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10 Ways to Live a Meaningful Life

While we each may express it in our own unique style, and our individual paths will twist and turn in different directions along the way, I believe that we all share a common desire: To live a meaningful life.

There are uncountable multitudes of strategies we could employ, tasks we could set ourselves, and practices we could adopt, each of which would move us further along in our journey.

I’ve taken some time to explore several which, while I wish I could say I have already mastered, I’ll most likely be working on (perhaps even struggling with) for the rest of my life.

I share them with you, because I believe they’re worth the effort.

10 Ways to Live a Meaningful Life

  1. Do unto others.

    Live out the Golden Rule (which is surprisingly consistent in its message throughout many systems of belief); that is, treat others the way you would wish to be treated. Not just the ones you love, and not just by simply refraining from unpleasantness or indifference. Go out of your way to cherish them.

  2. Cultivate a spirit of gratitude.

    Practice gratitude on a daily basis, even in areas where it seems difficult or even impossible to do so. One example that always comes back to me is from a friend who, when going through a particularly difficult time financially and struggling to pay her utility bills, still cultivated a spirit of gratitude by reminding herself what those bills represented – warmth, light, contact with the outside world – and being thankful for having access to those things. I’m not sure I could have done the same thing in her position, but it’s something I try to remember when I’m struggling to live in gratitude.

  3. Open your eyes and heart to beauty and wonder.

    Look around you. Look up occasionally! Notice. Pay attention to the little things in your world that make you happy – the twinkling eyes of a loved one, the faint scent of spring in the air, a laugh heard from across the room. Don’t let anyone – including yourself – minimize the importance of small joys, but rather acknowledge and celebrate their presence in your life.

  4. Learn from your mistakes, but don’t waste time on regrets.

    This is something that’s always been difficult for me, but I know that wallowing in regrets today only brings more regrets tomorrow… particularly if what you’re regretting is wasted time! As with so many things, it’s a balancing act we need to learn – allowing our mistakes to teach us without letting them weigh us down.

    And, speaking of balance…

  5. Strive for balance.

    I tend to be an “all or nothing” person in many ways – one of the worst being the attitude that if I can’t do it perfectly, I won’t do it at all. Yet in so many areas I have proven to myself time and again that I am more fulfilled and content when I strive for balance rather than living in extremes.

  6. Nurture and express your creativity.

    You – yes, you! – are a creative individual. Avoid getting bogged down in comparisons with others and what you believe to be their superior abilities. Be gentle with yourself – you don’t have to be perfect or produce a masterpiece. Find, nurture, and take the time to express your creative voice (maybe even share it with others). And have fun with it!

  7. Share freely without expecting anything in return.

    Every one of us has something to share – money, time, talents, love – and life is so much richer when we hold these gifts with open hands instead of clutching them tightly and keeping them to ourselves. And without any expectation of receiving something in return, hurt feelings and resentments may be kept at bay.

  8. Be the change you wish to see.

    Be aware, get involved, show you care. Speak up for those who have no voice, stand in solidarity with those who are oppressed or cast aside. Use whatever power is within your reach – your words, your talents, your vote, your money, your time – to effect positive change in our world.

  9. Learn to listen, and listen to learn.

    How many times do we hear what we think someone is saying, rather than what they are actually saying? Learning not just to hear, but to actively listen, improves communication and minimizes misunderstandings. And when we listen with an open mind, it’s amazing what we can learn!

  10. _____________________________________________

Now, to help me work on my practice of Number 9, I hand Number 10 over to you.

Please share your thoughts!

How do YOU practice living a meaningful life?

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.

{ 257 comments… add one }
  • Lyndsy March 1, 2012

    Find laughter and the lighter side of things. Not everything needs to be a big deal or serious. We can go through many tough times if we also find the laughter.

  • kelli March 1, 2012

    First of all, your blog is lovely. And your list is even lovelier! I would add to find time to spend with children, even if you don’t have any. I learn so much from mine each day- and they always give a laugh.
    Going to follow you on FB so I can keep up with you!

    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      Thanks so much for the compliments – I really appreciate your kind words! And thank you for the great suggestion. Looking forward to seeing you again! 🙂
      Dawn recently posted… A taste of the big timeMy Profile

  • Julie March 1, 2012

    Love this post. I would add that you need to find things to laugh about daily. I used to have full belly laughs with my kids when they were still young and I miss that so much. It’s such a releasing, feel good feeling.

  • Making Our Life Matter March 1, 2012

    Wow. That’s all I can say. What a totally great post for this event. My response to your question? I take care of my family the best I can, and start over if I screw up.
    Making Our Life Matter recently posted… What My Blog Is AboutMy Profile

    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      Thank you so much! I like your attitude… that’s really all any of us can do, right?! Good for you, and thanks for stopping by! 🙂
      Dawn recently posted… A taste of the big timeMy Profile

  • Erin O'Riordan March 1, 2012

    Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. was fond of saying, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what it.” It was his way of appreciating the moment, an attitude he learned from his uncle and artist father. Kurt Vonnegut Sr. was known for stopping at any moment to appreciate the aesthetics of just about anything; when his son took up the clarinet as a young man, Kurt Sr. announced that the black instrument with the shining silver buttons was beautiful.
    Erin O’Riordan recently posted… WIP Wednesday, plus some very cool Kindle Fire coversMy Profile

  • Jollyjillys March 1, 2012

    Hi what a great set of rules . I think the small things in life often get overlooked. I will try these out. Thanks for sharing
    Jollyjillys recently posted… Pet BereavementMy Profile

  • Tiffany March 1, 2012

    I would say don’t waste your time on things that in the end are not worth it, instead invest your time in the things that matter (family, friends, etc).

