Sunday 21 January 2018

Are you living life to the full? 10 ways to be your best self

10 ways to live life to the full
10 ways to live life to the full

Shane Watson

Researchers have compiled a list of the things that make us fulfilled. Shane Watson has some more grown-up ideas

Just one in five of us thinks we are living life to the full, (sounds about right), and the people who bring us this unsurprising fact have done us the favour of listing the 39 'ultimate life-fulfilling experiences'' in a survey so the rest of us can catch up.

So far, so good.

The trouble is, the list seems to have been compiled by 17-year-old school boys after a Red Bull-fuelled session watching reruns of Top Gear and James Bond movies.

Number one of the life-fulfilling experiences is get married in Vegas. Yes, you read that correctly. Dive with sharks is at number two, and it doesn't get much better: party on a super yacht is up there with travel on a private jet (number four) and date a model (in at five). This list is not so much the 'Ultimate guide to living life to the full' as a fantasy stag do meets the pitch for The Hangover IV.

On and on it goes: join an expedition across the Antarctic; bungee jump; travel into space (please; even Sarah Brightman has ditched that plan) and, brace yourself, make an "intimate'' home movie (life-fulfilling or just horny, boys, if you are being honest?).

Still, it gets you thinking. If you had to make a 'living life to the full' list, say you were that bored, what would be in your top 10?

Here are a few suggestions for the grown-ups (and please note, there's no jumping out of planes or swimming with dolphins).

1 Have more sex. This is something both sexes can agree on. Poor Davina McCall has been getting an earful this week for suggesting it's important to get on with it, even if you don't fancy it at the time, but she's so right. You always think you need, the extra eight minutes' sleep, but everyone feels better for a quickie.

Big bother: Take a leaf out of Davina McCall's book and make time for more sex

2 Meet your heroes. Get close to your heroes. Go and see them live. This might be Bradley Cooper in The Elephant Man or - more likely - Fleetwood Mac in concert (though whether you will get the right level of star exposure in a seat at the back of a huge arena is debatable).

Go your own way: Going to see your favourite band, like Fleetwood Mac, and getting up close to your musical heroes can be a life-affirming experience

It's a thrill being in close proximity to people you have worshipped from afar, and even better being jammed up against like-minded types at a rock concert. Being forced to wipe your sweaty brow on your neighbour's shoulder because you can't move your arms - that's life-affirming.

3 Buy the thing you shouldn't buy. That painting you keep eyeing up. That vintage rug. Of course you can't afford it but you could if you cancelled your gym membership and stopped buying your children clothes. A painting and a rug can make you happy every day.

Bunny Williams rug in an outdoor weave, €96.33,

4 Have more parties. Easier said than done. You need nerves of steel because what date to pick? Will anyone come? Everyone is busy at different times.

Nonetheless, parties afford the opportunity to dance, sing and remind you that though it feels like everyone has forgotten you exist, most of them will probably turn up if you call.

5 Find yourself a challenge. Could be running a marathon, learning to cook suckling pig, or learning to rally drive. Whatever it is, just do it.

Runners cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at the start of the TCS New York City Marathon in the Brooklyn borough of New York City

6 Honour Lucy Jordan as in The Ballad of Lucy Jordan famously sung by Marianne Faithful (at the age of 37, she realised she'd never ride through Paris in a sports car with the warm wind in her hair).

Go somewhere you've always wanted to go with someone sexy, though not necessarily Paris in a sports car: the Peripherique in a top-down is hellish these days, and will give you pink eye, for sure.

7 Travel. Not 'travel' as in trying to go native with a Lonely Planet and a backpack, but somewhere you can have a genuine adventure, maybe on horseback. Playing cowboys in the company of gauchos in Argentina would tick the box.

cities (4).jpg
Istanbul Sunset Panorama

8 The thing that is bugging you - sort it out. Your house; your weight; your photo album; whether you should leave your job and go and live on an island off Norway... don't discuss it any more, take action.

9 Step away from the TV. It's hard because it's so good, but think of what you could be doing with all that time. It may take a while to come up with a tempting substitute, but give it a chance.

10 Stop seeing the people you automatically see and start seeing the people you want to see. Surround yourself with at least a few people you can flirt with.

Weather is set to stay dry and warm during the week

And while you're at it, give the diet a rest. Who can live life to the full, sober, on 600 calories? ©The Daily Telegraph

Irish Independent

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