Live the Life You Want and Deserve

Every one of us deserves to live the life we want. From a first-hand experience of living in societies conditioned heavily with dictatorship and certain ideologies for over 30 years, I know we can be hypnotized to live a specific life that we no longer see what it means to live intently. It may cloud our judgment and decisions and may not serve us in the long term; therefore, the quest to find out lies with each and every one of us. Only those who choose the less-traveled road may find themselves closer to the answers that can bring more meaning and fulfillment into their lives.

In this post, I like to share some thought-provoking ideas backed up with science from books I had read or research I had come across. It is incredible to know that it all starts inwards and not outwards. We all “and I am guilty of the same” look outside for more answers where it all begins from learning more about ourselves.

I am here to talk about living a meaningful life, making value-based decisions, and, more importantly, feeling gratitude and fulfillment.

I had the privilege to listen to episode 417 of the On Purpose Podcast by Jay Shetty, the author of Think Like a Monk and 8 Rules of Love. In this podcast, he invites Dr. Robert Waldinger, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, and co-founder of the Lifespan Research Foundation. They both talked about WHY WE STRUGGLE TO CONNECT & HOW TO STOP TOXIC HABITS FROM BREAKING OUR SPIRIT. I highly recommend listening to it.

They both talked about the 75-year study, an eye-opener for me and others. The Harvard Study of Adult Development began in 1938 and is still strongly led by Robert Waldinger, MD, the fourth Director, and Marc Schulz, Ph.D., the Associate Director. In the study, they were keen to find the answer to living a good life; after all these years, it seems pretty straightforward.

As Waldinger and Schulz put it simply:

“Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”

But to have good relationships, we must first understand what matters to us and what shapes who we are. The key to building good solid relationships is to know oneself and be intuned with our core values, as wonderfully explained and expanded further in the newly published book by Jay Shetty, 8 Rules of Love.

With the ever-growing need to keep up with social experiences, dating life, work culture, family, and relatives, we are constantly bombarded with messages and social cues on how we should live and show up in the world. It can get quite distracting and, in many cases, overwhelming trying to keep up.

In this blog post, I like to shed some light on what feels like a productive and meaningful life, where it all begins by learning our purpose and values to help us make every decision based on what matters the most to us.

Before we go there, let us explore some questions and social cues to what society keeps telling us. What we see in movies and the media shows us with varying degrees throughout our lifetime.

Who defines a meaningful life, and what has to happen for it to become one? Is it by reaching a specific social class or state of living, having a certain amount in your bank account, having the “right” car or “house,” etc.., meeting particular family or friends’ expectations, or perhaps by excelling at the corporate ladder? Does it have to be concerning what others need and want? Or Can it just be aligned toward what we need and value the most?

To find our core values, we must be intuned with ourselves and how we spend our energy daily.

I find more meaning in all decisions that stem from my core values. It makes the journey more meaningful and fulfilling but more challenging than some may think. It is a road less traveled, yet it brings all you need back to you as you continue growing to reach your full potential.

But how do we define our values or know what matters to us?

In the quest to learn our values, and as described in her book “Emotional Agility,” Suzan David shared the following questions to help us get started.

Deep down, what matters to us? What relationships do we want to build? What do we want our lives to be about? How do we feel most of the time? What kinds of situations make us feel most vital? What would our life look like if a miracle occurred and all the anxiety and stress in our lives were suddenly gone? What new things would we pursue?

As she further put it, the answers to these questions can help get us on the road to figuring out the guiding principles of our life.

These are terrific pointers and questions that can help us get on the path to finding our core values.

In my research to discover my core values, I value autonomy in which I can be self-determined and independent in various areas of my life. I also value diversity in culture and experiences, and I profoundly respect things and people different than myself. Lastly, I deeply love relationships where I can build and form meaningful experiences and connections with others.

I value Autonomy, Diversity, and Relationships in all areas of my life.

Once we clearly define our core values, we can start sensing and recording our activities on a weekly or monthly basis. We need to understand how we spend our energies every day and whether they are intuned and contribute effectively to our core values.

The more alignment we have between our daily activities and values, the better we can connect and form strong relationships with ourselves and others. As we continue living our values, taking risks and bold moves toward what is right for us can be more manageable.

When we practice value-driven actions, it becomes easier to disagree with someone else about something we value respectfully or say no to behavior that no longer serves us (i.e., discrimination, violence, etc.).

I hope this post has been meaningful to you, and if it has, please leave me a comment or share it with others so that more people can benefit from it. Your support would be highly appreciated.

Lastly, thank you for sharing a little time to read what I enjoyed writing. If you like what you read and like to know more about me and what interests my creativity, go check out the rest of the site for more blogs and things I have for you 🙂



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