On rare occasions, you read an article and catch yourself nodding your head in agreement and even amazement at how the words ring true. Recently, an inspiring article by author Ryan Holiday struck a chord with his 40 ways to live a fuller life.
Picture this scenario, you’re on a plane when it hits stomach-churning turbulence. What would go through your mind in those moments? It’s normal to panic, pray or try to distract yourself with happy thoughts, unless you’re Ryan Holiday. “When I am on a plane and the turbulence hits, when a car veers out into traffic, when I hear about someone I know who died suddenly: I don’t get scared. I just think, “If this is it, alright.” He wrote on Thrive Global.
How many people can confidently face life’s end content and without any regrets? Holiday offers a list of rules to live by in your personal and professional life that will help develop that mind set. We picked seven to kickstart your 2018.
1. Do ridiculous things
“Some of the best decisions of my life came out of total irresponsibility and whim. My wife and I got a dog because I was reading a book about how Pope Leo X had a pet elephant named Hanno. That’d be a funny name for a dog, I thought. A week later, we had a miniature dachshund puppy. One of the best things I ever did,” says Holiday.
2. Get a job that will teach you the most
For a career path without regrets choose a job where you will learn the most not pay you the most. “This is how I have evaluated my career and job opportunities (and book projects too). There are lots of ways to make money, fewer real opportunities to learn,” says Holiday.
3. Treasure the quiet moments
It’s the quiet moments that allow you to reflect on your life and appreciate what you have. Holiday says, “It’s a shortage of these moments that give rise to the feeling that we haven’t lived enough, that we have to keep going. Seeking them out, encouraging them is what makes you feel like you’ve done plenty,”
4. Don’t avoid it, think about death
Thinking about death allows you to figure out what your priorities in life should be. As Mark Twain famously said, “A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” Holiday adds, “Don’t shy away from thinking about death. Think about it a lot.”
5. Know your why
What do you value? What makes you tick? “ You have to know why you do what you do — what you prize and what’s important to you. Or you will be endlessly comparing yourself against other people, which will not only be a major distraction, it will make you miserable”, says Holiday.
6. Steer clear of charlatans and the toxic
Especially relevant in today’s age of social media. Holiday says, “Regular friend purges are a must. So are influence purges (the sources of information you follow). You become who you know. You conform to your surroundings. Make sure those two facts are taking you in a direction you want to go.”
7. Make a to-do list every day
We make to-do lists for the satisfaction that comes with accomplishing tasks and ticking them off. Holiday sums it up, “Every day have a to-do list. Even on the weekends. Not because it’s about drowning yourself in work, but so you can always be moving forward.”
Want to read more? You can read Ryan Holiday’s 40 rules here.