There is perhaps one self-put down that can damage us more than we can know: “I have no life.” As soon as you utter those words, you in some sense resign yourself to that fate. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and even when it has no real meaning, it takes on a life of its own. It’s too easy to use that as excuse to mope. But if you’re looking for true change, if you’re looking to ‘get a life,’ you need to do it systematically. Doing the things you always have done, or simply waiting around for ‘luck’ or ‘fortune’ or destiny or some such will just leave you with what you have had. Instead, take control of your life. Here are the steps, the foundation, the sixteen ways to get a life that is worth living FOR YOU, not for others. Follow some or all of these ways and you’ll be on a path towards happiness and self-fulfillment:
- First things first – we say “I have no friends and no life” without a thought as to what that means. What does it mean to say “I have no life”? Ultimately, that’s shorthand for something else, and that something else is going to differ from person to person. For some people, having a life will mean hanging out with tons of friends, going to parties, and enjoying fun social events and adventures. For others, however, having a life means having deep relationships, reflective moments, access to fun and enriching hobbies and education. For some, it could be a mixture of both general poles, from the extroverted to the introverted. It’s your job to figure out what ‘getting a life’ means before you can get one.
- To this end, get a piece of paper and sketch out your ideal life. Who do you know? What do you do every day? What are your goals? Who do you associate with? What are your aspirations? How do you feel? What do you have in terms of money and possessions? You need to be clear on what you want, not what society tells you.
- Look at your sketch and begin creating a plan to tackle all of those areas. You can generally divide them into four categories: physical, professional, social, and spiritual. Of course, you can come up with more categories.
- Next, create a hierarchy of those categories. For some, the social goals may be more important than physical; for others, spiritual goals take precedence over professional. Whatever your hierarchy, make sure you know what you want to focus on first.
- Only tackle one category at a time. Don’t be an ambitious failure – be a consistent and steady goal completer, even when those goals are incremental and small.
- In terms of the physical – work out, lose weight, eat right, and take care of your appearance and hygiene. These are the foundations of a life – they signal to others that you are part of the ‘gang’ in terms of what’s considered ‘normal.’ Don’t do things arbitrarily, of course – always understand the reasoning behind what you do, including your physical appearance and feelings.
- Next, the professional. Have ambition to do something. Find your dreams and work towards them. Whether that’s opening your own business, starting a great job, or meeting other professional goals, you need to have some external thing to set your mind to. If you need to go back to school, do it; quit your job, do it; take a risk, absolutely do it. This is the only life you live.
- Some problems are easier to solve than others – so it goes with the social category. We are wired to be social, and we just have to let that natural tendency out. If you say to yourself, “I have no social life,” then you simply have to go out more and make new friends. By “simply” we mean that the steps are relatively simple – it’s the repetition and commitment to find a good circle of friends that’s the hard part. Find people who share your interests, and hang out where they do. Clubs, organizations, sports teams, and the like are great places to start. Meeting friends through the recommendation of other friends is perhaps the best way. You can also try meeting friends online, as this has become popular recently.
- Get hobbies, or something else you can direct your attention to. I’ve written another article on how to find a hobby here. If video games and TV are your thing, that’s fine, but make sure you do something creative and active. You’ll find that your self-worth and self-esteem will improve when you become more externally directed.
- Improve your spiritual life if this component is important to you. Go to religious services, volunteer in organizations, and donate your time and talent. This will give you access to another level of power beyond yourself.
- Get professional help. You might be ill or depressed. Some problems cannot be handled by yourself, so you might need a doctor or a therapist to help you out.
- Get a mentor, someone who understands who you are and what you need. This may be a family member, a friend, or a trusted advisor.
- Read self help and self improvement books to give you further ideas. There are literally thousands on the market, all tailored to different situations, so take some time – weeks, months, or even years – to really learn this field and understand how to improve yourself.
- Work to constantly improve yourself in every area. It’s all about constant progress and incremental improvement. If you start today, how great will you be in a year? Five years? Ten?
- Ultimately, you need to understand yourself and your interests and values. If you don’t, how will you know what will satisfy you in life?
- Don’t give up! This life is the only one you’ve got, so make the most of it!
Have any more ways? Leave them in the comments!