  • Kerry March 1, 2012

    This might actually fall within a few of these categories but I feel it is so important– spread some happiness everywhere you go. Smile at people- you will be so surprised at how that can change someone’s day. Even if you are having a horrible day– sometimes smiling can change your entire attitude as well.
    I often see too many people scowling and giving others such dirty looks. Why live with such negativity?

    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      Wouldn’t this world be a whole different place if everyone took that advice?! I’ll have to remember that myself. Thanks for your thoughts!
      Dawn recently posted… A taste of the big timeMy Profile

  • Shelley March 1, 2012

    Great ideas- I especially like numbers 2 and 3. I am reading one thousand gifts right now and really trying to be thankful and aware of all the blessings around me.

  • Sarah March 1, 2012

    i live a meaningful life by giving myself several forms of therapy. knitting, gardening, giving time to myself, massage, quality time with my family, exercise, crafting. i do all these to avoid conventional drugs. i do not like taking pills as a form of therapy so i do a combination of “life therapy” as a medicinal form for me and it works great! and it brings so much meaning

  • Shannon Schulte March 1, 2012

    I love “be the change you wish to see!” We have the opportunity to do that today.
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  • Nikki March 1, 2012

    I love #3, and try to practice it daily. I think we focus so much on the big picture and the big problems that we forget to take a moment to see the beauty in small things. Even something as minor as the smell of a new book can bring joy, and if that joy only lasts a moment, well, it’s still an extra moment of happiness in the day!
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  • Eleni Poulakou March 1, 2012

    Be aware of the moment.
    Try to notice the little things you’re doing: how you walk, how you talk, how you respond to people or to situations; your usual patterns of thought; little habits that might drive you back or nail you down; little things you usually pass by without a second thought.
    Everything is new, nothing can be taken for granted.
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    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      Very wise thoughts, Eleni – thank you! I find it very difficult to stay in the present and notice everything, but it’s so valuable when I do. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
      Dawn recently posted… A taste of the big timeMy Profile

  • Mariah March 1, 2012

    I love all of these! They are definitely keys to finding joy and happiness no matter what life brings! I would add “enjoy the simple things” which can be such a challenge with the busy lifestyles many of us lead!
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  • Erin March 1, 2012

    I would maybe add “setting goals” to this list. I found that if I don’t have anything to work toward, then my life seems to be just a rush to catch up with mundane things like mopping the floor or folding the laundry. When I set goals for myself, I motivate myself to read a meaningful book or make time for nurturing my marriage with a special date or alone time.
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    • The Groundskeeper March 1, 2012

      I agree. Goals are part of what help me have something to look forward to.

      My #10 would have been along these line. “Never stop growing”, as a person that is. Always try to improve or learn something new. This too helps the mundane things not take over my thinking and get me bogged down.

    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      That is so true, Erin – and as a matter of fact, the importance of setting goals is one of the big things I took from Blogelina’s beginner blogging course, as well! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
      Dawn recently posted… A taste of the big timeMy Profile

  • Allison March 1, 2012

    For me it is taking time for myself. As a wife, Mom to 5, blogger, and a small business owner; I find that my time is stretched soooo thin. But if I get up a little early and go for a run or put the kids to bed 1/2 early and then take a bath; I find that I am more calm, more energetic, and more ready to face whatever life throws at me tomorrow.

    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      That makes perfect sense, Allison. It’s far easier to take care of others if you’re in a place of peace and calm because you’ve taken care of yourself. Great idea, and thank you for stopping by! 🙂
      Dawn recently posted… A taste of the big timeMy Profile

  • Suz. March 1, 2012

    10. Be true to yourself.

    I’ve heard to “Feel with your heart, think with your brain, and to go with your gut.”

    This works for me- I look back at some of my struggles and often I can see that they were related to not “going with my gut,” but instead trying to force something that was a good idea, but just wasn’t me.

    Thanks for the lovely list.

  • D Hopkins March 1, 2012

    I really love all of these points, especially number one. In our world, I really think we reap what we sow and if we treat other with kindness it will return. If I were to add one it would be to actually put into practice all of the knowledge in our heads. We read so many books and get so much information. If we would just act on it our life would gain meaning.
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    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      That’s so true! Learning and information is great, but at some point we have to stop and actually start putting it into practice! Great thought – thank you for stopping by. 🙂
      Dawn recently posted… A taste of the big timeMy Profile

  • Jenn March 1, 2012

    Make an effort to live in the moment more often and make each moment count. Moments add up to memories.

