Enriching your life means making your life as fulfilling, meaningful, and filled with joy as possible. One can go through life without ever exploring the world, asking hard questions, or taking risks–but is that really living? There’s no one trick to enriching your life, as there are many ways you can take to have new experiences.Here are some ideas others have, although they are just a starting-off point in a wide, amazing journey.
Take risks. If you want to enrich your life, then you have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone. You should take risks that challenge you and demand you to step up your game instead of doing the same old thing day after day. This can mean anything from asking the cute girl in your class out on a date to applying for your dream job even if you’re not sure you can handle it. Just making an effort to try new things and do things that make you feel less than safe can help you live a more enriching life.
Fail. If you never take risks because you do not want to deal with the disappointment, then you will also never be able to enrich your life. Sure, it is safe to stay at your perfectly fine job, but if you do not take a risk and apply for your dream position, then your life will also be just perfectly fine. (Of course, this does not mean make reckless or irresponsible choices)
Conquer your fears. Whether you are afraid of water, heights, or new people, making an effort to see that there’s nothing to be so scared about can make you feel more confident and capable.
Introduce yourself to strangers. You never know who can have a positive impact on your life and make you feel more capable and courageous. If you never make an effort to get to know new people and to learn from them, then you won’t be able to grow as a person. Step out of your comfort zone and take steps to meet new people, whether they are new in your school or office or if you just notice someone reading your favorite book in a coffee shop. You’ll never know how much value a new connection can have for you and your life.
Of course, not every new person will be compatible with you and talking to new people can lead to some awkward conversations; however, the more you get into the habit of introducing yourself to new people, the more likely you are to meet people who are exciting and interesting.
Making an effort to meet new people will also make you a person who knows that he always has more to learn from life, instead of sticking with the same five people he already knows in his comfort zone.
Appreciate a different culture. Another way to live a more enriching life is to take the time to appreciate and learn about another culture. This can mean teaching yourself Japanese, traveling to Guatemala for a summer, or even talking to someone who grew up in an environment that was radically different from yours and learning about what it was like. Learning about other cultures can help you see the world in a more complex way and to understand that your way of looking at the world is just one option, not the only option. If you do have the money to travel, try to avoid being merely a tourist. The real people who make a place different than your hometown are invariably largely somewhere else. Try to go where the locals go and to talk to as many natives as you can. A good start is often going to a local (not tourist-oriented) bar, restaurant, or recreational spot.
If you do not have the money to travel, try food from various cultures, watch foreign films, read books by a diverse range of authors, or taking history or language courses can also help broaden your horizons.
Focus on always improving yourself and learn about all of the different ways of living and thinking out there.
Develop a new hobby. Another way to enrich your life is to cultivate a new hobby that gives your life meaning. It does not have to be your driving passion or even something you are particularly good at. Just find something you enjoy and stick to it. By trying something outside of your comfort zone, you will be challenging yourself to grow as a person.
Finding a new hobby or interest you care about can increase your sense of commitment, which will enrich your life.
You may also encounter new and interesting people when you pursue a new hobby, and these people can help you gain support and see the world in a new way.
Challenge yourself. If you want to enrich your life, then you cannot only stick to the things you are familiar with. You should try something you never thought you were capable of just to gain the confidence and perspective that your life is really in your own hands. This can mean anything that pushes you physically, mentally, or even emotionally and which leads to a rewarding experience and sense of growth. Here are some great ways you can challenge yourself:
Read a book that you always thought was “too difficult”.
Practice a new sport.
Train for a marathon or a half marathon. Or even a Fun Run, especially if you never considered running before.
Write a draft of a novel. Or just try your hand at a haiku.
Take on new responsibilities at work.
Do something you once failed at.
Learn to cook a gourmet meal
Read more. Reading is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to enrich your life. When you read, you can broaden your horizons and learn to see the world in a new way without venturing out further than the bookstore. Though it’s nice to read a less challenging novel just for an escape, reading more challenging books or magazines can help you feel enriched and to see the world in a new way. Here are the types of books you can make a habit of reading:
Biographies or memoirs for inspiration, or learn about extraordinary people you never knew existed.
Historical non-fiction to learn about how the world used to be.
Literary fiction to see relationships and experiences in a new light.
Books about art, photography, or music to expand your horizons.
Newspapers to learn more about current events. Seriously, when was the last time you read an actual newspaper with professional journalists?
