You Must Have a Great Life

Dr. Purushothaman
October 18, 2013

Sometime ago, I was of the opinion that everyone has the RIGHT to have a great life.
Not anymore.

Now I believe that everyone has the DUTY to have a great life.
I believe it to be a duty because we have all the potentials and the tools to live a great life. And I believe it to be a duty because only by living a great life ourselves, we can enable others to live a great life.

A great life is the minimum that we must aim for. Living a great life must be a goal of everybody.

But what is a great life?

Most of us never bother to contemplate this question. We are happy to "Go with the flow". Those who think often stop at the first step: equating tons of money with a great life. They believe that having money and everything that money can buy; luxury seaside villa, a brand-new car, a large screen TV, vacations abroad, becoming famous etc. will bring them happiness and fulfilment. Does it?? YES, but partially. Only for some moments of the day. But you will remain "empty" most of the time, because a great life goes well beyond money and materials that money can buy.

So what is a great life?
The answer to this question will differ from person to person, but essentially, there are four elements of a great life. The difference in personal approaches is due to the fact that each individual will have slightly different emphasis on each of these elements. However, the ultimate great life is achieved when

a. these four elements are balanced synergistically
b. we strive everyday to improve in these areas.

These four elements are

1. Material and Physical Needs. You have a body, and probably a family, to feed. You have to manage material needs for self and family, including home, car, clothes etc. Your body needs to be in optimal health state. So to have a great life, you must have VIBRANT HEALTH and FINANCIAL FREEDOM. The financial freedom does not imply plenty of money, but enough money to meet your requirements and rid your mind of worries. Going a step further, an "Abundance Mindset" is more important than actual "quantity" of money. A mindset that is happy with the available material possessions, offers gratitude, and hopes for better has the real financial freedom. Similarly, maintaining a vibrant health is essential to a great life. Vibrant health does not stop at "absence of disease"; rather it is a state where you feel energetic, enthusiastic, active and ready to "Just Do It", whenever there is a physical or mental challenge or positive activity.

2. Intellectual Fulfilments. We as human, desire to grow intellectually. We need to learn so that our "intellect" self feels growing. Growing intellectually is the key to human progress. And you grow intellectually when you learn or teach, when you dream, when you set and achieve goals, when you use your knowledge as well as imaginations to find answers. Reading, discussing, problem solving, project completion, learning new skills etc are essential for our intellectual fulfilment.

3. Emotional Aspect. To have a great life, we need to feel fulfilled emotionally. And for that, we need to love and be loved and recognised. Care, respect and love for your family, relatives, friends and fellow men are the binding fabrics of human society.

4. Spiritual Growth. Whether one believes in religion or in higher intelligence or in universal consciousness or in nothing at all, we as human have certain spiritual needs. This requires us to do something for others for someone who is "bigger than us". And the best way to do it is to make unconditional contribution, random acts of kindness and to leave a legacy.
So a great life

Must have a great purpose, which is chosen consciously and is aligned with universal principles of good, to grow and maintain a balance in all the four areas.

Some people believe that Great Life lies in great things, great actions and great works only. It is a misconception that stops most of us to be great. Greatness lies in most of the small things and small events. Everyone lives a great life for a small time. Your favourite teacher at school that impacted your life positively lived a great life. Your uncle who supported you when you were emotionally broke lived a great life. Have you read the story of "star thrower," boy. This little boy was found walking on a beach after a storm, throwing starfish back into the ocean so they won't die on the shore. Someone criticizes him for wasting his time, noting there were millions of starfish, and the few he saved won't make much difference. The boy silently bent over, threw a starfish into the surf and replied, "It made a difference for that one."

Just make a difference for someone and continue doing it. You'll live a great life.

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