The other day while watching TV I heard this expression.
A good life is the best revenge.
It got me thinking, what is a good life? What makes life good or bad? Is there such a thing as a bad life?
Is a good life a meaningful life? Is a good life one that offers value to others and society?
I believe every life has inherent meaning and value. The fact that someone is alive has all the meaning and value—even if we fail to see it sometimes.
A good life is something that extends beyond the basics. It’s what distinguishes you from me and others. It’s personal and unique.
So is it defined by personal success and achievement?
What is success in this case? Is it having a high powered career? Fame? Money? A healthy well toned body? A large following of fans? Winning a prize of some sort?
I don’t think so. All these things can be a double edged sword—causing as much suffering as pleasure.
After contemplating for a while (and like most things in life, my views are subjective), I came to this conclusion.
A good life is a life that is made up of a lot of good moments. And the good moments are the result of certain choices we make and actions we take.
The good life code
The following three guidelines will ensure you have lots of good moments.
Living authentically and truthfully
You live honestly and in harmony with your truth. What you say or do reflects who you are.
You live from the heart and soul. You follow your joy, igniting your passion for life. You live on purpose—your purpose and your life, not someone else’s view of what your life should be.
It’s about doing what you love for the sake of doing it. The work and experience are the reward. Material or emotional compensation is the icing on the cake. This is something you love to do no matter what.
When you’re authentic, you open up to life. You restore your sense of wonder. You awaken the fun and adventurous kid within.
We all have genetic markers that define our physical traits. I believe we have a cosmic marker that identifies our nonphysical traits.
A good life is one where you live by your cosmic marker—your one of a kind being.
Meaningful connections and relationships
We all want to love and be loved. We want to have a genuine connection with the people around us.
A good life means you have solid relationships based on love, trust and mutual respect. It’s the kind of relationship that allows you to be who you are.
That doesn’t mean there is no dysfunction.
A true connection is one that transcends dysfunction. It is one that: allows for mistakes, confronts, forgives and embraces. It is strong enough to withstand the turbulence of our dark side.
Your close relationships are the ones you have without motives or pretense. They are with the people who will truly miss you when you’re gone. They will feel the void you leave behind—and they are never the same because of you. Your memory lives through them.
Such relationships are precious because they’re rare. We’re lucky if we have a handful of them. A meaningful connection enriches your life beyond measure.
A life of ease
I define ease as the opposite of struggle. It is when you’re just rolling with life, minding your business.
To be at ease doesn’t mean that you won’t experience pain—it’s humanly impossible. It means that you allow yourself to feel the pain, and for the pain to serve its purpose. You lick your wounds and give yourself time to heal.
You don’t resist and suffer needlessly. You actively surrender to life. You grow from your pain as much as you do from success. You don’t need to feel bad for yourself, resent others or feel jealous.
You don’t waste your energy worrying about what’s outside of your control, what others are thinking, saying, doing or not doing. You allow others to stay on their path and you stay on yours. You trust life as it is.
When you need to take a stand, you do it because it’s the right thing to do, not because it’s the popular thing to do. You do it without fanfare or judgment. You’re in your zone!
Nothing is more contagious than a person at ease. You can sense it a mile away and it rubs off on you pretty quickly.
To sum up
A life of ease, doing what you want when you want and having a blast with the people you love the most. And when things go wrong, you embrace your humanity, do what you can, lean on the people you love and let the rest go.
This is the good life—a life with a strong mental hammock, tied to deep rooted relationship trees and enriched by a clear emotional blue sky.
A good life is not the best revenge but the greatest inspiration.
“To live one’s own life is still the best way of life, always was, and always will be.” ~ Henry Miller