    Wonderful post!! Cheers, Jenn.
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  • Stephanie March 1, 2012

    What a beautiful post! We all know these things, but so many of us (including myself) tend to get so wrapped up in the drama of life that we forget about what really matters. If I were to add a #10, I would say to lean on a “higher power”, no maatter what religion you may be. For me, it’s God. Nobody’s perfect. But with trust and faith, you can, and will, live a more meaningful life.
    Stephanie recently posted… How to Fix Your Credit Report For Free – Thoughtful ThursdayMy Profile

  • Britni March 1, 2012

    Wonderful list!
    I would say don’t berate or belittle yourself. You hear yourself more than anyone else. If you always tell yourself you’re not good enough, too fat, ugly, etc…you will believe it! Tell yourself just how great you really are 🙂

    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      Oh, so true. Sometimes we say things to and about ourselves that we probably wouldn’t say to or about our worst enemies! We definitely need to learn to be gentle with ourselves. Thanks for the reminder, and thanks for stopping by!
      Dawn recently posted… A taste of the big timeMy Profile

  • Just Jaime March 1, 2012

    Gosh, your list is already so encompassing! Hard to find anything to add. Can I just reiterate number one again =)
    Just Jaime recently posted… All You Ever Wanted to Know about Wayward Girls’ CraftsMy Profile

  • Lou Lou Loves March 1, 2012

    10. Have fun: Dance. Sing. Laugh.
    I believe that life should be enjoyed. Nietzche said: And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. I find having a little ‘disco shoulder’ going every now and then really gets me through the day…

  • Carrie March 1, 2012

    My #10 (actually, #1) would be to spend time with the Lord. I want to make sure whatever I am doing is meaningful to Him.

    You have compiled a great list here. I’m going to print it off and pin it on my bulletin as a great reminder! Thanks for sharing!

    I liked your Facebook page as well; looking forward to reading more!
    Carrie recently posted… Why we do what we do, Part I…My Profile

    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Carrie – I really appreciate it! And thank you for stopping by. Looking forward to getting to know you! 🙂
      Dawn recently posted… A taste of the big timeMy Profile

  • Anjanette March 1, 2012

    I love your point about everyone being creative! I believe that we were made in the image of our infinitely creative God, and that each of us possesses the ability – and even the need – to participate in the act of creation. We make things every day – and they can be uplifting to others, or the opposite depending on how intentional we are.

    My #10 would be to set goals. This is new for me – I often avoid setting goals (can’t be disappointed w/o expectations, right?), but am learning that I grow and learn when I set goals – even when I don’t meet them we way I’d like.

    Here from Blogelina, thanks for the wonderful post!
    Anjanette recently posted… How I Get Things for Free OnlineMy Profile

    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      Goals are very important, aren’t they? I agree that it’s easier to avoid them, but so much more rewarding when we set and do our best to meet them. Thank you for stopping by! 🙂
      Dawn recently posted… A taste of the big timeMy Profile

  • Mommy's Organics March 1, 2012

    One of the ways I practice gratitude is by writing in my gratitide journal. When I’m having a rough day I go back and read them. Thank you for such a great post.

    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      I’ve had a gratitude journal as well, at several different times in my life… it’s such a rewarding practice. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
      Dawn recently posted… A taste of the big timeMy Profile

  • Katie March 1, 2012

    Great list. I think I would pick… take time out to do what you love. Whether it be going to a concert every now and then or just taking the time to yourself to watch your favorite TV show every week, working on a craft, whatever it is that makes you happy.
    Katie recently posted… Book Review: Hearts That SurviveMy Profile

  • LAURIE March 1, 2012

    What a wonderful blog. This list is great. I guess I would add just one thing and that is keep your faith and trust in God. Make that your #1 on the list and all the other things will fall into place. Have a beautiful day!!

  • Marci March 1, 2012

    Here’s my go at Number 10:

    Know Yourself, Be Yourself, Free Yourself

    It’s never too late to get to know yourself. Ask yourself the hard questions about what you believe, what you love and don’t love, and how you contribute to your place in the world.

    Be that person. Embrace who you are. If there are aspects of yourself that can use improvement, make those adjustments. “Being” is not frozen in amber; “being” is a state of becoming.
    Be the best you that you can be.

    The truth shall set you free. Accept who you are, faults and all, but fix what you can, knowing that you are a human on a journey with the rest of humanity. And in all humility, love yourself as the only “you” in the whole wide world.
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    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      This is simply wonderful, Marci – thank you so much for taking the time to share these excellent ideas. I wish I’d thought of them, LOL! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
      Dawn recently posted… A taste of the big timeMy Profile

  • April H March 1, 2012

    I love all of these! I think my tenth was never lose your vision. Decide what you want in life, and always strive to reach that ultimate goal. Enjoy life as you go, but don’t forget about your bucket list!
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  • Layne Lanpher March 1, 2012

    10. Live each day as if it’s your last. You never know when the end is going to come, so enjoy life each day – even if it is just one tiny thing that makes you happy. Tell someone you love them, because you may never have another chance. Thank someone for what they do. Make someone smile. Encourage someone.
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    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      Those are lovely ideas, Layne – thank you for sharing them! It would be a whole different world if we all put those actions into practice. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
      Dawn recently posted… A taste of the big timeMy Profile

  • Eschelle March 1, 2012

    sometimes I have to remember to not underestimate myself and to jump in! I suggest you watch the movie “The Iron Lady” there is a part in the movie where she says she has to be more etc.. etc… very much so spoke to me. I think it would for you also.
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  • Dianna March 1, 2012

    Great post. I think everyone needs this reminder every once in a while. I know I could.

  • Dianna March 1, 2012

    I would add pick your battles carefully, say “yes” carefully. I know it’s great to volunteer, but it’s counterproductive if it causes stress in your life or causes you to miss something else very important.

  • Wendy March 1, 2012

    I think number 4 is the hardest from me. I focus on how I could’ve or should’ve done something instead of just moving forward.

    BTW: I love your site!

