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Sometimes, when we are laser-focused on our goals and making our mark on the world, the relentless activity can become all-encompassing. In pursuit of a good life, we can sometimes forget to enjoy what is right in front of us. We move through life from event to event, activity to activity and meeting to meeting, but we often forget to be present in our own life.
Prioritizing family relationships and friendships and taking time out of our stressed-out, uber-busy lives to restore and recharge is essential. Achieving this balance is extremely important. Experiencing success in one area of life to the detriment of who you are as a whole person is simply not worth it. The most successful people in life are those who work at staying balanced and succeeding in all areas, not just professionally.
Below are just a few simple things I’ve learned along the way to help me get the most of this amazing gift called “life”:
1. Try new things
Do things outside of the norm for you. Try new activities. Get involved in organizations outside of your career and find ways to expand your world.
Breaking from your normal, day-to-day reality also promotes creativity. Like the military tribute my colleagues and I established, getting involved in something new will often push you outside your comfort zone where you meet new people, learn new things and expand your horizons. (Read about this experience in a previous excerpt" "How To Develop Courage and Move Out of Your Comfort Zone".)
See the world. Travel. Make plans to add unique destinations or unique experiences to your bucket list. If you can’t afford to travel, find new places to visit in your own hometown or home state. Do some online research to discover unique experiences or unique destinations near you. So often, we have great places right near us that we never take advantage of. Don’t get stuck doing the same things with the same people week after week and month after month.
One of the great things about creating a bucket list is you write down a list of things you want to experience or do in your lifetime. Writing things down dramatically increases the chances of them coming true. So, write down all those great ideas and seek out new experiences, even if they are just in your own city for now. Find a great hiking trail, take a picturesque bike ride, visit museums, zoos, aquariums and restaurants.
3. Find adventure
There is so much to see and experience in the world and in your local community. Let your curiosity lead you for a day, a weekend or an entire week and see where it takes you.
4. Have fun
Always make time for the people and the things you enjoy. Engage in activities that light you up. Implement regular times for play in your week—alone, with family and with friends.
5. Read, read, read
Spending hours scrolling through social media or playing games on your phone is an enormous waste of valuable time. Put down your screens and read widely, including books of interest, biographies, fiction and nonfiction.
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Reading is a great way to challenge yourself, broaden your vocabulary and knowledge, fire your imagination and even increase your intelligence. It is amazing what you can learn from another person’s story. So many people effectively stop reading books after high school or college. The reading they do complete is limited to work information, social media and quick articles found on the Internet.
Break free from the seductive habit of TV and phones and find the amazing world and profound benefits of consistently reading books. There is so much to entertain us and educate us within the pages. To put it bluntly, smart people read lots of books.
6. Find balance
Make an effort to find balance in your life between work and play. Achieving professional success doesn’t mean much if you can’t find personal success as well. So, commit to being a successful and well-balanced adult. Make sure your goals also address your desires to be a winner as a spouse, partner, friend, daughter, son or parent.
One of my best influences in this area has been my wife, Jess. She has been instrumental in helping me to learn to live.
Each year, no matter how busy we are, Jess ensures our family takes time out to go on a unique vacation. She makes sure we start discussing options and dates early, typically leads the research of various locations and helps finalize the agenda and details. On each vacation, we try to visit new destinations, create new experiences and have fun as a family.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a far-away location for a week or something closer for only a few days—we’ve certainly done both. What is important is that we intentionally take time out to enjoy the world around us and learn new things. By prioritizing this part of our lives, she has helped us create fun experiences and many great family memories (and helped me stay more balanced in my own life).
It can be so easy to convince ourselves that we are too busy or can’t afford to take time out of our hectic, day-to-day schedules. But taking time to relax and recharge can often give us the breather we need to boost our creativity or provide the bigger-picture perspective we’re missing when we’re stuck just moving from day-to-day, meeting-to-meeting.
By learning to prioritize family time and balancing work and play in this way, my life has certainly been enriched, both personally and professionally.
Review the list above and decide on one thing under each heading that you could implement yet this week or in the coming month to help you live your life more fully. Make a conscious choice to move in that direction and share it with others who can help you make some of these things happen!
- The Third Door: The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World’s Most Successful People Launched Their Careers by Alex Banayan
- Leading with Cultural Intelligence: The New Secret to Success by David Livermore
- Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brené Brown
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
- Discovering Your Authentic Core Values: A Step-by-step Guide by Marc Alan Schelske
- How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen
- “What we lost when we stopped reading” editorial by George Will
- Happier with Gretchen Rubin
- Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris by ABC News
- The Balance Podcast by BALANCE
- The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman
- Wild. Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) makes a decision to halt her downward spiral and put her life back together by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.
- My year of saying yes to everything | Shonda Rhimes— TED Talk
- What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness | Robert Waldinger—TED Talk
Create your own “bucket list” below. What do you want to do, see, visit, read or experience in the next few years and over the course of your life? (Remember, writing these things down dramatically increases the chance they will happen.)
Short-term items: ____________________
Long-term items: ____________________
Determine what kind of person you want to be. What do you want to stand for? When your life is complete, how do you want to be remembered by others? What do you want them to say about you? After thinking through this, create and list your personal core values that you want to live by throughout your life. Doing this creates guideposts to help you manage the inevitable challenges that will come your way.
Personal core values: ___________________
©2020 by Peter Ruppert. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the author.
Publisher : Credo House Publishers
Limitless: Nine Steps to Launch Your One Extraordinary Life
by Peter G. Ruppert
This book was written for those, young and old, who simply don’t want to settle for the status quo or for “good enough” and have dreams they want to chase, not give up on. Based on research of accomplished people and his own personal experiences of successes and failures, Peter G. Ruppert provides a step-by-step guide to help readers positively impact the trajectory of their own future.
Filled with real life examples for each step, extra learning resources to dig deeper, and a workbook style recap after each chapter, Peter Ruppert provides a simple yet powerful program so readers can launch their own limitless life.
For more info and/or to order this book, click here. Also available as an Audiobook and a Kindle edition.
About The Author
Peter Ruppert is founder and CEO of i-Education Group, which operates over 75 Fusion and Futures Academies for grades 6-12 in one student, one teacher classroom environments. A 20-year veteran of the education industry, he’s opened over 100 schools and acquired more than 25 others. He’s been president and CEO of organizations in the private school, charter school, and early education industries, and sat on his local public school board for 5 years.
Learn more at https://peteruppert.com/