7 Secrets to a Great Life

What Makes a Great Life?


Wouldn't it be fantastic if you had all of the secrets to living a great life? If you asked people what they would recommend for living a great life, you'd get answers ranging from "win the lottery," to "raise a family," to "have a positive attitude," to "eat more vegetables." It runs the gamut. And every one of those recommendations would be subjective based on the personal experience of the person giving the advice. There is no perfect formula because we're all unique and have our own strategies of how to crack the code to living our greatest life.

What's exciting about this is that anyone can choose how to live their greatest life.

To help inspire you to create your own "Great Life" strategy, here are Compass Playbook's 7 Secrets to a Great Life in the form of real, hands-on practice Plays for you to generate your own secrets to living your greatest life. It's your life, after all, and what you create and live is up to you.

7 Secrets to a Great Life

1. Love Self

How can you love anyone else or do good in the world if you don't love yourself? What are the ways you can be more self-loving and acknowledge yourself for how awesome you truly are? Just because we know how awesome you are doesn't equate to you knowing that for yourself.

Practice Play:

Download a Compass Playbook List Template (PDF)

Download a Compass Playbook List Template (PDF)

Make a list of your best attributes and what makes you unique. Think about how what you do and what you bring to life's party is one-of-a-kind. Write about how you've inspired others and how you can inspire yourself to reach for more. Think of ways you can pamper yourself and then go DO those things. Meditate on how much you are loved by your Higher Self and by your Creator (or whichever fits your belief construct). Make a point to do this throughout your day in a deliberate, consistent fashion until it becomes a natural habit of self love and positive appreciation of who you are.

2. Love Life

When you look around your world to the people, surroundings and circumstances that you experience and have experienced, how many different ways can you find to love it all?

Practice Play:

Make a list of the things you can add to finish the sentence, "I love...". Love your morning commute. Love your banker. Love your pet(s). Love your morning shower. Love the smell of a fresh strawberry. Love the powerful swell of ocean waves. Love the mess that is your kid's bedroom. Love your cell phone. Love your freedom to choose and create. Love the things that frustrate you for they help you desire things that don't frustrate you.

Once you've created that list, do each item and create new habits that keep you purposefully loving every experience in your life—good and bad—and know that they are all designed to forward your evolution into who you are becoming.

3. Smile More

Notice how much you're smiling throughout your day. Do you smile because of outside events or silly thoughts in your head? How many ways can you add inspiration to smile throughout your day? Do you know if someone sees you smile they will likely smile too? (Just thinking about your smile made me smile.) The thoughts that make us smile are the types of thoughts that lead to a great life. This includes thoughts generated by what we observe as well. So if we are on the highway and someone cuts us off, we can choose to react with anger and judgement, or we can laugh it off and create a funny story in our minds about why it happened (the driver was inspired to act like Jeff Gordon after attending a recent NASCAR race) and smile at the silliness of it. After all, we're all doing the best we can. Honestly, we have no idea what motivates others (or what their story is) let alone have the power to control their behavior. But we can control the thoughts that control the muscles in our faces. :-)

Practice Play:

Do a visualization where you replay a recent day or event and add smiles to it. Relive the experience and see yourself and others smiling when they may have been frowning or showing a negative or fearful response to whatever was occurring. Generate new visualizations where you project yourself in future situations and doing future activities where you and those around you and engaging with you are smiling more. Go out into the world and consciously look for smiling faces and things to smile about.

4. Savor Your Physicality

Body. Mind. Spirit. Your physicality has a multitude of dimensions and responds to what you think, what you nourish yourself with and how you move your body. We are constantly barraged with tips and advice from those who love us to our physicians to Dr. Oz to the evening newscast on what to eat, how to care for our bodies (don't forget to schedule that colonoscopy!) and what to avoid or consume/do more of. It's overwhelming! But your body is your body and learning to listen to it and care for it is an act of self love in and of itself.

Practice Play:

List ways to savor your physicality and be more present to the miracle that is your body. Find moments to squelch the mental chatter by doing peaceful, revitalizing practices such as meditating, chakra balancing or visualizing. Drink ample water. Consume life-giving natural foods and hang around with happy people. Stretch and move your body and utilize every inch of what's underneath your skin. Eat foods that make you feel good and result in the physical attributes you want. Rest, relax and retreat. Get outside in the natural world. Expose yourself to positive ideas and expect positive outcomes about every thing you observe. Get close to someone and touch their shoulder, their hand and feel the energy pass between you. Find ways to heal and open your heart and love others and the world.