    Around My Family Table
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  • Michelle Keraus March 1, 2012

    Live in the moment. What’s that saying? Your kids won’t remember your clean house, but they will remember the time you spent with them 🙂

  • Julie March 1, 2012

    Oh how I try to remember these ideas but quickly forget lots of them, lol. I’ll be working through each one my whole life as well. Sometimes that seems overwhelming to think that I may never be perfect at any of them but I know that thought is simply what holds me back. Don’t be afraid to be amazing!

  • Millie March 1, 2012

    Great list!
    #4 reminds me of something a high school teacher of mine used to say, “don’t sweat the small stuff”. You know, in high school nothing seemed to be ‘small stuff’ but his saying that really stuck with me and has helped me many times as an adult.
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  • Lisa March 1, 2012

    What a great list!

    I have really been working on many of these in my own life.

    It is nice to be able to read your list and see how many of these I AM doing!

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  • Katie March 1, 2012

    Thats a great list. I need to work most is the strive for balance. I also tend to strive for perfection which is not always a good thing.
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    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      I know what you mean, Katie – perfectionism has held me back from too many things in life. Balance is much better! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
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  • Krissy March 1, 2012

    I especially relate to #3! My kids help to remind me to cherish the little things in life and see the wonders of the world. 🙂
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  • marye~ March 1, 2012

    I have found that when I am grateful for the people (and things) in my life I am not able to be unpleasant or unhappy.
    I love that you identified not living in the past. That is one of my biggest issues. I spend so much time worrying about what I’ve done or said or what someone else did or said that I forget to enjoy the moment.
    Also, ‘be the change’ is my mantra. I find it so much easier to advocate for others or the environment than for myself sometimes, but when we do what needs to be done no matter how insignificant is has an effect.
    If I had to suggest one one thing I think it would be to forgive. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, but it does free you from the burden of carrying around those resentments.
    I will try and have an attitude of gratitude, just for today.

    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      Such wise words – thank you so much for sharing! And you’re very right – forgiveness is such an important thing to practice. I’m glad you stopped by! 🙂
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  • Jacqui Gonzales March 1, 2012

    I often forget to be grateful in the midst of struggles. It seems to be my hardest thing, when I feel like everything is spinning out of control.

    As for number 10, I would put “Make sure you take time for yourself”. Take a break, grab some tea or coffee, relax and remember that you are just as important as everyone else in your life.
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  • Krystle March 1, 2012

    I love number 3! I love the fact that my son gets so happy when he gets a new pencil from school. It made me realize that we really do need to focus on the little things in life that make us happy. There is so much to be grateful for! We need to focus on the good and not dwell on the bad.
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    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      I agree, Krystle! Some people just don’t seem to get it – I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve heard, “Small things amuse small minds!” I say they don’t know what they’re missing! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
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  • Mary March 1, 2012

    #10 – Less is More! We really can’t do everything so we need to focus on what’s important. Your #2 really helps- a thankful attitude will make life grand 🙂 Thanks for the tips!
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  • Khairy March 1, 2012

    10) Discover what Meaningful Life means to you. the word “meaningful” is so relative, it is important for each of us to look inside and discover what it means in our world.
    I love this post!

  • life just saying March 1, 2012

    Those are awesome. Some are more difficult to do than others. Learning from life’s events is especially hard. I just read ‘it is a tragedy to live someone else’s life’. We get one life, one shot. Make the most of it!
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  • Lea H March 1, 2012

    My kids make my life meaningful!

  • Amanda Maupin March 1, 2012

    I really loved this post. Like you, I tend to be an “all or nothing” type of person, and it can be discouraging at times. For number 10, I would say to cherish the little things, because it’s all the little things that make up the “big” things in our lives that are important.
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  • Shelly March 1, 2012

    I would add laugh with your kids and hug them daily. They are only small for so long and there is so much to do everyday but taking the time to spend with them laughing and hugging is something that they will always remember.
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  • Samantha March 1, 2012

    wow – what a great post! and this one hit me on a day that i needed a bit of a reality check. it’s been a crazy one in these parts. thank you for sharing!

    love your blog!

    i would definitely add to laugh daily. life is so short and we need to slow down and enjoy it more. the world is so technology driven that sometimes i need to find the time to turn off the computer, put the cell phone away, and just enjoy the day…enjoy my children…enjoy life…and breathe. 🙂

    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      Thank you so much, Samantha – I’m glad it was valuable for you! And I agree – laughing and enjoying life is so important. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
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  • Tonya Peele March 1, 2012

    I strive to live a meaningful life by focusing on adding value every thing I do. For example when I am helping my son with homework, I try to enrich his experience with a story, funny gesture or special snack instead of looking at the activity as mundane and just “something that has to be done”.

  • andrea March 1, 2012

    let me add #10 – “be thankful for EVERYTHING you have” – or as the Bible would say it, “thou shalt not covet”….. 😀
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  • Kathy March 1, 2012

    I try to find the laughter in every situation no matter how bad things are. I try to give everything over to G0d and have Him deal with the burdens that weigh heaviest on my heart. That isn’t always easy to do, but I feel so much better once I have done it.

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  • jenivieve March 1, 2012

    This is a great list. It is often hard to remember some of those things, especially with the every day stresses of life.

    Little reminders such as these keep things in perspective. What is stressful today probably wont matter a year for now, but being kind, giving to others, doing nice things for yourself can make a difference in the moment and down the road.

