How to be Satisfied with Life
Over the years, I’ve noticed that there are three things that consistently help me be satisfied with life. When I practice these three on a daily basis, I feel like my most alive best self. These are the things that feed my soul and leave me at the end of the day feeling contented and happy.
I was out walking on a recent morning and heard a bird singing, “pretty, pretty, pretty.” It reminded me of my Dad. In his later years, he would sit on the porch listening to the birds and talking back to him. I could just hear him saying “pretty, pretty, pretty.”
It’s been a year since my dad died and I got to thinking about what if this was my last day here. I was surprised to realize that if today was to be it, I could leave with no regrets. The last couple of weeks had been such that I felt like I had been living my life, to it’s fullest.
That’s not to say that I didn’t make some mistakes, have lazy moments, or not do something as well as I could. It’s to say, that in most areas of my life, I had made some kind of progress that felt satisfying, connected to my closest relationships, and had found ways to express myself. These three things consistently help me feel satisfied with my life and I found it to be so on that beautiful morning.
The interesting thing is that even though I think, write, and talk about nutrition and fitness a lot, none of those things were on my mind that day. They are definitely important to me but there are three specific things that truly make a difference in my life.
How to Be Satisfied with Life (Sara’s Version)
For me, making progress is important. As much as I love reaching a goal or finishing a project, the act of making progress each day truly makes a difference in how I feel. But sometimes it is so hard to do!
If you are feeling stuck, be sure and check out this post I wrote on How to Get Unstuck in Life.
No matter how small the time obligation, the consistency of doing something every day does add up. It might not always feel like it, but you will finally have a day, when you see your progress and see what you’ve accomplished. And that’s a very good thing! Because, that gives you a little more motivation.
However, don’t get caught up in needing to be motivated, inspired, or feel like doing something. Make it a daily commitment, along the lines of brushing your teeth. You just do it. It works.
Connect with Others
As a confirmed introvert, connecting with others does not always come easily to me. As much as I love people, they can exhaust me and I do have a tendency to need quite a bit of time alone. Yet, I don’t want to be alone all the time! So, I work to create and maintain my connections.
Fortunately, over the years, I’ve built some strong connections with people that I love to be with. These connections need to be tended to and nurtured though. For me this means doing my share of reaching out, initiating get-togethers, and also accepting invitations to do things.
Because some of my friends and family live in different states, my telephone is so important to connecting. In addition to texting, I will also have a conversation or two by day on the phone. I have to admit, since living alone, I really do enjoy talking on the phone more than I ever did.
Whether it’s a long chat with my mom on the phone or meeting a friend for coffee or a drink, connecting on deeper levels with people is a huge part of feeling satisfied with my life. I’ve learned that it’s not something I can just sit around and wait for either. Developing good relationships also requires some proactive action on my part. I’m so willing to do that now and it’s truly helped my overall contentment.
You have something unique to express that no one else has. I have no idea what that is and maybe you don’t either at this point. We spend so much of our lives trying to fit in to our families, our jobs, our friendships, our relationships, and our culture. Being a unique voice can seem impossible when everything in our life is designed to keep us as one of the herd.
Expressing yourself can be creative expression or it can be expressing your true self through the conversations you have. Both have important places in your life and are worth exploring. I have struggled with both but have slowly learned the value of expressing myself. Trust me, I know the fear that comes from putting yourself out there and being afraid of what other people will think or say.
Yet, it is always people that express themselves that make life interesting or even better and that inspires me to open up more.
For me, it has usually been through art or writing that I express myself creatively. I know people who express themselves through their jobs. Or you can simply begin saying what you are really thinking.
Just a note here. I’m not talking about saying or expressing everything you think or using this as a way to hurt other people. But learning to constructively express your opinion is empowering to you and will help you create better connections with people.
Expressing yourself means sharing the things your really think, feel, or care about. It’s your voice or vision and it has value. Plus, it feels good to put it out there. Maybe not at the beginning. It can feel scary to express yourself. The good news, is that the more you do it, the easier it gets.
Expression is an energy that needs to move. When you keep your real self in, you stagnate to some extent. It’s important to find outlets for your true expression. This benefits not just your mood but your overall health and well being.
How to be Satisfied with Life
Your list may be a little different. But it’s important for you to note what does lead you to feeling content and satisfied with your own life and spend time doing those things. Often, they don’t even take all that much time. If you feel stressed and like you don’t have time for the things that matter, hop on over to this post to find ways to reduce stress and make time for things that are important to you.
Feel free to connect here in the comments. Showing up for life every day is challenging at best. I’d love to hear what’s working for you!
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I'm a former counselor, career services leader, and college advisor. Now I coach and write at My Think Big Life promoting health and personal growth.