Enjoy Life

How to Enjoy Life

In The Magic of Starting Small, I made the point that it is your days that define your life. In this article, I want to challenge the common perception that it is only possible to enjoy your leisure time. In particular, this article is targeted at the professional stuck in the 9 to 5 grind who longs for the weekend and, in the process, has given up on trying to find pleasure in the ordinary experiences we have every day.

1. Appreciate Beauty. Each day we come across beauty in a number of shapes and forms. It’s a shame, then, that many people have become so accustomed to this beauty that it largely goes unappreciated. I suggest looking again at the people, plants, gadgets, and buildings (to name but a few examples) around you and taking a moment to appreciate what makes them so special.

2. Connect With Nature. Nature is an amazing healer for the stresses and strains of modern life. Eating lunch in the park, attending to a vegetable garden in your backyard, or watching the sunset are just a few simple ideas for how you can enjoy the outdoors on a daily basis.

3. Laugh. E. E. Cummings once said “the most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” How very true. Never be too busy to laugh, or too serious to smile. Instead, surround yourself with fun people and don’t get caught up in your own sense of importance.

4. Have Simple Pleasures. A good cup of coffee when I first wake. Time spent playing with my 8 month old son. Cooking a nice meal in the evening. These may not seem terribly exciting, but they are some of the simple pleasures I enjoy in life. If you slow down for just a moment and take the time to appreciate these ordinary events, life becomes instantly more enjoyable.

5. Connect With People. In so many ways, it is our relationships with people that give us the most happiness in life. Perhaps, then, the best way to enjoy your work more is not to get a raise or a promotion, but rather to build rewarding relationships with your co-workers.

6. Learn. There is a strong link between learning and happiness. Given this, there is no excuse not to be stimulating your brain and learning something new each day. My favorite way to find time for learning is to make the most of the commute to and from work. Audiobooks and podcasts are great for this purpose.

7. Rethink Your Mornings and Evenings. Are the mornings a mad rush for you to get out the door? Do you switch off the TV at night and go straight to bed? I have personally experienced the profound benefits of establishing a routine in the morning and evening. For example, in the morning you may choose to wake an hour earlier and spend the time working on yourself, whether it be reading, writing or exercising. In the evening, consider spending some time just before bed reviewing your day or in meditation.

8. Celebrate Your Successes. During a normal day we are sure to have some minor successes. Perhaps you have successfully dealt with a difficult customer, made a sale, or received a nice compliment for your work. These aren’t events worth throwing a party for, but why not take a moment to celebrate your success? Share the experience with someone else, reward yourself with a nice lunch, or just give yourself a mental pat on the back.

Peter writes about how to change your life at The Change Blog. He also runs a blog for audio book lovers called Audio Book Downloads.

 

Image by Robby Edwards

114 Responses to How to Enjoy Life

  1. Bubs says:

    Great article, this is starting to become my favorite non-trading blog.

  2. John Wesley says:

    Bubs,

    I couldn’t agree more about the article. I’m glad you’ve been enjoying the site recently.

  3. Peter says:

    I think it’s a great article too! I’m a bit biased though :) . Glad to hear people are enjoying it.

  4. LOVE the point about the morning and evenings…this is a great way to become more effective. Nice work Peter (and John)!

  5. John Wesley says:

    Glad you liked it Todd. I agree on that point as well — finding time for thought and solitude at the beginning and end of the day has made a huge impact in terms of peace of mind. The credit is all Peter’s — I didn’t change a word.

  6. Jason says:

    Nice article, Peter… I really liked it. Getting rid of the internal pressure to rush is a key component of happiness.

  7. Ravi Vora says:

    I’d say #9 is “Do what you love.” Whatever it is, small or big, if you love what you do you’re sure to enjoy life.

  8. Peter says:

    Ravi: you have identified what is perhaps the best way to enjoy life every day: do what you love. I did not include it in this list, though, as I wanted to make simple suggestions that people can immediately start doing. For some people “doing what they love” comes naturally, but for many (like myself) it is something that does not come so easily and therefore is something to be worked towards in the medium/ long term.

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  10. Rhea says:

    These 8 tips are things I do instinctually. Glad to see I’m on the right road. They work.

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  12. LivSimpl says:

    Great ideas. I especially like the “enjoy simple pleasures” – we all have them, I think we just don’t realize it. Recognizing and focusing on them can make a big difference.

    (Shameless plug) For anyone who’s interested, I have a site that’s entirely dedicated to ways we can simplify life and enjoy the little things we often overlook. Stop by and let me know what you think: http://www.LivSimpl.com.

