Life passes by in a blink of an eye
June 22, 2009 11:33 AM   Subscribe

Help me live a full life - accepting any and all suggestions!

Have just finished watching Six Feet Under and been extremely affected by the final montage of the characters. Granted the characters are fictional but having grown attached to them, seeing all of the outcomes together was a bit much but eye-opening.

The underlying message however was that of life passing by so quickly which I have begun to understand and ideally, I would love to live a full life that I can look back over fondly when I get old and say I had the opportuntity to do so.

Some quick background details: 26 yr old healthy male and quite active (regularly in the park doing wushu and gymnastic rings). I am a software programmer/consultant. I have done a skydive and travelled a lot when I was a child. I have a house in the UK (near Manchester).

Looking forward to your suggestions of activities and your life goals
posted by SRMorris to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (21 answers total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
Does the UK have its own version of the Coast Guard? Go rescue people for a living.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:35 AM on June 22, 2009

I would love to live a full life that I can look back over fondly when I get old and say I had the opportuntity to do so.

Have a foursome.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:45 AM on June 22, 2009

I joined the Navy when I was 26. It opened up the world to me.

I'm not saying go join the Navy though. LOL. Just implying that finding an avenue and outlook on life that made me realize that the world is a very big place - where you realize that everyone isn't just like you, THAT was something that changed my life.

I guess it's akin to travelling, but getting out there and experiencing the world in all it's flavors is to me a life well lived.

p.s. Sia singing 'Breathe Me' at the end of 6FU when that footage is probably my favorite wrap up for a series ever. Much better than Friends. :D
posted by matty at 11:46 AM on June 22, 2009

Make a difference in the life of an older person. Everyone seems to think cute kids are the meaning of life - especially their own (marginally) cute kids.

Go spend some time with older people. Volunteer at senior center. Older people have the world to share and often there's no one who's willing to receive it.
posted by 26.2 at 11:55 AM on June 22, 2009 [5 favorites]

Best. Finale. Ever.

Warren Zevon’s final advice was “enjoy every sandwich.”

You don’t need to climb Everest to live a full life, just appreciate all the little things. Find wonder in everything. Be kind to people. Make a difference every day. Don’t be a picky eater. Take nothing for granted.

If you absolutely must find an adventure, I recommend mountain climbing. Not necessary “risk your life” climbing, but “push yourself hard to get to the top” climbing. Get to places few people will ever get to. Seeing the world from a summit is a pretty amazing thing.
posted by bondcliff at 11:56 AM on June 22, 2009

Full of what?

When you're on your deathbed, what do you want o look back and good about? The quiet time you spent tending a fabulous garden? The time you climbed Everest? The time you traveled the world? All those puppies you helped at the shelter? The children you raised? The watches you repaired? The people you had flings with?

Figure that out and you're 90% of the way there.
posted by Ookseer at 12:00 PM on June 22, 2009 [5 favorites]

Get out into the Peak District for some physical and philosophical perspective, go at every season of the year to see how it changes and stays the same...

Get involved in local movements for social change

Do something new, something creative, something reflective, something sensual and something communicative everyday

Make sure the people you love know it

Fight the BNP!
posted by runincircles at 12:04 PM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Cultivate good, don't do evil, purify your mind.
posted by DetonatedManiac at 12:05 PM on June 22, 2009

I posted something quite similar a little while ago:

I think travel is awesome. Definitely explore the world as much as you can.
posted by gushn at 12:12 PM on June 22, 2009

Stuff yourself with music at every opportunity.
posted by corey flood at 12:15 PM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

i can't remember who, or even in which thread, but someone replied in a thread once with life advice and said: "what is the one thing you know that, on your deathbed, you'll look back and kick yourself for not doing? pursue that." (or something along those lines) i really like that advice.

as well, something i've found very useful is writing a list of things you want to do in your life. i made one when i was 18 and i've been adding to it and completing things on it ever since. some of the things on it are very specific (go on a hot air balloon ride, celebrate Bloomsday in Dublin) and some of them are more vague (make a big difference in the lives of 5 others, do something huge to thank Mom and Dad for everything they've done for me over the years). the only tough thing about the list is feeling like you have to do it all now. just make sure you don't forget about the list, and if you find that it's been a few months or close to a year and you haven't crossed anything off the list, get moving on something.

best of luck with it! it's a great pursuit, trying to live a full life. enjoy!
posted by gursky at 12:19 PM on June 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

There are a LOT of good Ask Metafilter questions that could apply to this. I'm not calling "double!", just saying that you should take a gander. Here's one place to start.
posted by Muffpub at 12:50 PM on June 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

As some people have alluded to above, the realization of a full life really depends on what you find rewarding. You may find helping others rewarding, for example, but if you don't it doesn't mean you're being happy the wrong way.

I've thought a lot about and done a lot of research on happiness and the one common thread that I see in people who are happy and fulfilled is that they invest most of their time in things that make them happy and fulfilled.

Happiness is a choice we make every hour of every day, it's not a couple of major life events. If you start becoming conscious of even the smallest choices you make, you will give yourself the opportunity to prioritize your happiness. If you start with the small ones like saying no to an obligation you're dreading or yes to something you really want, making the big decisions (looking for a new job just because you aren't passionate about the one you have one) becomes easier and you're more prepared for the big life events when they happen.
posted by Kimberly at 1:08 PM on June 22, 2009

Figure out what matters to you, and what makes you happy, and work toward maximizing that in your life. I fear that far too many of us spend too much time keeping up with the Joneses, and trying to live up the expectations that our families burden us with. If you find happiness in a well-kept home or career success, I don't mean to demean that, but if neither of these things are important to you, try your best to stop worrying what others think of you in that realm.

If you like to travel, try to travel as much as you can. If you like making things, make as much as you can. If you enjoy cooking, eating, and drinking, that's a full life too that you can share with friends and family.

Find your thing, and do that, and share it.
posted by explosion at 1:15 PM on June 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

Minimize your expenses to the point that you can live comfortably only working half-time or not at all.
posted by bendy at 1:27 PM on June 22, 2009

yea - what bendy says - cut down on time spent working for money, so you can spend more time doing things that are intrinsically rewarding, like learning to cook and serve really delicious things to the people you love, make art, help others, dance, decorate, travel, volunteer
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:38 PM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Lou Holtz (American college football coach, best known as Notre Dame National Championship coach), a wonderful motivator, made a list of things he wanted to do/achieve in his life - 107 items. He was about your age at the time. To date, he has achieved over 95 of them. Good advice on this link too.
posted by ecorrocio at 3:46 PM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Learn another language. One in which art (books, music, food...) to which you find yourself drawn is produced. Then use it to enjoy these things. If possible, introduce others to them too.
posted by No-sword at 5:09 PM on June 22, 2009

Cultivate worthiness, humour, mindfulness and compassion.

Learn more about Buddhism, starting with the Four Noble Truths.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:25 PM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

I agree about minimizing your expenses and not spending your life working all the time. I've been freelancing/self-employed since I was a teenager and can't imagine any other lifestyle. I spend the majority of my time doing whatever it is I want to do (I'm a much better cook than everyone I know, go to tons of art exhibits, read lots of books, go to the park with my dog, make art, & do other things I actually enjoy). I have less money than the majority of my peers, but they are all constantly stressed, tired, and unhappy from their jobs and live for the weekends. I wouldn't trade the freedom I have for any amount of money.
posted by bradbane at 6:51 PM on June 22, 2009 [4 favorites]

Say "yes" as much as possible.
posted by pollex at 8:16 AM on June 23, 2009

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