5. Experience New Things

How are we able to grow, learn or encounter the people meant to inspire us if we don't put ourselves out there? If we hermit ourselves away doing our predictable and comfortable routines, the Universe has to work that much harder to give us what we are asking for. There are millions of moments every day that come into the periphery of our lives that are there to act as inspiration for more excitement and growth toward what we want.

Practice Play:

List what you can do differently in your routine or something entirely new that you can add to your life that will put you out there. Start a new interest. Leave for work at a different time or take a new route. Ask someone you don't know well to have lunch with you and make their day. Ask them questions about their life and what gets them excited. Hang out with people at least one generation (or more depending on your age) younger than you and absorb their energy and attitude toward life. Visit a place in nature you've never hung out in before and write about how that feels. Take a class in something you're curious about. Volunteer at a local charity and give of your time. Add texture and variety and challenge to your life. 

6. Respect Your Path

Life occurs as we desire more and more. Many of us get caught up in the need to have instant gratification because it is so very satisfying, and many of us have such control over our lives that we can generate things virtually instantly. However, and as cliché as it is, life is a journey. Appreciating how things unfold is an important aspect of living your greatest life. Trusting that a cobblestone will appear as we lift our foot to take that next step—even though we may not immediately see that new stone just yet—is an act of love. It is an act that builds the understanding (and eventual knowing) that we are not alone and that we are creating all that is on our path in unison with our Highest good.

Practice Play:

Briefly reflect on your life's journey to this point. Write an acknowledgement of all that you've accomplished and experienced from a state of appreciation. After writing about how much you appreciate the experiences that have brought you to this point, think of ways to relax any tension about future unknowns. For example, if you are worried about being unemployed and the stress associated with the outcomes you fear, brainstorm and storyboard (or write) possible scenarios of what could happen to get that ideal job. A chance meeting at the coffee shop where you meet a recruiter desperately looking for someone with your skills and experience. A call that could come from a friend who needs your help with a new project and trusts only you. An unexpected financial break or windfall (like a refund or billing error in your favor) that eases your cash flow. Someone finally repaying a debt they owe you from long ago that you thought you'd never recover. Noticing a new business that sparks a memory of a person you could reach out to for prospective opportunities.

Special note to this Secret: Honor the path that others are on as well. We are quick to judge or criticize others as they experience their own accelerations or defeats when their paths are unfolding in the best way possible for them to achieve their Highest good. When you come together, know that your paths are intertwined for reasons designed to forward the desires of each of you. The unique chemistry that occurs when the two of you experience one another is what creates the next step in your path toward each of your Highest goods and what you most deeply desire.

7. Allow Presence

Because our brains are designed to protect our lives by calculating best-survival scenarios from past experience, we are prone to live life as if we're driving using only the rear-view mirror. Allowing presence means that we are deliberately paying attention to the now (which is more easily done when we do Secret #5). We are laser focused on what is happening around us, not lost in our thoughts of what's coming (eagerness for something we want or worry for something we don't want) or what's happened (driving using the rear-view mirror).

Practice Play:

Find ways throughout your day as you encounter each moment, person, situation or challenge to be present. Stop, take a slow, deep breath, and observe. Notice how you feel. Notice how things are occurring to you and what you're making each of them mean. Make conscious choices to shift that meaning to appreciation and acknowledge what or who you're experiencing as a gift from the Universe to help you move forward and feel more love in your life. Be present with others. Behave in a way that they really feel your intention to be present to what they are contributing to you or what they mean to you in your relationship. Allow others to contribute to you and be open to what they have to share. Let them feed you and be a safe place for you to fall. Be that friend, that lover, that colleague, that family member who never fails to listen, to champion their visions of possibility and "what ifs" and to just be one who loves unconditionally.

Craft Your Own Secrets

Whew. Working through this list will keep you busy for a while. Use these 7 Secrets to a Great Life as sources of inspiration to create your greatest life and then go live it. But don't keep them a secret. Be a source of inspiration to others by being a living example of your own secrets to living the greatest life.


Terry Pappy is CEO of Better3, creator of Compass Playbook and author of award-winning books on creativity. What she says about Compass: "It's a fun resource that helps people achieve their dreams using creativity—simply by telling a new story." Terry uses humor and straight-talk to inspire breakthroughs in creativity for audiences around the globe.