  13. Prank Videos says:

    laughter can keep the doctor away. 100% proven. It is the key factor behind success.

  14. Andy says:

    Mmmmmmmmm, simple pleasures…

    A build up of small joys every day – and at the weekend – are what drive me forward. Sunshine, laughter, reading a newspaper with a cold beer, making my own sausages and, above all, the sheer absurdity of life.

    A story that always makes me smile whenever I tell it goes like this…

    I was in my favourite bar, reading the newspaper and enjoying a beer in the afternoon, when in walked a morris dancer (for non UK readers, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morris_dance). In costume, with bells jingling.

    He ordered a beer and sat down. Then another entered and did the same.

    One by one about forty of them came into the bar and ordered a beer, accompanied by the sound of bells on their clothes. With so many of these guys in an enclosed space, their bells and laughter were overwhelming.

    Then they left, one by one, each jingling gently.

  15. John Wesley says:

    Haha, nice despcription. Thst sounds like an enjoyable scene. :)

  16. ThePete says:

    I definitely agree with the sentiment behind this article, but I’m a little concerned that too much adherence to this philosophy will breed stagnation. I look around at the world and see a planet filled with a lack of forward motion. Your philosophy strikes me as a case of “accepting your lot in life and learning to enjoy it.”

    I could be mistaken.

    However, I’d like to repeat that I agree with the sentiment here–I think it’s important to do all of the above–but without a mechanism for encouraging more than this, I’m afraid we as a people will stop progressing. We’re practically at a standstill as it is.

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  18. SK says:

    The article reminds me of one of the quote I like ” Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things in which smiles and kindness, and small obligations, given habitually, are what win and preserve the heart and secure comfort.”

  19. Steve says:

    Nice list. I find tweaking negs to positives works quite well for my enjoyment here.

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  22. Bruce says:

    great ideas, my experiences with item 1 is I watched sunset whenever I was at home for around 2 years when I lived in an apartment facing south west and took a picture for it. felt peaceful and blessing every time.

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  24. Jenny says:

    Great article! I really enjoyed it!

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  27. Each of these ways is so true. I believe the power of laughter to help you enjoy life is often overlooked, possibly because it is misused in that people make fun of others. Yet you are so right to point out that laughter is a key way to enjoy life.

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  31. El Duderino says:

    How about dishing out everlasting, brutal vengeance on your enemies? That’s got to be one of the best things in life.

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  34. Cute_Katie says:

    Hi, I totally agree with the points about laughing and connecting with friends. I found a really friendly new social networking site. http://www.alljoinon.com
    The people on it are so welcoming and I have actually found it so easy to make friends, which leds to lots of laughing and online banter. I now feel loads happier 😉

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  39. googlethis says:

    canada usa yes land red site letter land black black black joke

  40. Partyman says:

    I agree, live life to the full, enjoy the music of the world around you and love, dance, party. one life, live it.

  41. russel luce says:

    DAMN! if everyone know how to enjoy life in positive way like this. there aint no fighting and arguing no more! lets LOVE one another…ayt? PEACE

  42. madison9 says:

    Hi all of my friends I am glad to tell you enjoyingment plays prime role in everyone’s life. According to my opinion, everyone can access enjoyment by doing everything in entertaining manner.

    ========================

    anilk

  43. optimist says:

    be positive in life & look forward believing in yourself and others – for yesterday is only a memory of the past.

  44. lorilori says:

    very nice article!

  45. prakash gyawali says:

    happy every moment bring me great happy ness

  46. suresh says:

    Be positive be happy and important thing is don’t repend

  47. Jesse Christopher says:

    Seems like a few things have been forgotten…
    Namely: Faith, Love and everyday gratitude. Chose to be happy regardless of circumstance and life becomes… guess what… happier.
    Without these the rest is meaningless. But I guess they wouldn’t come to mind if you’ve never experienced them in a real way.

  48. krish says:

    feeling imprisioned by powerful people (rather bosses) rediculed by the rich lads (how long to close eyes on thier flautings) sad at the thought of this planet being recklessly exploited by these walking creature, over populated human world unpritictable days

  49. AsiF says:

    Ever watched the film “Sweet November” !!!! ??

    BTW hanging out with friends is the most best thing, even after just a minor success or ANYTHING …..

  50. isha says:

    gr88 work …..yes i did watch sweet november cud never get why she chose november???

    neways u guys might wanna check out my blog
    http://www.ibabble-isha.blogspot.com/
    and wud love if u cud comment on my dilemma and thoughts

  51. Jusy tweeted your site. If you love what you do for work, it is not work. Being productive, contributing, getting involved in your community and enjoying a family is key.

  52. DrDougIkeler says:

    Designing for yourself a compelling future is the key to happiness. If you have great dreams and adventures to look forward to, you will be excited every day. Also, let your feelings out. No one is happy all the time and our neurophysiology is designed for balance. You have to feel bad to feel good. Life is a balance of our good and bad feelings. Both must be expressed.
    Check out my compelling future at http://www.ikeler4000.com and my book on life extension at http://www.ikelerbooks.com They both will give you a lift!
    Dr. Doug Ikeler

  53. Thijs says:

    Peter,

    You sure gathered an important set of ways to enjoy life (more often).. even for the ones who aren’t stuck in their 9 to 5 lifes. On the site below a few (amateur) philosophers gathered around this very same subject. You (and all others) are very welcome to comment on this page:
    http://sites.google.com/site/howtoenrichlife/

  54. AHMED IZAR says:

    THIS IS SO FASCINATING AS READ THIS BLOG I COULD FEEL THE EMOTION AND MAYBE ITS A WAY TO GET OUT OF THE CONFUSION INSIDE MY HEAD

  55. neelima says:

    now a days people are spending days without heart full smiling. your suggestion is so nice

  56. michael says:

    A guide to enjoy life,and how can lives be changed in a day;Tomorrow is an other day..
    http://hubpages.com/hub/Tomorrow-is-an-other-day

  57. Anisur rasul says:

    i want more articles, because i feel all times alonely pl help me

  58. Dr Paul Dyer says:

    What a tragic notion that we can only enjoy our leisure time. All of life is to be enjoyed! Thank you for providing some practical tips to get there. Perhaps the most practical thing of all, is to spend our life energies fulfilling our life’s purpose, then the distinction between work and play gets very blurry.

  59. Abhishek says:

    Very good article.The type of article I wanted.
    Really thanks

  60. prom gowns says:

    Learn is a good way to enjoy life!

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  62. Hey, we decided to enjoy life and make our dreams come true:) Check out our videos here: allthesmalldreams.blog.com

  63. Mārtiņš says:

    these are really good tips, thanks alot, i hope i will be able to use them.

  64. Pete says:

    Thanks for the great post. Good advice! Work day to day can be extremely difficult. Is the answer to enjoy what you do or do what you enjoy? It’s tough. Thanks for you insight though.

    I stumbled upon this blog like I did yours. Though their insight on work was very meaningful: http://burisonthecouch.wordpress.com/2009/12/31/our-house/

    Thanks for the post! I’d love to see more like it.

  65. sania says:

    A thing of beauty is a joy for ever..
    Its loveliness increases, it will never

    pass into nothingness,but still will keep
    A bower quite for us , and a sleep

    Full of sweet dreams, and health and quite breathing,
    Therefore,on every morrow are we wreathing.

    A flowery band bind us to the earth ,
    Spite of despondence,of the human dearth…..

    A thing of beauty is a joy for ever..
    Its loveliness increases, it will never

  66. vishal says:

    this is a great article. this has to be read by all the professionals of the contemporary era

  67. DK says:

    i like it

  68. MRWED says:

    I love number 8. I always do it and still enjoying this thing. Rewarding yourself for a success is the nicest thing you can do to yourself. A shopping or a tour to your most love places.

  69. I really enjoy reading about living your life. It is so important to reclaim what was lost. Sometimes we don’t even know we lost it. We get caught up in the race of life and don’t take time to settle down except to sleep.

    Krickettlady

  70. Susana says:

    Can you recommend me a book

  71. abbas says:

    how i can enjoy best life

  72. Fishyy says:

    How Does This Help To Enjoy Life I Need Something Thats Fun Exciting Young And Alive.

  73. Henry James says:

    By appreciating the beauty of nature is by thanking
    the creator. Be thankful in everything whatever you’ve
    been through. Enjoy each day and share it to anothers.
    really enjoy reading your blog…

  74. Ricky says:

    I love to be out in nature i want to be wild survival man lcd monitor getlcdmonitor.com

  75. This is a very good way in appreciating the simple things that we kinda regret in our everyday life and with this realization we can already share this joy to other people. With this realization we also reflect to ourselves that we have already a great life

  76. sai suneel babu says:

    nice tips

  77. Mr.obvious says:

    So many people that write about the working life and having a good life. I was looking for another answer, sure i can find it but not on the internet…. All this things you write is pretty much obvious and leads on the a hint that says……BREAK FREE FROM SOCIETY. So i was looking for the answer of the guy that did that and really learned how to enjoy life….. and then i thought to my self, a man who is enjoying really enjoying his life is not using his time on the internet.
    obvious….in`t it?

