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How to Get a Life if You Don't Have One

Updated on October 8, 2012

I hate to break it to you, but if you are looking for a life, you already have one. It started on the day you were born and will end on the day you die. There is no "getting" a life. If you can read this article, you already own one.

In fact, the life you have is actually quite remarkable. If your life were a book in a library, there would be no other book like it. Your life is one of a kind. Never before or never again will there be another life like yours.

So, now that we have settled the matter of how to "get" a life, I think what you are asking is- how do I make the most of the life I have? Now we're talking.

Take inventory

First things first- it is time to take inventory of your life today. Not yesterday, and not tomorrow. Look at the following aspects of your life and decide if you are happy and content with how things are, or if you are sad, hopeless, or despairing. It may be something in between.

Area of life
What it encompasses
Primary Relationships
Spouses, children, parents, relatives
Friendships
Girlfriends, neighbors, aquaintances, colleagues
Work
Level of satisfaction, lifestyle, type of work
Health
Mental, physical, self-esteem, body image
Spirituality
Relationship with God, your sense of purpose, ethics, morals
Hobbies
Interests, skills, enjoyable pasttimes
Finances
Wealthy, struggling, content
Calling
Special mission, project, activity, desire
Location
Happy with the place you live or unsettled
Past hurts
Have you settled accounts, forgiveness, debts owed
Addictions
Money, fame, drugs, alcohol, gambling

The million dollar question

After you take a closer look at your current state of affairs, here comes the most difficult part: In the areas where you feel like your life is not going well, is it because you need a change in your circumstances or a change in your mindset? Let's take a closer look.

Stay at home mom
Let's say you are a mother who is miserable with life. Your kids are constantly nagging you, you feel fat and unsatisfied and useless. You want to work and feel like a woman again. So what is the solution? Is it to get a job outside the home, or do you need to adjust your mindset?

Doctor
You have no intimate relationships and you aren't getting any younger. Your job takes all your time and energy. Do you quit your job so you can pursue a love life or do you need to adjust your ideas about work so you can have a relationship too?

Electrician
No matter how much you work, the money doesn't come in. In order to make more money, you'd have to take on a second job. Your finances are a wreck and your kids feel the strain. Is it time to jump into a new career, or is it a problem with your relationship with money?

The problem is, this article cannot find the answer to your question. However, let this be a bit of a guide for you:

People who can change their mindset are usually happier than those that require a circumstantial change in order to feel satisfied. But those who never take risks, don't ever know what they are capable of.

Probably didn't help that much huh?

Okay, let's get really practical about how to make something of your life.

Find your passion, don't just lay around and wait for it to come to you!
Find your passion, don't just lay around and wait for it to come to you! | Source

The top ten habits that "zap" your life

  1. Watching too much television.
  2. Thinking you can't before you've even tried.
  3. Fear of rejection.
  4. Procrastination.
  5. Video games (sorry, but it's true)!
  6. Refusing to do things out of your comfort zone.
  7. Holding onto money too tightly.
  8. Arrogance.
  9. Selfishness.
  10. Unforgiveness.

Find purpose

It doesn't matter how much money you make, what sort of family life you have, or your job. There is purpose everywhere. Usually those who find "their" place in the Universe will be able to spot a purpose outside of themselves.

As soon as you focus your energy on something or someone else, you'll begin to taste purpose. Purpose brings creativity and inspiration and ultimately...hope.

Turn off the TV!
Turn off the TV! | Source

Get uncomfortable

Sometimes, you have to break outside of your comfort zone. Find friends just a little bit more crazy than you. Go to a new coffee shop in the morning, read science fiction instead of romance, sign up for an art class. Do something you don't think you can do.

If you need a little boost, here are some extra hints:

  • Turn off the television. Stop watching someone else's life happen.
  • Go outside at least once a day. Touch a tree, grow a garden, or pet an animal.
  • Learn to love your library. You can get all sorts of crazy "life" ideas there.
  • You are never too old for school. It doesn't have to be college; it could be an adult education class, an online webinar, or an audio podcast.

Practice gratitude

Thankfulness keeps a heart happy. Happy people attract other happy people. Good things happen when happy and motivated people hang out together. Make it a habit to thank God for the things you've been given, no matter how small and insignificant. Thankfulness is choosing to appreciate what is in the glass, half full, full, or only a drop.

Set small goals

You don't have to wake up one day and say, "Okay- today I will have a life!" If you are dissatisfied with yourself, just pick one thing to do. Try to do it for 30 days. Make it a habit first before you add something else. Here is an example.