Chase after knowledge. Reading is one major way to live a more enriching life, but if you really want to take it up a notch, then you have to work on always wanting to learn and know more, no matter what you’re doing. This can mean talking to people who have had interesting experiences about what they’ve learned about the world, going to museums, talking to your elders, or taking trips or traveling outside your comfort zone to gain first-hand knowledge about how the world works.
A person who lives an enriching life is comfortable admitting that there are things he doesn’t know and is always eager to learn more.
Find a way to ask the people who fascinate you questions about their experiences without making it seem like an interrogation.
Spend less time following other people’s experiences on social media. If you want to live an enriching life, then you should spend more time out there doing your own thing instead of following all of the great and interesting things other people are up to. Though checking out picture from your cousin Marla’s wedding or reading the political rantings of your old classmate can help you see what’s going on with the people you know, you should spend less time worrying about other people’s thoughts and experiences and more time focusing on building an enriching life for yourself.
If you’re a social media addict, you may not even realize all of the ways in which social media is negatively affecting your life. If you make an effort to limit your social media use to just 10-15 minutes a day, then you’ll be amazed by how much happier you feel and how much more time you have to pursue your own goals and interests.
Developing Enriching Habits
Forgive. One way to lead a more enriching life is to learn to forgive others more easily. Though some things are unforgivable, if you’re regularly in the habit of holding a grudge, spending hours seething with bitterness, and resenting many of the people around you, then you won’t be able to live an enriching life. Learn to move forward and to accept that some people make mistakes—or to end the relationship if someone has truly betrayed you. If you let yourself get stuck being resentful all the time, your life will feel difficult and drab.
If someone has really hurt you and it will take time to process that person’s apology, then be honest about it. Don’t pretend like you’re okay and then go on to complain about the person to your fifty closest friends. This won’t get you very far.
You can forgive someone and still ask for some space before you start spending time with that person again. If you can’t be around the person without being angry or bitter, then don’t force yourself to do this just yet.
Get rid of toxic friends. If you spend a lot of time around people who make you feel bad about yourself, are incredibly negative, or who influence you to do things that aren’t true to your character, then it’s time to cut them loose—as much as possible, that is. Evaluate your friendships and think about which people make you feel awful about yourself, which people are always bringing you down, and which are actively making your life worse. Though your friends will have low periods, if they are bringing you nothing but negative energy, it may be time to rethink your friendships. Sometimes, it may not be possible to fully end a toxic relationship if you’re stuck seeing the person regularly. Still, you can make an effort to be around the person less or to not let the person get to you when you do have to talk.
Think about the people who make you feel the best about yourself and the most excited about the world, and try to spend as much time with those people as you can.
Take better care of yourself. Eating three healthy, balanced meals a day, making sure you get enough rest, and making time for regular exercise can make you feel happier and more capable. If you feel too busy to give yourself too much attention, then it’s likely you’ll be more negative, more sluggish, and less motivated to make big changes. Here are some things you can do to make efforts to live a healthier life:
Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. This can mean running, swimming, biking, hiking, or playing a sport with friends. Yoga can also make you feel more mentally and physically capable.
Be more active. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk as much as you can instead of driving. Move to other side of the office to talk to your coworker instead of communicating by email. If you’re talking on the phone, do some stretches or move around instead of sitting in one place.
Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night and try to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day so you have an easier time falling asleep and waking up.
Get a healthy mix of lean proteins, fruits and veggies, and healthy carbs in your diet. Avoid foods that are overly fatty or greasy or they will make you feel less energetic. Make yourself a smoothie now and again to enjoy your veggies in a different way.
Slow down. Taking the time to process your life and to plan your next steps can help you live a more fulfilling, meaningful life. If you feel like you’re just rushing from one activity to the next, trying to catch your breath, then you’ll never be able to slow down and to appreciate the world around you. Make an effort to have some down time between activities, to unwind before bed, and take contemplative walks to plan your next move when you have to make a big decision. If you slow down more, your life will feel more enriching.
Meditate. Just find a quiet spot and a comfortable seat and focus on relaxing your body as you concentrate on your breath. Just 10 minutes of meditation a day can make you feel more focused and well-rested.
Stop multi-tasking. Though you may think this will help you get things done more quickly, it will actually make it harder for you to fully immerse yourself in any single task. 