    :(

  78. never know says:

    Mr obvious… i think you have a good point. we often use the internet like a drug.

    but i think the enjoyment factor comes to with having presence with what we are doing. making choices about the things one wants to be doing. So, it depends on that persons idea of enjoyment. i think that everyone can take pleasure doing different things. if you are zoning out on the internet to escape reality.. no, the internet is not necessarily good. however, the internet can be a great tool. what i have come to see is that breaking free from society will not ail all your woes… rather, finding your own path within society can be possible and allow you a contented life. just don’t be dictated by society… which is super difficult since as humans we are soooo connected. i am seeking that balance.. to live life contented and able to manage the pain that comes with being alive. it aint easy! 😛 good luck to you. there are plenty of communes and sustainable communities out there. i hope they find you!

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  80. Sonam Agrawal says:

    Owesomeeeeeeeeee……….. Really such a nice suggestion.Infact after reading that i actual feel frm my internal soul.It’s easy tips to enjoy life.
    Will definately follow that.
    Hey Thanks……..

  81. tulasa says:

    its better to b alone than being humilated.

  82. sunaina says:

    smile,when you really feel depresed

  83. ritu says:

    i m very sad in my life i m bore all people are selfish & lyer so how to i feel i live beetween the mean people

  84. Raymond says:

    Life is more than just living it. Enjoy it! Nice write up, am gonna save ds page to read everyday.

  85. renate says:

    hi there:) I see that we share the same thoughts:) And it makes me happy:) Keep up the good work, sharing your thoughs and making all uf us aware that life is truly beautiful:) renate-

  86. Thomas says:

    Awesome article – I will also add one more and that is to share good news with others. We all come across with good news everyday, but many choose to ignore them and just read bad news. I have started a new website just to post good news – and you know what, by searching them, I found so many good news that are unreported. For example, job sector, do most people know that the tech sector in USA is now enjoying the LOWEST unemployment rate in history? Not even 3%, and yet, we don’t see this reported?

  87. shweta nayak says:

    Yes, it is actually an outstanding article, giving the best of points being briefly discussed.

  88. A. Edwards says:

    Nice, simple and usefull… Thanks!

  89. soraya says:

    great article,thanks:)

  90. Jeffey000 says:

    hi

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  92. Majorshadow says:

    Original Song-Share “GET OUT & LIVE”  http://youtu.be/bOL86BF39ks

  93. Arpana Gangwal says:

    awesome … superbb .. n so True .. I love d  short n inspiring message .. Tooo Good

  94. Montygm says:

    it is true how we long for things and push away what we have just to fit in certain cultures. when we now cannot meet the standards of prescribed cultures we even go as deep to really fit in. it is really no point to put yourself in unnecessary pressure just to impress yourself thinking you want to impress me because you do not know maybe i am also trying to impress someone, then now our energies and time become waste.

  95. elena says:

    It’s a great post. Happiness and rich life are always out there waiting for us.

  96. J Sean47 says:

    cool.This is my first blog. http://stopnwarning.blogspot.com/.please like or follow and leave a comment

  97. I’m having a good read with your post today. I am thinking of having your 8 suggestions reflected upon. As for me, what makes my day enjoyable has been diverted to the Internet realm. haha..
    -Karina @ High Speed Internet

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  102. Sukalyan Ghoshal says:

    We act and react in life. Our actions may start threads of new reactions among which a few will once again our own reactions. That way, if we take a statistical account of this, I think, for a common man, life will appear to be a stream of many reactions – more than actions. Nature of these reactions will be based on our perspective to life. If we look at life as a stream of liabilities which are to be gotten rid of then it is sure to bring stress upon ourselves, hindering us from enjoying life. So the first thing to “feel” is that life is not a liability. Every moment is to be enjoyed the way one likes it. 

  103. Lisadash says:

    I love this website. I have difficulty enjoying life sometimes because I get bogged down by financial worries and daily concerns. I will use this article as my guide to appreciate the little things

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  106. Redballoons011 says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5TwT69i1lUI love listening to this song, teaches you something :)

  107. Jelly Owl says:

    I bookmarked this page ages ago and just recently came back to it. So many good tips. My favorites are “connect with nature” and “rethink your mornings and evenings”. I always have a much better day if I can take my time getting ready in the morning, preparing for the day, and then do something meaningful in the evenings, like read a book or write a journal entry. Also, whenever I’m in a terrible mood, a walk in the woods always makes me feel better.

    You have some really great tips here. I appreciate the article.

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