7 Essential Components to Living a Good Life

We all want to have a good life—we’d be crazy not to. Our time on this planet is relatively short and we all naturally want to make the most of it. But, what does it actually take to live a good life? What are the secrets of the truly happy?

While the path to living a good life requires discipline and practice, it’s a lot simpler than you think. Here are 7 essential components that need to be in place in order to have a rich, nourishing life:

Food, shelter, & safety. These are priority number 1. Above all else, if you don’t have basic access to clean water, food, good healthcare and a warm, dry, safe shelter, it becomes very difficult to enjoy any other parts of life. These three things lie at the foundation of a good life. If you know anyone who is struggling with these basic necessities (like those in Puerto Rico), give them all the support you can.

Optimism. The mind is incredibly powerful, but it is wired for survival. That means it focuses on the potential dangers or downsides of any situation far more readily than the bright side. This mindset helped keep our ancestors safe, who faced dangers like falling off cliffs or being eaten by tigers on a regular basis. But in modern living, we are relatively safe from such dangers and this mindset actually hinders our growth. By cultivating a practice of positivity, we are able to train our brains and bodies to be happier and less driven towards negativity, even through really unpleasant situations. It also builds mental fortitude, meaning you’ll be better able to handle adversity when it comes your way. A good way to start is by keeping a positivity journal, a place where you scribble out at least 3 positive thoughts daily. You’ll be amazed at how it can affect your overall outlook.

Gratitude. It’s pretty cool that we are alive and on this big blue marble, isn’t it? Taking a moment once in a while to experience the awe and gratitude for all of the small things in life will make you happier in the long run. It will make you sleep better, too. And positivity will be easier. In fact, gratitude has actually been shown to improve physical health to the extent that is supports longevity. Being happier and living longer? Making gratitude a lifelong practice can yield amazing benefits.

Cultivating purpose. Ah, what is the purpose of life? It’s a question for the ages, but let’s keep it simple. The purpose of your life is to be happy. That’s it. Do what makes you happiest. Follow what intrigues you. Do things that make you excited and keep you growing. That is the only path towards finding your purpose, which, when you scrape out the details, is being happy. If certain things stress you or make you miserable, cut them out. Finding your purpose not only makes you happy, but it allows you to transcend your narrow view of Self and experience even greater joy.

Community. Whether it is family, neighbors, friends or pen pals from across the sea, we all strive for some sort of community. In the end, we all want to feel accepted and loved; to have our own existence validated and cherished. Nurture your community and familial connections, where it is just one or one hundred. Just try to steer clear of over-relying on your internet community. Just because you have 12,000 Instagram followers doesn’t mean you have a strong, widespread community connection. Strive instead for authentic interpersonal connections.

Alignment of your thoughts, words and actions. You are what you think. You are what you say. You are what you do. If these three areas are in regular conflict, there’s going to be a lot of internal struggle. Figure out what your most deeply held beliefs are. Those should be thematic in your life, whether in mind, body or spirit. Let them thread through your life so that it is easy to define who you are. In other words, get to know and accept your true self, and let it infuse the entirety of your being.

Love. We aren’t talking romantic love, although that’s nice, too. Whether it is a person, an animal or a project, a good life needs to have love and passion. It is one of the most powerful forces on the planet—the one that makes life worth living. Allow more love into your life and you’ll love a life worth reliving.

Living a good life requires mindfulness, patience, and ease. How close are you to having all 7 aspects of a good life? How can you set yourself up on the journey towards improvement? Share your thoughts with the community below!

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115 comments

Tanya W
Tanya W1 months ago

Noted

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Tanya W
Tanya W1 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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Renata B
Renata B1 months ago

Unfortunately there is so much selfishness nowadays. It's quite sad to witness it.

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Peggy B
Peggy B1 months ago

Noted

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Jeramie D
Jeramie D2 months ago

Thanks

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Sarah A
Past Member 2 months ago

Thank you

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Kevin B
Peter B2 months ago

Thank you

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Sue H
Sue H2 months ago

Great reminders, thanks.

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O2 months ago

nice thoughts

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O2 months ago

As a Girl Guide I try to do a good deed every day.

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