If your ultimate goal is to get up at 6am every morning to work on your artwork, and you've been the kind of person who lazes around until 10am, don't just decide to wake up at six. Start small.

  1. For a month, when you get up, get dressed right away...all the way to your shoes. You'll feel more productive.
  2. For the next month, try to go to bed a bit earlier. You may find you wake up a bit earlier on your own.
  3. Once you've got those two habits down, move your wake up time earlier.

Make sure you know what "get a life means" to you...

There is no sense in pursuing a law degree if you think having a life means frolicking in the snow with polar bears at Christmas time. Take a bit of time to figure out, what does it mean to "get a life"? Does it mean,

  • Having more friends?
  • Going out more?
  • Having a better job? More money?
  • Starting a family?

One thing is for sure: Do not blame other people for your lack of a life. You have control over yourself, your life, and your choices. And if you cannot change your circumstances, you can change your mindset. Of all the changes you can make, that is the most powerful one of all.

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    • Joseph041167 profile image

      Joseph Mitchell 5 years ago from Nashville TN 37206.

      What!? No manual? Like, how can I get a life without a manual? I cannot do anything without a manual. Where is the blasted manual? Give me the blasted manual and I want it now. WHERE IS THE MANUAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      This is excellent advice. I've been working on being out of my comfort zone for a while and it really does help. After all, I would have never had the nerve to write for HubPages just a few years ago. I am still working on my progress though. Online dating helped me get out more, but it also taught me that are many psychos out there. Oh well. Life is an adventure. Awesome hub and voted up!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      Great message, Julie.

      This is one life we got. We either whine about our problems or stand up and find a solution to it. Just sitting there ain't giving us solutions to our problems.

      cheers!

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      This is absolutely powerful and mind blowingly inspirational. The key to satisfaction really is having a different mindset. I know for me, I used to work and I garnered a lot of satisfaction from my job. However, I missed a lot of my kids from the hours I worked. When I quit my job and moved, I got the opportunity of a lifetime... I got the opportunity to raise my kids. However, sadly I always felt bad about it. Like I wasn't doing enough... like I wasn't bringing in any money to help support the family. Really, it was because I lost that sense of purpose. I love staying home with my kids and I love being able to have the time to work on my writing but you are so very right... it is time to change the mindset!

    • divacratus profile image

      Kalpana Iyer 5 years ago from India

      "Find friends just a little bit more crazy than you." I can't agree more. You're bound to have some crazy time if you have friends who are a little more crazier than you are. And craziness means lots of laughter and fun which will naturally make you feel good. Interesting hub! Voted up.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      I enjoyed this Julie, it was a fantastic article and a great guideline for those who have lost 'their way'. Up, interesting and useful.

    • mejohnson profile image

      mejohnson 5 years ago

      Great hub& well said. It's not about getting a life but making the most out of the one you have. After all you only live once. Voted up.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      These are wonderfully inspiring words. We all have a unique purpose in life, but sometimes the discovery of what that is needs a bit of work, at least it needs losing sight of the shore, if only for a while. Up, interesting, useful, sharing.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      What a great hub and here's to so many more to come.

      Eddy.

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      I love your comparison between our lives and a book in the library.

      you are so right that no one else's life will be like yours. It really makes you think about it in a whole different way. Great hub!

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 5 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      You have a clear cut understanding towards life, this is very much thought provoking creation and many of my confusions are clear, voted way up.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Dude, Julie. Awesome hub. Wow. Can I tell you the crazy ride I'm on. Okay, so everyone knows I'm slightly nuts. But really, I quit my job back in June, right? Yeah, well that was with no safety net. I've always been frugal and reduced my spending, but I'm on this crazy making-pennies-til-I-make-it ride. Oh the thrill! I know this writing/photography/blogging/crafting gig will work out, but boy, there's nothing like jumping into an abyss to make you feel alive...and I haven't been this happy since I was kid. Money? Pft. It'll come. But life never waits. :D

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Your take inventory and things that zap life are excellent points. I am ready to live well and strong based upon advice shared. Voted up.

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi Julie, and what a unique and inspiring hub this one is. I want to argue with you, but I just can't - I have no come back for you, because, you're correct in everything you've said!

      Voted up and away on this awesome hub of yours!

      John

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      So much good stuff here Julie--sharing!

    • jenbeach21 profile image

      jenbeach21 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I really enjoyed this. I agree with all the points you made about things that zap your life especially getting out of your comfort zone. I had a big wake up call a couple of years ago and decided to start running and competing in various races. It has changed my life for the better and I am so glad I got out of my comfort zone!

