Here’s what we must ask constantly: “What, for me, would be a good life?” Once you know your answers, you must keep going over the list of your responses, one that perhaps includes areas such as spirituality, economics, health, relationships or recreation.
Here is a short list of what makes a good life to help you along:
Good friends makes for a good life
Friends are those wonderful people who know all about you and still like you. I lost one of my dearest friends when he was 53—heart attack. As one of my very special friends, I used to say that if I was stuck in a foreign jail somewhere having been accused unduly, and if they would allow me one phone call, I would call David. Why? He would come and get me. That’s a real friend—somebody who would come and get you.
And we’ve all got casual friends, friends who, if you called them, would say, “Hey, if you get back, call me and we’ll have a party.”
You’ve got to have both real friends and casual friends.
Language, music, ceremonies, traditions, dress—all of that must be kept alive. The uniqueness of all of us, when blended together, brings vitality, energy, power, influence and rightness to the world.
Spirituality helps make a life good
Make sure you study, practice and teach—don’t be careless about the spiritual part of your nature. Though how we interact with it differs, it may influence our health and well-being and bring us together.
Don’t miss anything
My parents taught me not to miss anything—not the game, the performance, the movie or the dance. Just before my father died at 93, if you were to call him at 10:30 or 11:00 at night, he wouldn’t be home. He was at the rodeo, watching the kids play softball, listening to the concert, at church—he was somewhere every night.
Go to everything you possibly can. Buy a ticket to everything you possibly can. Go see and experience all you possibly can.
Live a vital life. If you live well, it will show in your face and the texture of your voice. There will be something unique and magical about you. It will infuse not only your personal life but also your business life, giving you a vitality nothing else can give.
Your family and the inner circle help make life good
Invest in them, and they’ll invest in you. Inspire them, and they’ll inspire you. Take care of the details with your inner circle.
When my father was still alive, I used to call him when I traveled. He’d have breakfast most every morning with the farmers at a little place called The Decoy Inn out in the country where we lived in Southwest Idaho.
When I was in Israel, I’d have to get up in the middle of the night, but I’d call Papa. I’d say, “Papa, I’m in Israel.” He’d say, “Israel! Son, how are things in Israel?” He’d talk real loud so everybody could hear. I’d say, “Papa, last night they gave me a reception on the rooftop underneath the stars overlooking the Mediterranean.” He’d say, “Son, a reception on the rooftop underneath the stars overlooking the Mediterranean?” Now everybody knew the story. And giving my father that special day only took five or 10 minutes.
If a father walks out of the house and he can still feel his daughter’s kiss on his face all day, he’s a powerful man. If a husband walks out of the house and he can still feel the imprint of his wife’s arms around his body, he’s invincible all day. The special stuff with your inner circle can make you feel strong and potentially even improve your well-being. So don’t miss that opportunity.
Make sure in your busy day to remember the true purpose and the reasons you do what you do. May you truly live the kind of life that will bring the fruit and rewards that you desire.
This article was updated April 2023. Photo by Xavier Lorenzo/Shutterstock