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How To Live Your Life To The Fullest
The word lifetime means the duration of a human being’s existence. How are you spending your time? Do you know how to live your life to the fullest? Let’s talk about the word “time” in “lifetime”. Perhaps you are saying you want to have a good life, have a happy life or leave behind a legacy. Some people have children, develop their career or give back. What are ways you live life to the fullest?
Living a Full, Happy Life
The question I want to ask is, “Do you love yourself and love those around you? Have you figured out how to truly be happy in this lifetime yet?” Some people work their life away, complain daily, or find themselves in drama, unhappiness through personalization or blame. To love yourself and those around you, means you might have some knowledge about your own emotional intelligence.
Healthy perspective drives your attitude about life. Having a healthy perspective is a part of having healthy emotional intelligence. Are you the type of person that lets life passes you by? Or are you the type of person that uses mindfulness in much of what you do? Do you look back on the last ten years of your life wondering if routine and work got the better years of you? Have you been living a life for someone else? Do you cherish moments in life and observe all that is around you?
How you see your life is based on your truths or beliefs. These truths and beliefs took a lot of time to form (mostly throughout your childhood). What you choose to put time and energy into is how you value your life. How you value your life is related to how much you love yourself and all that is around you (of which life is offering to you). If you love yourself honestly and treat others transparently, then you are on your way to being an emotionally intelligent person.
What is emotional intelligence?
According to Google’s online dictionary, emotional intelligence is one’s capacity to be aware of, able to control and express one’s emotions; to be able to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. They go as far as to say by having emotional intelligence you are able to be successful in both your personal and professional life. Daniel Coleman is the author of a book called Emotional Intelligence. Although this book was written over 20 years ago, this topic is still very new to many people.
Emotional intelligence is the stuff you don’t learn in school necessarily; it is not mainstream academics. If you think about your feelings, stop and think before acting, listen to your thoughts and be proactive with positive self-talk, you honor yourself by showing integrity to self and others. If you exhibit emotional intelligence, you work to become better, take ownership of your actions, offer compliments to others, forgive and let go, and show a positive attitude. If you’re wondering about how to work on these attributes, then continue reading.
How Much Time Does It Take to Love Yourself?
According to the 2014 Survey of Construction from the Census Bureau, it takes about 7 months to build a house, from start to finish. While learning to play the violin can range, it can take more than ten years of dedicated time each day to perfecting the instrument. There is no predetermined amount of time it takes to love self and become emotionally intelligent. Some would say it could take your entire lifetime. The question becomes how much time are you putting into it?
This Kind of Thing Takes Time and Effort
I have clients who come to counseling once a week for an hour per week. Some complete their homework assignments and some do not. Some come once a week and also read self-help books on their own time, reflect, meditate, and use coping skills for MANY hours throughout the week. Who do you think is going to reap the benefits of loving self and becoming emotionally intelligent sooner?
Most people don’t realize or learn that in order to be the master of your mind you have to put in the work. While it is true that some people were dealt a better hand in life and potentially were supported in their dreams and aspirations, had little –to-no genetically-passed down mental health issues and had an appealing upbringing, they might have less work to do. Emotional intelligence, happiness and self-love might come more easily for some than others. Still, the journey is a personal one; it is yours.
If you take responsibility for your happiness, prioritize self-help and self-care then embark on the path to understand emotional intelligence your journey begins. Admitting you’re the one who is solely responsible for your own happiness and emotional intelligence shows that you are ready to demonstrate control. We cannot control outside circumstances in life most times, but your happiness, how you look at a situation and how you choose to run your life are within your control.
Identifying you have an internal locus of control is a good step. Having the belief that you have power over the outcomes in your life means you are being honest with yourself. It means that you can grow in an emotionally intelligent direction.
You cannot be honest with anyone else around you if you are not honest to yourself. By listening to yourself with sincerity, you are able to listen to others with sincerity. This is a practice like any other practice you would put into place if you wanted to become skilled at it. There is routine and effort involved to being a highly effective, emotional intelligent person.
It does not just magically happen. If you think it does, then that would mean you have an external locus of control meaning you blame outside forces for everything. This is not a sign of being emotionally intelligent.
What Steps Can You Take?
There are steps you can take to embark on the journey of developing emotional intelligence. By doing so, you can create the life you have always wanted. You can make your lifetime a quality-driven, happy and worthwhile one. Here are steps you can take to use your time wisely in this lifetime:
- Get real with yourself.
- Think about your feelings- reflect on your thoughts, feelings and actions.
- Stop and think before acting
- Listen to your thoughts and become aware
- Be proactive with positive self-talk
- Honor yourself by showing integrity to self and others
- Work to become better each day.
- Take ownership and be held accountable; put a stop to blaming.
- Offer compliments to others.
- Forgive and let go.
- Practice gratitude on a daily basis, many times throughout the day from small to bigger things (i.e., nature, friends, family, job, hobbies, health, abilities, faculties)
- Avoid complaining.
- Take action when you are ready.
- See problems as opportunities.
- Show a positive attitude.