Write in a journal. This is a great way to slow down, to pause and reflect on your day, and to get your brain to process your experiences. You may discover new ideas and thoughts just by giving yourself time to write before moving on to the next task.
Give yourself “me time.” If you want to enrich your life, then you have to be a little bit selfish. If you spend too much time focusing on making other people feel happy or getting all of your work done, then you won’t have time for personal fulfillment or growth. Make sure that you have at least thirty minutes a day to yourself, and at least a few hours a week to do whatever it is you want to do, whether it’s learning French, perfecting your lasagna baking skills, or just relaxing with a new novel. Not all of your “me time” has to be productive. Sometimes you just need to unwind a bit and to take time to rest. That’s fine, too.
Protect your “me time” like it’s the hot date of your dreams. Don’t let last-minute plans or favors make you have to reschedule with yourself.
Try waking up half an hour earlier just to have some time with yourself before you start your day. This can make you feel less rushed and hectic as you begin the usual grind.
Volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to step out of your comfort zone and to give back to your community. Not only will volunteering be beneficial for the people around you, but it will make you feel happier and more balanced; you’ll be able to put things in perspective and to appreciate your life even more. You’ll also be able to connect with different people who can impact your life just as positively as you can impact theirs. You can tutor adults or children at your local library, work at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen, or help table for a worthy cause.
Just making a habit of volunteering a few times a month will make you more compassionate and less self-obsessed.
Create less waste. Another way to have a more enriching life is to focus on being less wasteful. Use paper instead of plastic products. Make sure to always recycle. Use cloth instead of paper whenever you can. Don’t use too many napkins, plastic utensils, or products that can’t be reused. Walk or bike instead of driving. Making an effort to not be wasteful can help you be more self-aware and to appreciate your environment even more. Being less wasteful can also help you cultivate more gratitude and to really appreciate the world around you more by trying to cause as little damage as possible.
Show your friends and family how much you care. Cultivating healthy relationships with your friends and family members has been proven to enrich your life. Having friends and family members who care about you can give you more of a sense of purpose, can help you feel less alone, and can make you feel less lost when you have to make important decisions. No matter how busy you are, you should make a habit of spending time with your loved ones and letting them know how much they mean to you.
Write “thank you” cards to your friends and family members just to let them know how much they mean to you.
Call up your parents or grandparents regularly. If you’re not living in the same place, then making an effort to call just to say hi—not because you want something—can help you maintain strong bonds and to enrich your life.
When you do spend time with friends and family, make sure to make a real effort to ask how they really are doing; don’t just spend time with people to get things off your chest.
Enriching Your Perspective
Be patient with yourself. One reason you may not feel that your life is enriching is because you believe that you’re not doing enough to achieve your potential. You may feel like the rewards can’t come soon enough and that you won’t be truly happy until you’ve found a better job, found your soulmate, or found your dream home; however, you should know that these things will come and that you’ll get where you need to be if you keep working hard.
Focus on achieving small goals and know that you can choose to feel happy and fulfilled any time you want. You don’t need to feel like a failure or a loser just because you haven’t gotten where you’ve wanted to go quite yet.
Make a list of all of the things you’ve accomplished and that you’re proud of. You’ll see that you’ve been working hard along the way and that you should already feel fulfilled and happy with yourself.
Show more gratitude. Making an effort to be grateful for all of the things you have can make you live a more enriching life. Take the time to appreciate all of the things that you may have been taking for granted, from your friends and family to your health, or even the amazing climate in the place where you live. Though it sounds corny, remembering how many people there are who are less fortunate than you are and being thankful for what you have instead of bemoaning what you lack can make you live a more enriching and happier life.
Make a gratitude list at least once a week. Write down every little thing you’re thankful for and then tape this list above your desk or keep it in your wallet. When you’re feeling down, read over the list to remind yourself of all of the great things you have going for you.
Take the time to thank people, from your waitress to your mother, for all they have done for you. Look for opportunities to express gratitude and to let people know that what they do for you really does matter.
Stop comparing yourself to others. You’ll never live an enriching life if you spend all of your time trying to keep up with the Joneses. Don’t try to compare your relationship, your body, your house, or anything else you possess to what other people have, or you’ll always come up short. There will always be people who have something “better” than you do—just like there will always be people who are far worse off—and you’ll never be able to live your life on your own terms if you only care about comparing yourself to everyone around you.
