Sustenance snd Enrichment—Friends sharing a meal.

Sustenance and Enrichment—What We Need to Live and What We Live For

What do you need to live?

The question is not “What is comfortable or tastes good or is convenient?” Rather, it concerns those things without which you wouldn’t survive. Many people in the world are faced with this question every day. For those of us who aren’t, it can be interesting to think about it as we eat, shop, or reflect on our lives. It is also interesting to reflect on those things that enrich our lives—that make our lives more meaningful or more fulfilling. There may be a lot of things that we consume or pursue that we think will enrich us but that ultimately don’t add anything of substance.

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Vision. A woman being specific about her life vision and goals.

What We Really Want—Making Our Vision a Reality

When you think about what you want from life, what do you immediately see?Like anything we try to achieve in our lives, we will be much more likely to be successful if we are specific and intentional. Creating and continuously honing our idea of what success looks like is an important aspect of achieving our goals as well as developing goals that will make our lives meaningful. Most of us, if asked what we want from life, should at least be able to answer in general terms—raising happy, healthy children, providing for our families, happiness. But how many have a deeper or more specific answer at the ready—a vision for their lives and a path to making that vision a reality?

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Inner-Dialogue. Woman engaged in positive self-talk.

Inner Peace—Calming and Directing your Inner Dialogue

What does your inner dialogue sound like?

Are your inner thoughts calm, supportive, and helpful, or do you have a lot of negative self-talk? Is your inner dialogue a never-ending stream, or are you able to control it?

For many people, errant thoughts pop into their heads when they least want them to or when they’re doing something that requires intense focus. Try as we might to concentrate, our minds wander. The nature of our thoughts is also important. Some people have a stream of positive encouragement or affirmations: “You’ve got this!” “Come on, just one more strong hour!” Others have a never-ending flow of negative self-talk: “Idiot! What are you thinking?!” We need to pay attention to both the amount of inner dialogue we have and its nature.

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Tidal Talking. Two people engaging in mindful interaction.

Tidal Talking—The Importance of Mindful Interaction

We talk to people all the time.

Although technology has resulted in a decrease in the amount of communication that happens in person, it is still a critical aspect of how we interact. When something is important or sensitive, we handle it face to face.

But how many of us are skillful in the art of conversation—not just small talk, but meaningful conversation that transcends the narratives in our head and the need to steer the conversation to our benefit?

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Mirror. Woman looking at her face in shards of broken mirror.

Mirror—What Interactions with Others Can Tell You about Yourself

You know those people you always have a good time with? People you can always pick up where you left off with, no matter what the circumstances? People you are completely at ease with? Think about how comfortable you feel when you’re with these people.

Do you ever feel this comfortable when you’re by yourself?

There are a lot of elements that go into the very best relationships. There has to be respect, honesty, appreciation, and a welcoming attitude. These elements happen automatically with people who make us happy.

Are these elements present when we’re alone? Do we show ourselves the same respect, honesty, and appreciation? Do we welcome our time alone?

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