"Excellence is the result of caring more than others thinks is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical, and expecting more than others thinks is possible." ~ Uknown
Here are the top 30 ways to live a life of excellence:
- Discover your purpose. – Our physical life started when we were born. Our real life starts when we discover our purpose. What is your purpose? What is your mission statement for your life? Mine is, “To touch others’ lives, help them achieve their highest potential and live their best lives.” This one statement gives me clarity and focus on what to do, from my daily plans to my long-term goals.
- Follow your passion. – To do what you love is truly the only way to live. Don’t just pursue as a hobby; turn it into your career. I didn’t use to be a personal development blogger or a coach. I was a marketing major and I was working in brand management as a career. However, it wasn’t my passion. So a year and a half ago, I quit my regular job to pursue my real passion. Despite having no experience in the personal development industry, I slowly carved my niche in this area and established myself and my expertise. Today I’m pursuing my passion as a career, and loving it.
- Set your goals. – If you can have whatever you want, what would you like? What are your biggest goals and dreams? Set them. The life I’m living today is a result of goals I set in the past. If you don’t set any goals, it’s safe to say that you’ll be running in place for the foreseeable future. Is that what you want?
- Create a life handbook. – A life handbook is a concept I created where you have a book to write your life purpose, goals, dreams, plans, values, mottos, and other things that are important to you as you pursue your best life. I started my life handbook in 2007 and it has been my #1 tool to living my life to the fullest.
- Have the right mindset. – The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts. If you think life sucks, life will indeed suck. On the other hand, if you are set to live your best life, the paths will open up in front of you. Maybe it’s all the ‘good triumphing over evil’ I firmly believe that where there’s a will, there’s a way. No one can stop you if you have the right mindset.
- Create your bucket list. – A bucket list is a list of things to do before you die. All of us are going to die one day. What are all the things you want to do/see/say/experience before you die? It can be seeing the world, living your dreams, going skydiving, falling in love, among countless others. I created my bucket list last year with over 100 things, and every day I accomplish what’s on it and add new things I want to do.
- Get mentors. – You have dreams and big visions, and there are people who have likely been there and done that. Get them to mentor you. It’ll definitely cut down the learning curve and ease your journey. With a mentor, you can unlock your potential and achieve so much more.
- Stop worrying so much. – The majority of our fears exist only in our head. Get rid of them and spend the energy on something productive.
- Get closer with your parents. – Many of us only have functional relationships with our family. Some of us might even have estranged family relationships. I know I used to have that, then I realized it was foolish. Our parents went through a lot of hardship by bringing us up, and no one’s ever going to share a connection to us the way they do. Today I’m much closer to my parents than I was in the past, and I’m grateful for that.
- Let go of negative friendships. – If you have friends who discourage you and pull you down, it’s time to get rid of them. Getting rid might be too harsh for some, so distancing is a good alternative. I had several negative friends in the past, then I just reduced contact. Instead of wasting time and energy resisting them, I was then able to focus my energy on people and things that make me happy.
- Surround yourself with positive people. – Do you know you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with? Your attitudes, beliefs, accomplishments and success are a function of the people you spend time around. Think about the people who inspire you and spend more time with them. You’ll be amazed at the effects they’ll have on you.
- Release your limits. – They say the sky is the limit. I disagree. We are our own limits. It’s then about releasing our limits so we can live our best lives. What are you limiting yourself from doing? Stop holding yourself back. Go out and get what you want.
- Believe in yourself. – The majority of the times I’ve been able to achieve something is because I started out believing I could do it, rather than acquiring that belief after I achieved it. If I didn’t think I could do it, I probably would never have succeeded. My past experiences have taught me that all you need to have in order to succeed is to have a sense of self-belief - a sense that you can control your own future. That’s all.
- Wake up early. – I used to wake up late every day, like 9-10am. I never thought much about waking up early until a couple of years ago. After I switched to waking early at 5am, my days have been incredible. I feel more productive, I get more done, I’m more eager to work to keep the momentum going. It’s something you have to try yourself to know the difference.
