We all want a better life. This feeling, these attitudes are an integral part of human nature. It can be a particular challenge to know yourself and find how you can change your life for the better. But what does that mean? The tricky part is that it can be different for all of us, and I do realize the irony of writing a guide to change your life while claiming it is entirely subjective. What this guide intends to achieve is not to give a step-by-step list of instructions, but rather ideas on what areas of life you must consider and how to address this task.
What could be more important than the people in your life? Nothing, I don’t care who you are or what your aims are, and we will discuss a lot of this later in the article. The basic fact of human existence is the need for social interaction with others. The biggest challenge in leading a happy life is identifying what type of interaction will satisfy you. I guarantee you that the most miserable individuals are the ones in the wrong situation. Some may claim that married family life is bliss, that nothing can be close to the love and companionship of a life-long bond to one you love. For some, this may be true, but the modern divorce rate argues against that for everyone.
Maybe it’s not always the lifestyle that is wrong but those you are doing it with? If you are a parent, then sorry, but your kind of stuck with them. But, for other personal relationships, sometimes it is better to assess if it’s working for you (and your partner). Every relationship has tough times, but it is how you deal with them and what you do next. There is no shame in seeking help, and often going for marriage or relationship counseling can make or break a relationship. Even where there are children involved, often the realization that you may not be right for each other could be the best decision you ever make. And the earlier you do this, the better, as you increase the chances of parting with the least damage.
Beyond your romantic life, there are friendships. It’s important to know what type of people you want to associate with. At its most basic, we would ideally seek out people who hold similar interests.
After saying that your personal life is the most important aspect of your existence, you cannot ignore your professional life. If nothing else, so much of who you are is what you do, the first question we ask a stranger is often, ‘what do you do?’ The big question is obviously, what should we do for a living? Often in these guides, you read something along the lines of don’t chase money, do what you love. I don’t fully agree with this sentiment. Perhaps what you want to do with your life requires money, and unless you are in the minority, you just won’t be paid to follow your passion. I’m a rock climber, but through natural selection, or lack of discipline, I’ll never be one of the few individuals who can make it as a pro climber. And I do not want to work in a climbing shop or as an instructor at an indoor wall. This is because I want to travel the world to visit epic climbing locations, and I can only afford this by having a decent income to be able to travel on my vacations. So, I do a good job, and I enjoy it, but it’s not my absolute first choice.
Values & World View
Who you are is more than just your hobbies, friends/family, and your job. What you think and feel about the world is important too. Do you give to charity? If so, how do you do it? Many of us quietly go about our daily lives, not making a big fuss about our giving. We perhaps have a series of direct debits giving to a bunch of good causes. We might always give change into a collection tin and the homeless on the street, and barely anyone knows of it. Other people are constantly getting involved in sponsored runs or dry January or whatever, and they think you never tire of hearing about it, in person or on social media. But which way of giving is right? As much as it irks me seeing and hearing from those who jump up and down about what they are getting up to. There may be some merit to it. While I still believe they are principally doing it to draw attention to themselves, it may still draw attention to a worthy cause.
You may call me vain, but I feel that how you present yourself says much about who you are. I don’t say this from a judgemental point of view more than it is a way of identifying like-minded individuals. There are more obvious examples, such as sports fans, if another guy is wearing your team’s shirt, then there is a connection. But other examples of this can be more subtle. If you are a big country music fan, you might look for quality western wear for men. There are more academic studies in fashion and psychology, but beyond my level of knowledge, I freely admit it.
As I mentioned earlier, finances can allow you to have the lifestyle you desire or prevent it from happening. Prudent financial planning is a must when looking at your lifestyle now and for the future. There is a wealth of financial advice available online, and many of these podcasts, e-books, and blogs can give great ideas. But I always maintain that ideas can come from anywhere, but advice should always come from an expert. For any decisions or investments, find a good financial advisor, and research them. Look up reviews online to see how past customers have found their advice, and you will quickly get an idea of how good they are.
Featured Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay