8 Ways to Live More Abundantly
Living more abundantly entails discovering and participating in the little things that improve our lives and the lives of others economically, socially, emotionally and spiritually. According to The World Factbook, the average lifespan of a human being is 66.5 years. For the United States of America alone, life expectancy is 78.3 years. That is too short a time on earth not to enjoy your life to the fullest. Living more abundantly, however, does not mean that you live recklessly; it requires that you learn to appreciate and follow the rhythm of life through ways that improve your life and the lives of others. This may include living your everyday life with a positive energy; pre-planning your everyday activities; inspiring others with your good deeds; being calm amidst challenging times; seeking reconciliation and renewal; spending quality time with your family; improving your health habits; and celebrating your life.
1. Positive Energy
Living your everyday life with a positive attitude begins from the time you get out of bed: check on your spouse to see how her night or his night was; do something in the house that is not your daily routine. Starting your day with a positive attitude helps you go through your day rejuvenated. Positive energy is like fuel in your car. If your car runs out of gas, the vehicle won’t move. And if your car runs out of gas in the middle of the freeway, you will cause a heavy traffic jam. Likewise, if you run out of the positive energy, you might find yourself grumpy and complaining about your problems to whoever cares to listen to you. This might ruin your day and make other people around you very uncomfortable.
When you plan ahead for your next day's activities, you save time, energy and resources; you also avoid unnecessary time wasting that makes it difficult for you to meet your deadlines. There is nothing that makes your boss happier than your time-management abilities. Preplanning helps you predict the future. Preparedness reduces time spent in planning to achieve your goals. And managing your time appropriately helps you make good use of your energy and resources; in other words, pre-planning enables you to manage risks, compels you to create good working relationships with your supervisor and colleagues and makes you avoid disappointments.
3. Inspiring Others
Be a cause for good in the world: Volunteer at a women’s shelter, participate in the habitat for humanity building efforts; participate in raising funds for charities; donate cloth or prepare a home-made meal for the needy. In other words, do something that improves the lives of others socially, physically and emotionally. There are many organizations asking people to donate a dollar a month to feed the hungry in the poor nations—donate generously. If you don't have money to donate, you might donate your time. Remember that the smiles you put on the faces of the hungry kids in the poor nations will make a huge difference in their lives now and in the future.
4. Calmness amidst challenging times
Handle challenging situations calmly. Remember, life is not a bed of roses. Sometimes the things that happen to us are meant to happen. When you are faced with a death in the family, a terrible accident, a terminal illness--and there are many life challenges--stay calm and think through the decisions you make. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in her 1969 book "On Death and Dying," sums up the recipe for dealing with traumatizing situations in five stages of grief: a) denial--when the situation is so shocking that it is difficult to imagine that it happened to us; b) anger--when denial cannot make the hurtful experience go away; c) bargaining--when we make negotiations in our minds hoping that somehow the bad situations might be reversed; d) depression--in which one becomes mournful and desolate because the situation is not improving; and e) the acceptance stage--where one gives up the fight and convinces himself or herself that everything is going to be okay. If you have been an inspiration to others, your circle of friends will be on your side to comfort and console you during tough times.
5. Seeking Reconciliation and Renewal
There is nothing fulfilling than a feeling of being at peace with God, your enemies and yourself. Do not keep grudges in your heart. Grudges hurt. Many people think that it is a sign of weakness to be the first to make the first move and reach out to your enemy to initiate reconciliation and relationships rebuilding; as a matter of fact, the reverse is true. Reaching out to your enemies disarms them of their anger and arms them with love and forgiveness. This, in the end, might cause them to reciprocate your good gesture and repair the broken relationships.
6. Spending Quality Time with Family
After a week of hard work away from your family, it's not a bad idea to go hiking, bike-riding, bird-watching, eating out, watching a movie, bowling with your spouse and children—basically doing something as a family. Remember, your spouse and children are your strongest fans. When things don't go well at work, they are the ones to give you energy and hope so that you can wake up rejuvenated to go back to work the next day. When you are faced with trying moments, they are the ones that will be on your side to console you and to tell you that everything is going to be alright. So, don't take them for granted. Find time for and with them.
7. Health Habits
Eat healthy and exercise often. These health habits improve your mental, physical and emotional health. They lead to controlled weight. They improve your moods. Healthy habits lead to the production of endorphins—the brain chemicals that create happiness and relaxation. When one eats healthy and exercises regularly he or she develops a better physique, which may lead to a better appearance, hence confidence and self-esteem. Furthermore, diseases such as heart diseases, stroke, and high blood pressure can be greatly controlled through living healthy lives. Last but not least, healthy habits boost your energy and make you live longer.
8. Celebrate Life
If it is winter, it is not necessary to go through it complaining about how cold it is; plan and enjoy the cold weather--stay warm if you can. If it is summer, enjoy it by preparing for it and appreciating God's nature. Discover the small things that make you happy. Celebrate birthdays, valentine days, wedding anniversaries, public holidays, thanksgiving days and days of obligation. Celebrate life!
Life, as we know, has many challenges. Living more abundantly does not mean that you live recklessly. It means that you discover and participate in the little things that are a source of inspiration to you and to others: live your every day with a positive energy; plan ahead to avoid frustrations; be source of inspiration to the poor, the sick, and the disadvantaged through community service and charitable giving; handle challenging situations calmly; seek reconciliation and renewal whenever misunderstands arise; spend quality time with your family and dear ones; improve your health habits by exercising regularly and eating healthy; and celebrate your life.