    Thanks for this great post.
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    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      Perspective is SO important – and you’re right, it may seem so big now, but really isn’t in the grand scheme of things! Thanks for stopping by to share. 🙂
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  • Emily March 1, 2012

    Wherever you are, be all there! Soo hard to live by with my current season of small children, but soo important! Great list and good reminders, thank you!
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    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      Oh, I always need that reminder – I’m so often too busy living in either the past or the future that I forget to be in the present! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
      Dawn recently posted… A taste of the big timeMy Profile

  • clarissa danielle March 1, 2012

    I agree with finding the humor in things. If you take things too seriously, you can get stressed 10x easier it seems. Sometimes even during a stressful situation, it’s easier for me to just sit back and try to find the humor in it.
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  • Maura March 1, 2012

    #10 must be to eat more chocolate. 🙂
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  • Becca March 1, 2012

    Wow. That was an inspiring list. I think I would add, appreciate each moment you have with your loved ones. Don’t be bogged down by bitterness or forgiveness that you live in regret once they are gone. Forgive and move on today!
    As for the gratitude… If only we all lived with a thankful heart. The world would be a better place if we were thankful instead of complainers.
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  • Carrie March 1, 2012

    “Learning from mistakes”…something I’m working on right now. 🙂

    And I love #3. I’ve recently chosen to slow down and just enjoy playing with my sons. I tend to get way too caught up with the to-do list.

    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      I keep wondering when I’ll have made enough mistakes that I won’t have to learn anymore, but it never seems to happen! 😉 Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
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  • Nancy Stewart March 1, 2012

    Lovely post. I write children’s books and find it so valuable and meaningful. It has enhanced my life greatly. And, of course, our relationships with family and friends means so much in the fabric of our whole lives!


  • Lynda March 1, 2012

    If everyone practiced the items on your list, for sure the world would be a better place. I think that if an individual is the type of person who follows rule no. 1, the rest of the list would come naturally.
    This is what I struggle with:
    “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” Leo Buscaglia.
    Gosh I wish I could abide by that.
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  • Suzy Myers March 1, 2012

    A wonderful list. Each item is totally something to think about. For me, I have to remember to treat myself as well as I treat others. Oftentimes, I make sacrifices for others and leave myself behind. It is good to take stock now and then and put yourself first sometimes.

    Thanks for the very thought provoking post!

    Suzy Myers recently posted… The 100 Blog Comment EventMy Profile

    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      Thanks for your kind words, Suzy, and for adding a great item to the list. So important for us to remember to take care of ourselves properly! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
      Dawn recently posted… A taste of the big timeMy Profile

  • Julee March 1, 2012

    What a brilliant post! I love the postive perspective. My #10 is “live in the moment, it’s where you are. Don’t look back–you can’t change it…don’t look too far forward, you haven’t written it yet.”

    Thank you for nine wonderful words of wisdom!
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  • Classic NYer March 1, 2012

    Love. Always love. Keep loving. Love when it’s undeserved. Love when it’s unreturned. Love the unlovable. Let love trump revenge. Let love trump greed.
    Classic NYer recently posted… On uncertaintyMy Profile

  • Surround myself in positiveness. I do not have time for drama or negativity and so I choose not to engage in behavior that is such. It makes life so much easier.
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  • kirstin March 1, 2012

    Love this list- two points in particular stood out to me (I think because they’re things I am trying to teach my kids right now)- be grateful and having balance! What great reminders.

    I’m a Christian, so I’d say my #10 is “Love the Lord and live for His glory.” 🙂

  • Laura Lynn March 1, 2012

    Love the post chica. 🙂

  • Kecia March 1, 2012

    These are great tips! I really need to work on #4…I have a problem regretting bad decisions, and then wallowing in that regrets months (okay, more like years) later.

    For #10, I would say being sure to make time for the things that matter most: family, your passions, and YOURSELF!
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  • Suzanne March 1, 2012

    Touched a nerve with this one, I think! I had to scroll through so many lovely comments! I love this post in its profundity and simplicity. I won’t add a thing. #10 is like the Zen space intentionally left empty to allow room for growth.
    Suzanne recently posted… My Kind of ExerciseMy Profile

    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      I wish I could take credit for inspiring so many great comments, but it’s all part of an intentional event. But however they came to be, I’m grateful and blessed to have been the recipient of so many wonderful and varied points of view! Your thought about #10 is simply lovely – thank you, Suzanne. 🙂
      Dawn recently posted… A taste of the big timeMy Profile

  • Yannie March 1, 2012

    Oh, my! you made my world stop for a while to do the thinking. LOL… It seems that all the 9 ways are enough.

    I think for number 10 “do what you love to do”.
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    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      That’s a great idea, Yannie! One of my favourite coffee mugs says, “Do what you love. Love what you do.” That’s always inspired me. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
      Dawn recently posted… A taste of the big timeMy Profile

  • heather harris March 1, 2012

    I like to think that accepting yourself for who you are goes a long way toward living a meaningful life…
    of course, number 5 “strive for balance” seems to be my arch nemesis 🙂 but I am working on it!

    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      Excellent idea, Heather. All too often we waste time and energy comparing ourselves to others instead of simply accepting ourselves for the way we are. Thank you for the reminder! 🙂
      Dawn recently posted… A taste of the big timeMy Profile

  • Jodi March 1, 2012

    Girl . . . you sound like you would be an Ann Voskcamp fan! she wrote this great book on gratitude! Each week you can link up sharing your thanksgiving!
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  • Marian March 1, 2012

    This is great post! I’ve read it countless times. The response of the commentators are also great.