Remember that what’s great for your neighbor or your best friend may not be the best for you. Focus on doing what you need to make your life better and learn to shut out the other voices.
Spending hours on Facebook can lead you to feel that your life, relationship, vacations, or family aren’t nearly as good as everyone else’s. If spending a lot of time on social media makes you feel inadequate about your own life, just stop.
If you’re in a serious relationship, focus on doing what’s right for you based on your own timeline instead of trying to move in together, get engaged, or get married based on another couple’s standards.
Quit caring what people think. Of course, it can be easier said than done to stop caring about what other people think of you completely. However, you can start to make an effort to do what’s best for you instead of what you think will make other people think you’re gorgeous, successful, savvy, or interesting. In the end, the best thing you can do is to make yourself happy, and if you do that, you’ll be able to drown out the noise anyway. The best way to live an enriching life is to improve yourself and to feel good about the choices you make. If you do this, it won’t matter if people think you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Learn to follow your heart. If you want to study theatre instead of law, which is what your parents want, learn to accept that your life will be more enriching if you follow your dreams.
Be less of a perfectionist. Another way to live a more enriching life is to stop caring about doing everything perfectly all the time. You should be comfortable with making mistakes and learning from them instead of with getting everything right on the first try. Sure, your life will feel a lot safer if you continue to make easy choices without messing up, but it will be far more rewarding and enriching if you’re comfortable with taking the wrong path sometimes, knowing that it will lead you to the right one. If you’re too focused on being perfect, then you won’t have time to step back and enjoy your life on its own terms, mistakes and all. Once you accept that you’ll never be 100% right all the time, you’ll be able to make much more interesting choices.
If you really want to create meaningful bonds with people, then you have to let them see who you really are, flaws and all. If you want everyone to see you as this perfect person with no vulnerabilities, then people won’t feel like they can ever really open up to you or trust you.
Focus on the journey. If you spend your whole life racing toward a goal, you’ll never be able to appreciate all of the little moments of joy along the way. You’ll also inevitably feel disappointed once you do reach that goal, whether it’s to make partner at your law firm or to get married. If you want to live an enriching life and to enjoy every moment of it, then you have to stop and remember to be proud of or grateful for every little step you take along the way.
You don’t want to look back on your life and wonder where all of those years went. Make an effort to live in the moment instead of always thinking ahead to the future, and you’ll be able to live a much more fulfilling, enjoyable life.
Make more of an effort to do things “just because.” Not every step you take or person you meet has to help you become more successful. Besides, if you’re never spontaneous, who knows how many opportunities you may miss out on over the course of your life.
Find your purpose. This may seem like a daunting task, but if you really want to live a more enriching life, then you can’t just go through the motions; you have to find the thing that makes your life worth living. Your purpose doesn’t have to be to succeed in some fancy, challenging career, either; it can be to help other people achieve their goals, to raise your children in a supportive environment, to write fiction even if you’ll never make money doing it, or just to do whatever it is you were meant to do. If you feel like you’ve just been going through the motions and don’t really know what your life’s purpose is, then it’s worth it to take some time to slow down and do some soul-searching and to try new things in order to find it. Remember that it’s never too late.
It’s okay if you don’t find an all-consuming purpose to give your life meaning. Just making an effort to steer your life in the direction of something that means a lot to you can make a big difference.
Learning will always lead to enrichment – if we truly open our minds and study a situation, we find many shades of meaning and understanding – this is a good thing.
Inside of each of us is a thinker and a poet, let them out sometimes, let them have outlets, they can benefit every other area of your life.
Follow your own path, learn to trust yourself, learn to listen to your own conscience – it will usually help to guide you to enrichment.
Everyone is different, and what may be enriching to one person may be simply boring or even harmful to another – don’t let anyone force you into their way of enrichment or betterment if it doesn’t feel right to you.
Everyone is different, and what may be enriching to one person may be simply boring or even harmful to another – don’t let anyone force you into their way of enrichment or betterment if it doesn’t feel right to you.
How to Find True Happiness and Peace
How to Escape Materialism and Find Happiness
How to Be Happy
How to Bring out the Happiest You
How to Teach Gratitude to Kids
How to Make Each Day an Interesting Experience
How to Get Motivated
How to Make Anything Fun
Sources and Citations
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