As a new year approaches, and as we get ready to welcome a new baby any day, I've been thinking about the things that inspire me to live my best life. There was a time a few years ago when a series of devastating events happened in a short period, and I spent quite a while living in a cloud of sadness. I'm grateful for those times though, because they taught me to appreciate the greatness that was to follow. And as a result, the last few years have gotten better and better for me - not because I have everything I want, but because I've learned how to feel like what I have is enough, to embrace the details and moments of everyday life, and to look back on the experiences I've had with a newfound appreciation.
One of the greatest parts of my life has been the experience of traveling the world. Although things are admittedly different now that I have a small child, and I'm not able to just pick up and leave like in past years, I still try to fit travel in several times a year. And I continue to look back on some of my favorite travels to far away places (especially Australia, Costa Rica, France, the Netherlands, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Belgium, and Mexico) and domestic locations (especially beautiful natural places like the national parks and cities like San Francisco and New York) on a regular basis and meditate on the incredible things that I learned along the way. I think about the beautiful places where I've spent time, the cultural awareness I've discovered as a result, and the incredible times I've had with people I've met. I still have a lot of places on my list (Iceland and Japan are at the top right now), but by focusing on trips I've already taken and how they've made my life richer, I feel constantly inspired to continue to live my life in a way that feels full.
In my everyday present life, I feel constantly inspired to live my best life as well. My daughter and husband bring so much joy to me every single day, and I don't take for granted how wonderful that is. I also feel inspired by things like music, art, animals and nature, and the ability to run my own business. I work a lot, but it allows me to appreciate the time I take for myself. Sometimes I just take a few minutes each day to meditate and relax in the quiet. And I reserve weekends to explore, learn, love, and grow - not work. All of these things motivate me to live a happy, full life. Everyday, I try to keep a positive attitude and feel gratitude for what I already have, which I feel helps me to become my best possible self.
A couple of days ago, I took the coolest online quiz by Abbott called LIFE. TO THE FULLEST. It's just a few quick questions about discovering the key to your best life. The first thing it asks is to chose the one thing that makes you feel most fulfilled. Although travel (one the options) is obviously huge for me and has been for my entire life, I ended up choosing family - because ultimately, that is what, at this time in my life, makes me feel the most complete. It goes on to ask other questions, like how to rate how fully you're living, and to think of a person who you think lives fully and choose a reason why (I chose attitude; positive attitude is everything to me!). There are no right or wrong answers, and at the end, the responses are all combined together to become part of a global look at the nature of human fulfillment. It was really inspiring to just sit down and think for a couple of minutes about what is most important to me in my quest to live my best life.
After I took the quiz, I read a little more about it and the mission behind it (Abbott’s LIFE. TO THE FULLEST. mission), which is finding out what living fully means to you. All over the world, people have their own unique ideas about how this looks and feels. But there's one thing we all share - we each want to live the best life we can. So Abbott set out to find what living fully means to people around the globe. (How cool is that?) They also came up with something called #fullosophy, which they describe as your own unique way of living that gets you to your fullest - your joyfullest, your peacefullest, your hopefullest. (For me, as I mentioned above, these include travel, my family, music, art, animals and nature, running a business, and keeping a positive attitude.) Your #fullosophy is at the heart of who you really are, and it helps you become your best possible self. And although the journey to get to that place is different for each of us, it's something we all have in common regardless of our beliefs or where we live or who we are. I love this idea so much.
I think that ultimately, my #fullosophy is to do my best to be a good person, to continue to experience the world through travel when I can and to take what I experience on these travels and apply it to my everyday life when I'm at home, to relish in the time I have with my family, and to appreciate the beauty of nature, the arts, and the everyday things that make life so beautiful. I believe that we don't need a lot to be happy and fulfilled. We just need to make the commitment to ourselves to live our best lives. And that, for me, is the key.
How do you live your best life? What is the one thing that makes you feel most fulfilled? I'd love for you guys to take the quiz too and share your thoughts in the comments! And check out this goodness for even more inspiration.
Photos in this post are all from my travels to my favorite places over the past few years.
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