    Always look for something to do that will make you happy and your life meaningful. What is important is what is in your heart that you truly value.
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  • cooking lady March 1, 2012

    Great post, a lot the things you said really made me sit back and take a look at myself.

  • My number 10 would be to spend time your children and enjoy them at every stage of their lives. One of my friends told me just the other day. As hard as meltdowns and tantrums are hard to deal with, just remember that when your child no longer melts down over the little things is also around the time when they no longer get excited over the little things.

  • Andrea Waters March 1, 2012

    What great information you’ve given. I found the best thing to do is listen…to your elders. I learned so much listening to my grandparents. It made me respect the elderly. They have so much wisdom to share if we would just listen.
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    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      Thank you, Andrea – that’s a really great point. I think we miss out on a lot by not listening to and learning from our elders. So glad you stopped by! 🙂
      Dawn recently posted… A taste of the big timeMy Profile

  • a.eye March 1, 2012

    I think a good one for number 10 is “Be better than you were yesterday.” That has been my mantra for a few months now.
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    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      I love that – thank you! It reminds me of something I often think would be a good thing to practice – wherever you go, leave it in better condition than it was when you got there. Imagine if we treated our planet that way?!
      Dawn recently posted… A taste of the big timeMy Profile

  • LaVonne March 1, 2012

    I think people need to remember the important things in life – God, Family, Friends, Health…

    It is easy to get caught up in meaningless things. But we should always put these important things first.

    Thanks for sharing. I appreciated this post!
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  • Lynden Blossom March 2, 2012

    A meaningful life… Yes… A thought that’s on my heart daily… I really appreciated all of your very well-thought-out points! I would share that All of that would follow if these verses were truly believed and followed, so this would be my 10th (actually 1st!) point – ;-} Just my sincere thoughts…

    You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. Matthew 22:37
    Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5 & 6
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  • Brooke March 2, 2012

    Great list! It always sounds so good, but to live it can be a challenge 😉 It is good to remind ourselves of these every so often.
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  • Well, though I wouldn’t put this as # 10 as in “last on the list”, I think the most important way to live a meaningful life is to spend time with the Lord. (I noticed a few other ladies mentioned this as well.) If you know how much Jesus loves you individually (not just the “whole wide world”), you can know you always have Someone to go to, and you’ll never be on your own or trying to make it by yourself.

    And I completely agree about taking time to laugh, listen, and remember the Golden Rule.
    Katrina – Edelweiss Patterns recently posted… The Overnight Wedding DressMy Profile

  • Johnnie March 2, 2012

    What a great post! These are great truths to live by. #10 Give more than you get!

    Thanks for sharing.
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  • Corinne Rodrigues
    March 2, 2012

    Some great thoughts here. I especially like the idea of being grateful and opening one’s eyes to the little things….That’s what makes like so meaningful to me!
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted… Comparison: The Thief of JoyMy Profile

  • Angie Nelson March 2, 2012

    Such great advice. I would add – live consciously. Know what you are doing, why and how it makes you feel. We so often just go through the motions day after day.
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    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      I know exactly what you mean, Angie! It’s particularly anxious-making when it happens while driving – you realize just how unaware you can be when you’re doing routine things! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
      Dawn recently posted… A taste of the big timeMy Profile

  • Michelle March 2, 2012

    For # 10- “Let Go and Let God”

    What a great list you have shared!
    Michelle recently posted… Combining the BlogsMy Profile

  • I especially love the tip about being grateful! I started a special Thankful Thursday series on my blog, and after a month, I noticed that my view of my life was a lot brighter and happier. My relationships improved and I was happier, all because I was taking regular time to be grateful for what I had, instead of focusing on what I didn’t.
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    • Dawn
      March 2, 2012

      That’s so wonderful, Amber – thank you for sharing your experience! I think we can all learn from that. So glad you stopped by! 🙂
      Dawn recently posted… A taste of the big timeMy Profile

  • Peter March 2, 2012

    I think my #10 would be:
    Admire the ones you love. Each of them has helped build the ‘House of You’ that you live in and make home.
    I admire my wonderful wife who wrote these 9 tips.
    Great job Lolo.

  • Jeanette March 2, 2012

    My #10 would be ‘slow down’. Going through life rushing to get to work, worrying about time, etc. Sometimes you just need to slow down, relax, spend some extra time with your children.
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  • Becky Fisher March 2, 2012

    10. Never miss an opportunity to say “I love you”.

    Awesome list! They should be posted on every refrigerator.
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  • Starlene March 2, 2012

    Always do your best, and do more than is expected. People will notice and your reputation will precede you. Most people try to get by doing the least they can when they should be doing the best they possibly can (okay, within reason). 🙂
    Starlene recently posted… 7 Reasons I Wish I’d Been Willing to ChangeMy Profile

  • Lindsay March 2, 2012

    Good ideas! The most difficult one for me is “Learn from your mistakes, but don’t waste time on regrets.” Striking that balance is essential, but very difficult.

    Thanks for the reminders.

