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10 Simple Rules for Living Life Well

Are you chasing after the wrong things?


When it comes to living really well, many confuse doing so with looking good, feeling good, or having the goods. This leads people to chase after such goods as spray tans, plastic surgery, drugs, virtual friendships, the mansion, making and spending as much as they possibly can, and erroneously and irrationally believing that they can and, worse, should have it all. 

We know these things don’t ultimately satisfy. Yet, the pursuit never ends.

In his latest book, Flourish, Dr. Martin Seligman proposes a simple acronym, PERMA, for living really well. Nothing to do with goods, but rather, positive emotions, being fully engaged in life’s activities, having healthy relationships and social connections, finding meaning and purpose in life, and having a sense of accomplishment.

I can’t claim these 10 rules are the only rules or the ones that will be best for you. I’ve found them to be very helpful. This is an incomplete list, for certain. Try them and see if you derive more pleasure, satisfaction and fulfillment from your life.

1.      Why worry? It’s the most unproductive thing you can do.

2.      Why be fearful? Most of the things you fear won’t come to pass. Change your perception and you’ll stop scaring yourself. 

3.      You can’t cross a bridge until you come to it, so don’t try. And don’t put up your umbrella before it starts raining either.

4.      Love, be purposeful, express gratitude, laugh and put family first. Yes, those are more than just one rule. But they are important.

5.      Taking your problems to bed makes for a poor bedfellow. Leave your problems in another room, and you’ll sleep better. Create deep, restful sleep for yourself. 

6.      Other people care for their problems better than you, so don’t borrow theirs. And while you’re at it, don’t let others dictate how you live your life. 

7.      You can’t relive yesterday’s good or bad, so focus on now. It’s best to drive looking through the windshield, not the rear view mirror.

8.      Be as fit and healthy in your mind and body as you can be—proper exercise, wise nutrition and rational thinking all help. So will staying away from anyone who smokes and avoiding any other toxins you can identify. You won’t get to 80 if you don’t live to 60. 

9.      Your frustrations and anger are rooted in your insisting that your life must be different than it is—this is the ultimate obstacle to taking positive steps forward.

10. Develop “regardless thinking,” so that no matter what happens in your life—and stuff will--you choose to be happy, nevertheless.  That includes, problems with money, relationships and jobs.

What would you add to this list?



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About This Blog

Edit ModulePsychologist Michael Mantell tackles San Diego’s psychological well-being, from reducing stress and anxiety to creating closer bonds with family to the importance of physical fitness.

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