like this article. I have some experience in all 10 points, but I am by no means an expert in any of them. Regarding #6, I think the only way to be truly alive is to live in the now! Visit the past, look toward the future, but live in the now!
Great article! Really helps me think better.