  • Jamie March 2, 2012

    What a great list!!! Perhaps a 3rd one is to get in touch with and/or develop a practice with your spiritual side.
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  • Angela March 2, 2012

    Its easy to just live life but yes living a meaningful one takes time practice and commitment and of course balance. Things us working mama’s need to work on : )

  • becky March 3, 2012

    Love this post!! You are a woman after my own heart 🙂
    Love number 7.
    Not sure there is much to add but one of my favorite quotes seems to fit:
    “Live in the moment, for this moment is your life.”
    Great post!
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  • Dominique March 3, 2012

    I take time out to appreciate all the blessings that GOD has given me.. love your list of 9.
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  • brett March 3, 2012

    my #10 would be to cherish yourself. prioritize yourself. we can’t do the rest without remembering that we are important as well

  • Melanie March 3, 2012

    Learning to let go is something I’m doing in an attempt to live a meaningful life. I’m the type of person who wants to take charge, but I find letting go sometimes makes things run more smoothly.
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  • Gene Pool Diva
    March 3, 2012

    Happiness is not a destination, it’s a journey.
    Love the list Dawn.
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  • Amanda March 3, 2012

    I love #5 and #6. I, too, am an all-or-nothing person, and often can’t even SEE that there is a gradual way to do something, never mind actually DOING it slowly. I really have to work on that.
    I’m 36 and I’ve spent my entire adult life saying and believing that I really didn’t have any talents. I can’t draw, sing, dance, play an instrument, act, paint… you get the idea. I wrote a lot as a child, but I had completely forgotten. When I go serious about blogging, I got so many comments from friends and family about what a great writer I am. It makes me feel good, but it didn’t go to my head. I’ll never be Nora Roberts, but I do occasionally write something that even *I* think is pretty good. (Why are we our own worst critics?) Blogging regularly has given me a chance to discover my talent and develop it.

    I would expand on the “spend time with children” idea and add “spend time with the elderly”. They have so much to teach us about everything. My mom did in-home elder care when I was growing up, so if I wasn’t in school, I was around my “extra” grandparents. Even then, I appreciated what they had to share with me. (Mostly because my parents were awesome and taught me to appreciate stuff like that.)
    Amanda recently posted… How To Get Started Writing Book ReviewsMy Profile

    • Dawn
      March 3, 2012

      I’m so glad you found an area where you can express your creativity! I truly believe that there’s something in every one of us – we just have to look hard enough and we’ll find it.

      Great perspective on spending time with the elderly. There is so much that can be learned from people with years and years of life experience.

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
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  • Keep It Thimble March 3, 2012

    I love this list. The one about balance hits a chord with me. I do tend to be a perfectionist and have learned how to just let things go sometimes. The act of creating something has its own rewards and it doesn’t have to be perfect.
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  • Tabitha (a.k.a. Penny) March 3, 2012

    Oh, if I could only master balance! In my pursuit to impact others, I often sacrifice a lot of myself in the process. While it might be worth it in the long run, I often find that this “full-steam-ahead” attitude causes me to slack in the other areas you mentioned. Kind of a vicious circle.
    Tabitha (a.k.a. Penny) recently posted… Weekend Potluck: March 2nd ~ March 4thMy Profile

    • Dawn
      March 3, 2012

      I hear you! I’m not sure if any of these can/will ever be mastered, but what’s important is that we keep pressing on. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
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  • Judith March 3, 2012

    I really believe in “Do Unto Others”!

    I also try not to judge people to rapidly. If they do something that could be interpreted as mean or unpleasant, I always try to see if there are positive reasons why they did it. Maybe they thought they were doing nothing wrong? Maybe it was an accident? Sometimes I’m naive, but I do try to give people a fair chance.
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    • Dawn
      March 3, 2012

      Wow, I love that! I wish everyone would make an effort to do that – I, for one, am going to try to incorporate that practice into my life. Thank you!
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  • Jamie Northrup March 3, 2012

    Those are some great tips to live a great life, however I’m not sure about the first one, I usually try and treat people the way they want to be treated, and not as I want to be treated because some people won’t like it.
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  • Susan
    March 3, 2012

    So many of these items I really need to remind myself about on a daily basis. Thanks for putting them to paper so I have a easy way to go back and read them again and again. I am bookmarking this page especially for that reason!
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    • Dawn
      March 3, 2012

      You’re welcome – I’m glad you found it valuable! I know I’ve really appreciated all the thoughtful comments that came in response to this post, and will definitely revisit them in the future.
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  • Roxanne DeBord March 3, 2012

    Those are all very important and definitely make life more meaningful. I think #10 should be to pass on what you have learned to others. Once you live a full life, you have to pass on that legacy. Let your grandchildren and great-grandchildren know about your journey. We definitely don’t want to repeat prior mistakes nor do we want others we love to do the same!
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  • Susie My SOcal Life March 3, 2012

    I would have to say realizing to be thankful everyday that we are healthy to do the everyday things that so many people would give anything to do. We lost a friend, a young mom, and when I was so tired in the middle of the night, I know she would have given anything to get up an comfort her children…which also means we have to take care of ourselves to be able to take care of others. Remember we put the oxygen mask on ourselves first on a plane!
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    • Dawn
      March 3, 2012

      That’s very true – I love the analogy of the oxygen mask, and was actually going to mention it in a reply to an earlier commenter, but wasn’t sure how well-known the comparison was! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
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  • tonygreene113 March 4, 2012

    Number 4 is one ideal that i have a hard time dealing with. Regret and looking back at past failures continue to haunt me.
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  • Elaine March 4, 2012