- Eat a healthy diet. – A healthy diet just-starts a life of excellence. What’s in your daily diet? Junk? Fast food? Fried food? Or healthy, nutritious food? Fruits? Vegetables? I’ve been a vegan since 2008 and have been loving it. While I tried it out as just a 30-day trial, I immediately saw the benefits of being a vegan and stayed the course ever since.
- Exercise regularly. – Aside from a regular gym routine, try other sports to spice it up your workouts. Frisbee, badminton and swimming are some of my favorite sports. These make exercising a lot more fun.
- Plan your days. – Do you plan your days? Did you wake up today knowing what you are supposed to do today? If not, maybe it’s time you do. Planning doesn’t have to be long and tedious, it can just be a 30 second process. Every night, think about a few small things that you want to accomplish tomorrow and write them down. When you wake up the next morning, review this list before you do anything else.
- Nurture those whom you love. – The magical feeling of love. The fluttering of your heart. The internal smile you get when you think of those who you care for most. It’s impossible to live a life of excellence without sharing quality time with those whom you love.
- Try something new. – Routines stagnate us. New experiences help us grow and they make life interesting. Make an effort to try something new every week. I get very invigorated whenever I’m doing something new. It can be a whole new activity or just a small experience, such as talking to a stranger.
- Stop watching TV. – Why stop watching TV? The bulk of content on TV is consciousness lowering. TV has been proven by research to be linked with lower life satisfaction. TV ads motivate you spend more money frivolously. TV wastes lots and lots of time. I could go on forever. I quit regular TV watching almost 5 years ago and never looked back. I recently wrote an article on my blog called 10 Reasons To Stop Watching TV and found out a good number of my readers dropped TV in their lives as well. Try it out for 21-days and see how you feel.
- Stop obsessing over the news. – A lot of news today resonates with fear, guilt, shame and hate. Depending on your news source, many are largely sensationalized and biased as well. You don’t need to watch the news every day for an hour to know that there are car accidents, murders and wars out there. Focus your energy on how you can address those problems instead.
- Don’t be trapped by dogma. – Don’t feel compelled to follow others all the time. Pave your own path. Follow your heart. Don’t fall into the trap of operating on everyone’s whim. Listening is okay, but doing what everyone wants is simply unhealthy. Execute the good feedback and follow your vision.
- Be compassionate. – Show love and kindness to all the people around you. Respect everyone. They may not react in a kind way immediately, but they will notice and appreciate your kindness. To love is to be human.
- Smile more. – It takes more muscles to frown than to smile. So let’s smile more often.
- Criticize less, appreciate more. – Do you like overly critical people? I’m sure you don’t. They are a dread to be around. So let’s be less critical. Don’t stare so hard at what’s missing. Learn to see and appreciate what’s there instead.
- Keep a journal to self-reflect. – I had a paper journal for several years, but after I started The Personal Excellence Blog I use the blog as my journal. By having a place to freely let out our thoughts and ponder over them, we get a lot more clarity about ourselves.
- Forgive those who hurt you. – To forgive is to let go of a prisoner and to realize that the prisoner all along was you. Don’t hold on to past hatred. Let it go. You’ll find new, wonderful things entering your life once you do.
- Enrich your mind great books. – Books contain concentrated volumes of wisdom. It’s not surprising then that most knowledgeable people are also very well-read.
- Coach someone. – There’s no better way to learn than to teach others. Is there someone who can benefit from your help? Offer to coach them for free. It’ll be an enlightening experience for both of you.
- Meet new people. – Most humans have a habit of stagnating in a small circle of friends, but it doesn’t help us grow. Get out there and meet new people. You’ll be surprised at the lessons they will teach you and the new opportunities they will inject into your life.
Act now. We only live once. Let’s live our lives in excellence.