How to Build Your Version of a Great Life

Life. This swirling vortex of experience, brimming with potential and peril, throws us in headfirst and expects us to, well, figure it out. But what exactly constitutes a “great life”? Is it a mansion on the beach, a better spouse, and a jet-setting lifestyle? Or is it something deeper, with meaning, resilience, and significance.

The truth is, a great life is a subjective experience. There’s no universal blueprint; it’s more like a jazz improvisation, where the key is finding your rhythm and playing with heart.

Let’s break it down into a few essential details.

“Meh” to “hell yeah!” That’s the bigger goal. Right? But are you really ready to take responsibility for your own great life? No guru, spiritual leader, or influencer can actively take you to your “happy place.” It’s a bitter and cold reality, but it’s actually liberating.

I like how the author of The Little Book of Stoicism says, “You and I, we’re responsible for our own flourishing.” The “taste of your existence” is entirely in your hands.

I took control of my time, actions, choices and trajectory over ten years ago. Let me tell you how I’ve survived and thrives in the last 3650 days; I take it one day at a time. I practice daily. I focus on what I can control — my actions. I do more of what works and less of what brings out the worst in me. I choose my focus daily.

Finding your why

We all crave purpose, that feeling we’re contributing something meaningful to the grand scheme of things. But purpose isn’t a hidden treasure. It’s a flame you ignite within yourself. Look inwards. What stirs your passions? What problems do you yearn to solve, even on a small scale? Purpose isn’t static. It evolves with you. The wide-eyed kid who wanted to be an astronaut might become the adult who builds schools to launch the next generation skyward. Embrace the metamorphosis; it’s a sign you’re growing.

Define what a great life means to you

Fgure out what a “good life” means to you. Is it rocking a killer career? Time freedom? Travelling the world? Making impact? Doing great work on your own terms? Define the bigger picture.

Level up, not out.

Don’t wait for a magic life overhaul. Start where you are. Identify your core values and use them as a compass. Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years? A clear goal keeps you motivated and helps you make choices that align with your goals.

Don’t try to overhaul your life overnight. Start with small, achievable actions that move you closer to your “hell yeah!” goals. Maybe it’s learning a new skill each month, joining a club that aligns with your interests, or simply saying “no” to things that drain your energy.

You want a promotion? Craft a killer presentation and own that meeting. You crave a fulfilling relationship? Put yourself out there, be vulnerable, and build connections. Don’t wait for opportunities to knock; answer the damn door! Don’t just hope for a good life. Analyse your strengths, identify skill gaps, and take courses or workshops to get closer to what you want.

Know thyself

Greatness starts with self-awareness, a quality that separates us from, well, pigeons. Dive deep. What makes you tick? What sets your heart on fire? Are you a thrill-seeker yearning for mountaintops, or a quiet soul who finds solace in nature’s whispers? Introspection isn’t about labels, it’s about understanding your internal compass. Don’t let societal expectations hijack your journey.

Once you know what you want, start hustling. Put in the work, but here’s the kicker: do it with passion. When your heart is in it, the grind transforms into a thrilling experience. Celebrate every milestone, every win, no matter how small. These victories are the fuel that propels you forward.

Embrace the detours

Life isn’t a straight line. There will be detours, roadblocks, and moments when you want to tear your hair out. That’s okay. These challenges are often disguised opportunities for growth. Maybe that layoff led you to your dream career, or perhaps that heartbreak opened you up to a deeper love. Embrace the unexpected, because sometimes the most scenic routes are the most detoured.

There will be stumbles, wrong turns, and days that feel like walking through molasses. But that’s okay. Embrace the messiness. Savour the experiences, learn from the setbacks, and never stop chasing that incredible, ever-evolving version of yourself. Because in the end, a great life isn’t about arriving at some preordained finish line. It’s about the dance, the beauty of the becoming.

Obsessing over the destination can steal the joy from the ride. Savour the small victories, the unexpected connections, the moments that make you laugh until your sides hurt. Learn to find beauty in the detours, because sometimes, that’s where the real magic happens.

A “hell yeah!” reality is entirely up to you

I choose the price to pay and go for it. Because, in the end, growth or a good life isn’t always in the circle of comfort. I embrace daily challenges, learn from what’s not working, and keep moving. Stuck in a dead-end routine? Shake things up with a new habit, a side hustle, or something you’ve always wanted to do that will wake up your soul.

“The knowledge that we are responsible for our actions and attitudes does not need to be discouraging, because it also means that we are free to change this destiny. One is not in bondage to the past, which has shaped our feelings, to race, inheritance, background. All this can be altered if we have the courage to examine how it formed us. We can alter the chemistry provided we have the courage to dissect the elements.” ― Anais Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931–1934

Make it your own version of the grind

Building an awesome life takes work. Find what sparks joy and channel that into your hustle. Find ways to make the grind your own. Blast your favorite music while you work. Find a co-conspirator to cheer you on. Most importantly, never lose sight of the “why” that fuels your fire.

Life is an obstacle; that’s a fact. But you get to choose how you swing. We are entirely responsible for who we become and the path we take in life. With every decision and every action, you shape your trajectory. The good, the bad, the triumphs, the failures become part of your story. “Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself,” writes Existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre in his book Existentialism and Human Emotions.

Most things have been figured out, except how to live

There’s no script for your path, and no external force dictates your purpose. You create your own meaning through your actions, choices, and the life you build. Be prepared to put in the work, but make it sustainable. Don’t burn yourself out trying to do it all at once. Pace yourself, prioritize self-care, and stack wins one day at a time.

A great life isn’t measured in mansions or stock options. It’s about waking up with a spark in your eye, a feeling that this, the messy, unpredictable this is what you were meant for.

Don’t be afraid to adapt, to rewrite the damn map. Sometimes the greatest discoveries happen when you get lost. Focus on becoming the best version of yourself, not a pale imitation of someone else. Embrace your quirks, your flaws, and your passions.

That’s where the magic lies.

As you navigate the highs and lows, remember this: a great life isn’t about perfection; it’s about showing up, playing your heart out, and maybe even enjoying a delicious waffle along the way.

Categorized as Life