Back in 2007, I happened to find Sarah Susanka’s book titled, “The Not So Big Life – Making Room For What Really Matters.”

Please notice the year was 2007 because it’s kind of important. This was before the BIG real estate market crash here in the States. Back when everyone was building BIG homes and living BIG lives.

I was about to buy my BIG home (my dream home) that was far too large for my family. My wife and I were one initial away from this purchase when she told me she didn’t want to relocate from Ohio to North Carolina.

Thankfully, we decided not to move.

Shortly thereafter the market crashed sending us (and everyone else) into a nosedive.

After reading Susanka’s book, I ended up recording an interviewing with her for my real estate business. During the interview, she mentioned that her goal was to try and live well.

Up until that point, I hadn’t really thought much about living well. I was chasing fame and fortune. I wanted to be successful. I was doing what I saw everyone else do without thinking too much about it.

After that interview, I started my quest to live well…

For several years, I searched for external things thinking that was how you lived well. Things like great food, great music, great wine, great movies, and great books.

Here was the formula I was following…

Great Things = Great Life

Great things are certainly make life better; however, something still wasn’t quite right.

Then I finally realized that maybe the best way to approach living a good life would be work backwards… to understand how NOT to live a “bad” life.

The reality is you can’t live a good life if…

  • You’re not healthy.
  • You’re drowning in debt.
  • You have to constantly trade your time for money.
  • You don’t have control over your schedule.
  • You have a shitty “mindset.”
  • You’re not helping other people in some way.
  • You always take more than you give.
  • You live without self-discipline.
  • You need someone else’s permission to do what you want to do.
  • You’re distracted by UNimportant things.
  • You make BIG out of little.
  • You’re dependent upon someone or something else.
  • You’re not always learning and improving (getting better).
  • You’re not grateful for the amazing things you do have in your life.
  • You spend a lot of time with people living “bad” lives.
  • You live in an environment that you don’t truly love.
  • You’re not excited and inspired about your work.

What I found when really examining how to live a bad life actually helped me learn how to live a good life.

Notice that living a good life doesn’t necessarily require fame or fortune. You don’t have to climb the corporate ladder. You don’t have to build a massive business. You don’t have to launch the next billion dollar start-up.

You don’t need to have millions in the bank. You don’t have to have the biggest home in the best neighborhood. You don’t have to drive $100,000 cars or wear $20,000 watches.

You don’t have to have the nicest kitchen, the best appliances and cool new furniture.

You don’t need a lot of Facebook friends, or Instagram followers. You don’t need any “liked” tweets or viral posts.

Your kids don’t have to go to the “best” colleges. They don’t have to be involved in 27 extra curricular activities. They don’t even have to have the highest SAT & ACT scores.

You DO have to understand what’s IMportant to you. You DO have to design your life around IMportant things.

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