    Beautiful blog! I agree with every one of these items on your list for a meaningful life. For me, #10 would have to be to cultivate a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. He is the source of meaning for me in my life.
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  • Daily Citron March 4, 2012

    Fantastic list! Very inspirational. The “learn from your mistakes” one is really important to me- sometimes I feel frustrated that I’ve made certain mistakes, but then I remind myself that the way to make up for it is to live differently from here on out.
    -Viva recently posted Homemade Pizza Dough

  • Mrs. Accountability March 4, 2012

    Always tell the truth, but make sure you know what the truth is. By that I mean don’t just say things that you think are true, but make sure you have your facts straight before you say anything.
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  • Chelle March 5, 2012

    I love the look of your blog. I love more what it said. This is worth sharing. Congratulations, you’ve got a new follower.
    Peace and good to you
    Chelle recently posted… Been doing it all wrong…My Profile

  • Sarah March 5, 2012

    Great list! And honestly, I’m brain dead enough that I don’t have anything earth-shattering to contribute, but appreciate the wise words. Keep it up.
    Sarah recently posted… How I use Google Reader to organize reading subscriptionsMy Profile

  • Jill March 6, 2012

    Great list – and number 10 should be ‘do what makes you happy!”

  • kristin March 6, 2012

    All very good tips, and things that we should try to incorporate into our daily life. For me, number 10 would be to be present. We spend so much time regretting the past or worrying about the future, but what we have is right here and now. I try to be very mindful and present, and although it is a challenge, it is worth it.
    Thank you for sharing such a positive and inspirational post with us!

    • Dawn
      March 6, 2012

      Very true – it’s tough to stay in the present, but when we do it makes life so much more meaningful. Thank you for your kind words, and for stopping by! 🙂
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  • Stacie March 6, 2012

    #3 is DEFINITELY something that more of us should be doing! I know I have a hard time with it sometimes, everything is so hurryhurryhurry all the time, but it’s nice to just slow down and NOTICE things sometimes. 🙂
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  • Karren March 6, 2012

    I think you have a great list of very important tasks to improve quality of life, when we live in the past it will actually cause physical problems to our bodies, there is no sense to drag the past with us. Life is simple and we have a way of making it more difficult. So my 1o would be, let it go, think positive, smile everyday, share a positive thought to someone you see. Your doing great!! I need to work on some of your topics. Thanks for sharing.
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  • Aprila March 6, 2012

    Great article and good reminder of how to make the most out of life

  • Janet K March 7, 2012

    Find humor in life. Laugh about yourself, with yourself, and to yourself!!
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  • Theresa Anderson March 7, 2012

    I love your list of items! I especially agree with the golden rule of treating others how you want to be treated.
    Also the mantra ‘be the change you want to see’ is also very important. Many people want change, but don’t try to make it happen.
    I’m not sure what number 10 can be. Maybe something about making the best out of any situation?

  • Tracy March 7, 2012

    Turn off the computer, iPad, and phone while spending time with my family. Giving my children my undivided attention means more to them that anything I could provide.
    Tracy recently posted… Party Ideas: St. Patrick’s Day 2012My Profile

    • Dawn
      March 7, 2012

      Undivided attention – very good point! That’s something I find difficult, as there are so many distractions at any given time. Thank you for the suggestion, and for stopping by! 🙂
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  • Dani March 7, 2012

    I totally agree about not regretting things, but learning from them. And I tend to live in the black and white too.

    I’ve found that learning who I am and what I want is life is really important too. It’s good to self analyze and see where you’re at.
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  • Katy March 8, 2012

    I really like sharing freely without expecting anything in return. Glad to finally land here (been working my way backwards)! I’ve seen you on Twitter and Blogher and wish you continued success.
    Katy recently posted… Dressed for SuccessMy Profile

  • Kate a.k.a. Gwenelle March 8, 2012

    I’m not sure what else to add to the list! I have to say I do like #2 though. That’s one of the most important to me … taking time to stop and be thankful for all you’ve got … instead of always wishing for more.
    Kate a.k.a. Gwenelle recently posted… Wordless Wednesday: BlissfulMy Profile

  • Carolynn March 8, 2012

    Love always!

    This list brings my favorite quote to mind: “It’s good to have an end to journey towards, but it’s the journey that matters in the end.”
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  • Kathy (Kangaroo Mama) March 9, 2012

    This was a great list and I need to work on not focusing on my regrets and also learning to listen more. I think #10 for me is having the heart of a child and seeing the world with whole new eyes-through their perspective and seeing everything as amazing and exciting as they do. Seeing the world like my daughter does has helped me to find amazement in what seems to be somewhat of a stressful life. Thanks for a great post!
    Kathy (Kangaroo Mama) recently posted… Happy Belated 16 Month Birthday Baby Roo!My Profile

    • Dawn
      March 9, 2012

      I really like your #10, Kathy – so very true! There’s so much we can learn from children in their innocence and newness to this world. Thanks so much for stopping by!
      Dawn recently posted… On racism, revisitedMy Profile

  • Albert August 5, 2013

    Whatever you consider your meaning of life these are good guidelines to follow. It is not just WHAT you do, but HOW and WHY you do it. Some things on your list I focus in are balance in life and not spending too much time on regrets. There is more people can do. Thanks for your post and keep spreading your message.
    Albert recently posted… Your view or God’s View?My Profile

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