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 5 years ago from Texas

      Great hub and so true... It's funny that out of all the hubs in my digest this morning, my eyes went straight to this one first- love the title.. it's catchy and love all of your artistic quotes too. Voting UP and useful :)

    • profile image

      MamaMarmalade 5 years ago

      This is BRILLIANT. I have had an enormous year of self reflection and have made major changes to several areas of my life. The results have been worth it. For me it all started with self care, and the rest fell into place.

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 5 years ago from Kentucky

      Julie - Personal inventory and personal accountability should be common sense. Yet, so many are unfamiliar with the terms. We all have the ability to write well, however, we think so hard about coming up with topics we fail to see what is directly in front of us at times. Great points and Great Hub!

    • Gypsy48 profile image

      Gypsy48 5 years ago

      Great read and a great wake up call. Sometimes we get into a routine and just settle. Never trying new experiences in life is not living at all. Voted up and awesome:)

    • Michael Tully profile image

      Michael Tully 5 years ago

      So, so true, Julie. If the whole world were to read this, and act upon it, it would probably put all the psychotherapists out of business. Thanks for a most timely, encouraging, and uplifting article.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      You hub is awesome and so true! Much of life is attitude. If there is a part of your life that is not what it should be, change it. If you can't change it learn to deal with it and move on to a better part of your life. Great hub, voted up and more! :)

    • Rosalinem profile image

      Rosalinem 5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      This was just great and I laughed a lot but I got the lesson as well. Changing the mind set got the point across.Voted up and funny and very interesting and so very true.

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 5 years ago from Spain

      Hi Julie. This is a terrific hub. Your inspirational quotes on their own are fantastic. I agree with your philosophy, decide what you want and then work your way towards it, we all need a purpose in life alongside our dreams.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      This spoke volumes! You are so right -those are 10 habits that really do 'zap' our lives. I once wasted a full 11 hours watching reruns of Keeping up with Kardashians. One whole day. What a waste that I will never get back! It was earlier this year that I realized I'm not - like you say - going to waste my life watching other people's lives - it's ridiculous! A few shows here and there for fun is great (mostly Food Network), but I don't waste any more time in front of the TV. Life is too short, nature is too beautiful. Relationships are too important.

      Making a change or taking a risk comes from within. I try and visualize the person I want to be for my kids one day when I have kids, what I want to be when they leave home. What I want to leave the world with. That's what I work towards every day, and it really helps!!

      Thanks for this awesome hub - loved it. Voted up! :)

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

      What's a life? lol I didn't know there was anything besides hubs, comments, and votes. :-)

      Seriously, this is great advice for everyone, even those who already have a life. It's always good to challenge oneself, change one's environment, and, attitude. There is a lot to learn in this hub and a lot to gain from applying the information. Voted up.

    • nanderson500 profile image

      nanderson500 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Great, well thought out article. Good tips. Voted up and interesting. Starting small and working up to a goal is a good idea.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      wow how true this hub is.. Julie you did a great job.. I sell Mary Kay cosmetics and they taught me early on if you say you can you will, if you say I cant you wont. .. You cannot give up and you much forgive and love

      I love your hub

      sharing and voted up

      Debbie

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Right, right, right! Sadly the people this article will help will not act. (This is one arguement I love losing.) I woke up in 1966 and didn't stop until 2010. What a life!

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 5 years ago from United States

      Julie, I wish all could read your interesting article, They would benefit. Thanks for sharing.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      All good ideas. Except I'm not going out in 40 below weather to touch a tree. haha

      You are so right you have to make your own life no one else is going to do it for you and if you don't it's your own fault.

      Voted uP!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Great Hub with sound advice, Julie. I'm thankful everyday for my life. I am fortunate to have a wonderful life: no complaints. Well, I could use a little more money.....

      I voted this UP and will share.

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 5 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      How true that we already have what we need and we often don't appreciate the life that we have. Focusing on what we do have and the things that we can change is what makes life worthwhile.

      Thank you! I love you quotes.

    • Cathy Fidelibus profile image

      Ms. Immortal 5 years ago from NJ

      I find gratefullness is the strongest tool we have. Thanks for a great thought provoking article.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are speaking my language loud and clear. I have very little patience with whiners who can't seem to get a life. Get out there and enjoy life; it ain't getting any longer! Great message!

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran 5 years ago from Long Island, New York

      You, Julie, are a lady of wisdom. This hub touched my heart and soul. Voted up and awesome. Want a life? Grab it. Shared with my 6800 twitter followers

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 years ago from New York, New York

      Julie, great article and so true about having to change your mindset and do for yourself. No one else can do this but you, so I truly do agree with you on this. Have of course voted and shared all over too!!