Live Life to the Fullest: 64 Ways to Live a Full Life
Want to learn how to live your life to the fullest? Here are some science-based ways to make the most of the life you have here on earth.
What Does It Mean to Live Life to the Fullest? (A Definition)
If you asked a million people, you might get a million different answers about what it means to live life to the fullest. For some, it might involve traveling. For others, it could mean raising a family. Still others may be on a mission to solve some important social problem. What’s common among these definitions is that each one involves finding meaning or purpose in what one is doing or how one is spending their time—the life is one that is exciting or fulfilling for the individual.
The opposite of living life to the fullest
If we are not living our life to the fullest then we’re generally feeling dissatisfied with the lack of meaning or purpose that we are getting from our daily life. Maybe we don’t find satisfaction in our job. Maybe we’re bored with the town we’ve been living in. Maybe we haven’t found any hobbies or activities that we’re passionate about or excited about. Maybe we even watch TV most days just to pass the time. Whatever our particular situation is, our life may feel dull, unsatisfying, or uninspiring.
Words that describe living life to the fullest
If you’re living a ‘full’ life, you may be described as:
Why Should You Try to Live Life to the Fullest?
Numerous studies have shown that meaning in life, contentment, and satisfaction in life all contribute to greater well-being. Meaning in life is also related to greater feelings of love and joy and lower fear, anger, shame, and sadness (Steger, Frazier, Oishi, & Kaler, 2006). This suggests that living life to the fullest may be crucial for our happiness.
How to Live Life to the Fullest
As we mentioned earlier, your definition of a full life might differ from the next person. That being said, science suggests we can take some specific actions if we’re looking to live a more full, fulfilling, and meaningful life. Below we talk about these strategies and offer some additional tips that can help you start exploring potential ways to live your life to the fullest.
1. Fill up your life with things that make you happy
According to the research, positive emotions may have a big influence on how full and meaningful our life feels. For example, in a series of studies, King and colleagues (2006) showed that boosting people’s positive emotions resulted in subsequent increases in their sense of meaning in life. More specifically, it seems that positive emotions experienced in a given day contribute to a greater sense of meaning that day.
This suggests that we can live our lives to the fullest by making sure that we do fun, exciting, or positive activities daily. In fact, prioritizing positive activities has been shown in other research to be linked with greater life satisfaction, more positive emotions, and fewer negative emotions (Catalino, Algoe, & Fredrickson, 2014). So, living life to the fullest may simply involve engaging in activities that you enjoy.
To implement this strategy in your life, try to find time in your calendar for things like sports, nature activities, spending time with friends, playing games, engaging in arts and crafts, reading, relaxing, and doing other activities you find enjoyable. If you have a few minutes, pause now and write a list of as many enjoyable activities as you can think of. Then, try to schedule one per day. Even if you only have 5 minutes, this time can help you boost positive emotions and feel more like you’re living your best life.
2. Write a ‘live life to the fullest’ essay
Writing or journaling can be good ways to explore what really matters to you. So you might consider writing a ‘live life to the fullest’ essay. Start by visualizing what your life would look like if you were living it to the fullest. How would you be spending your time? Who would you be with? Where would you be?
Then, use this visualization to create a list of things that contribute to you living your life to the fullest. In this essay, you might elaborate on each list item (similar to what we are doing here in this article) to more fully explore what each item involves. For example, if ‘love’ is one of the items that you think would help you live your life more fully, ask yourself, “what does love mean to you?” Is it romantic love, family love, friendship love? And how would you go about bringing more love into your life, even if only in small ways at first? This essay can serve as somewhat of a personal mission statement to help you create the life you want.
Video: Live Life to the Fullest
3. Help others make their lives full by practicing kindness
A systematic review of the research offers compelling evidence that practicing random acts of kindness—that is, being kind to other people for no specific reason—increases our satisfaction with our lives (Curry et al., 2018). I know the idea that making others’ lives better also makes our lives better is counterintuitive, but it really works. This may be in part because doing good for others can help us feel more socially connected and feel like our lives have more meaning.
Lucky for us, there are so many ways to practice kindness. For example, you could bring a coworker a cup of coffee. You could leave your waiter a big tip. Or you could buy a gift for your friend’s kid. Really, anytime you find an opportunity to do something kind, try it. It can help your life feel more full and meaningful.
4. Fill your life with gratitude
Gratitude may just be one of the easiest ways to make more of your life. It uses the good things we already have in our lives and focuses our attention on them. As a result, we realize that our lives are more full than we thought. Maybe we realize that we actually do have a lot of important people in our lives, and that knowledge makes us feel a sense of meaning. Or, we start to appreciate the successes we’ve had instead of focusing so much on the failures.
To start filling your life with gratitude, you can use techniques like making a gratitude list or gratitude journal. These can help you get more familiar with using gratitude. Once it becomes second nature, it’ll be easier to use gratitude more often in your day-to-day life.
Other Tips to Help You Live Life to the Fullest
Although the science-based techniques we’ve discussed so far have been shown to help boost meaning and well-being, not every tool or technique that can help you live your life to the fullest has been studied in academic research. So here are a few more ideas to explore. Hopefully, they can help you discover the strategies that work best for you.
Look at Pictures That Remind You to Live Life to the Fullest
Much of what makes our life full comes from the efforts we make. But life gets busy and sometimes we forget that we decided we wanted to live in a different way. That’s why visual reminders can be useful tools. Maybe for us, looking at a relaxing beach reminds us that we want to take things slower, whether we’re on the beach or not. Or, maybe we want to keep a quote taped up on our fridge so that we remember that it’s up to us to live our lives to the fullest. Here are few images that can help inspire you to live life to the fullest (or perhaps provide ideas for other pictures that would inspire you).
Quotes on Living Life to the Fullest
For those of you who are inspired by quotes, here are a few good ones to create ‘feel good’ emotions around living your life to the fullest:
Video: How to Waste Your Life and Be Miserable (Or How to Live and Be Happy)
More Articles Related to Living Life to the Fullest
Living our lives to the fullest involves continued effort. As we change and grow, the things that help us feel fulfilled are likely to change. So it’s key to keep learning and calibrating our approach. Here are some articles that may help:
Books to Help You Live Life to the Fullest
Want to learn even more about how to live life to the fullest? Here are some books to explore:
Putting a little bit of thought and effort into how to live your life fully can help you make big changes fairly quickly. Hopefully, the tips provided here got you off on the right foot.