A Simple Formula For Living Your Best Life

simple formula for your best life


ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

I decided a while back that I was going to put happiness first in my daily life. As a guy who actively pursues simplicity, I’ve identified many life philosophies that make my life so much better.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

I often wonder if the best way to live a simpler life is hiding under our noses. I bet you’ve never seen a Hallmark movie where the sentimental ending encouraged you to work more, spend less time with your loved ones, and do less of the things that make you happy. There’s a central notion around the kinds of things that make us happy and fulfilled, adding real value to our lives.

Is There Really A Simple Formula For Living?

Is There Really A Simple Formula For Living

For centuries, we’ve been looking for the formula to a life that is simple, happy, and fulfilling. No one has it entirely figured out. If I actually did have the ultimate answer to this question, I don’t think I’d be running a tiny housing blog anymore. Instead, I’d be lounging in my hammock on a remote tropical island, with the knowledge that the wisdom of worlds was in my hands.

While no one knows the exact best formula for a happy life, over the past hundreds of thousands of years of humanity, there have been a few common themes that show up again and again in the conversation of living fully.

life that is simple happy and fulfilling

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A Simple Formula For Living: 15 Life-Changing Mantras

Life Changing Mantras For Simple Living

Philosophers, stoics, and your neighbor next door can all likely agree that a full, happy life tends to involve things that bring us joy, add love to our lives, serve others well, and provide us with peace. Here are a few mantras to live by that create a simple formula for life.

1Live Beneath Your Means

We live in a world that constantly begs us to spend more than we have, always wanting for the next best thing. After all, the economy can’t last without putting us in a state of want. Living beneath our means can be a challenge in the 21st century, but doing so can reduce worry in life and allow us to embrace a simpler existence.

Living beneath your means doesn’t mean depriving yourself entirely. It simply means making small, conscious choices that keep money in mind so we continue to make more than we spend.

This might look like finding a thrift store sweater that you love instead of splurging on a new sweater or keeping only one streaming service subscription. Do you really need a new car, or is your reliable, paid-off vehicle still doing the job just fine?

live well on less money

2Refrain From Blaming Others

Steering clear of assigning blame and pointing fingers is not an easy practice, especially in our media-driven society, where it’s always someone else’s fault. There is something refreshing and empowering about a person who is willing to own their own faults and work to improve them.

Ceasing to blame others also comes with deep awareness that, oftentimes, the people that might seem like the enemy are people exactly like you doing their best.

simple living tips

3Practice Minimalism, Let Less Be More

I’ve been a minimalist for over a decade and I can affirmatively say that living a minimalist life has truly made my days much simpler. We live in a world that always begs us to want more, more, more. Teaching yourself to be content with less may be hard at first, but it will eventually live to deeper contentment and fulfillment. I guarantee it!

4Work To Improve, Not Perfect

I love the quote, “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” It’s all too easy to let the ideal of perfection keep us from stepping on the gas pedal of anything new.

If we are so obsessed with being perfect that we never try anything new, it will be difficult to live fulfilling lives. Focus on improving in small ways each day instead of achieving perfection.

work at improving your life

5Actively Practice Gratitude

Too often, we look to the future and forget to practice gratitude for the things we already have right in front of us. Psychology experts everywhere state practicing a postulate of thankfulness and gratitude as key to a fulfilling life.

In my own life, I like to take some time before I head to bed each night to list the things I’m grateful for and remember everything I have in my full life.

how to find contentment

6Talk Less, Listen More

Everyone wants to be heard, but sometimes the best formula to a simpler life is found in a state of listening. This could mean taking the time to listen to your friends and family fully, without jumping the gun and making assumptions about what they bring to the table.

A state of listening could also just mean being present where you are and actively listening to and observing your surroundings. Instead of getting caught up in inner worry and a drifting mind, intentionally listen to the murmur of voices in the coffee shop around you. Notice the sounds of trees rustling, cars passing by, or running water.

practice being in the moment

7Find Your Why

Remembering your inner purpose is absolutely vital when creating your own formula for a happy life. Motivation moves from the inside out, not from the outside in.

What I mean by this is, it will be a lot harder to create fulfilling habits if you try to force yourself into the external habit first. Identify the values within you that support the habits you want to form, and follow that path to fulfillment.

how to discover you purpose

8Spend Time With Others, Find Community

Humans are made to be relational. Community is foundational to any simple life formula, and everyone finds their own community in different ways.

The best advice I’ve ever received for connecting with others is to do or join something you love, because in those spaces you are most likely to meet like-minded individuals.

For me, I’ve found lots of friends that share my values and hobbies within the tiny housing and minimalist communities. For you, this could look like joining an art club, local sports league, or music class.

connect with others in a community

9Spend Time Alone

While relationships and community are a huge part of the formula for life, it’s also important to learn to spend time alone. I know many adults who have never quite learned the valuable skill of being their own company. Being able to find joy with yourself and do things that make you happy by yourself is key to establishing self-awareness and building a fulfilling life.

places to clear your head

10Realize Life’s Not Fair, But Don’t Give Up

One age-old truth that will never change is that life just isn’t fair. Once you’re able to get to a place where you fully realize and accept this fact, you’ll gain a deep power that many do not discover until late in life.

There is a kind of invincibility that comes with understanding that this world doesn’t owe you anything, but ceasing to allow that to trap you in cynicism. Realize that life’s not fair, but keep working hard and staying positive anyway.

keep working hard to realize your dreams

11Give To Local Charity

Not everyone can save the world in huge ways, but you can serve others around you in small, local ways and make a genuine difference. Making a regular effort to give to local charities around you or volunteering in spaces that need an extra hand can add deep fulfillment to your own personal life formula.

tiny houses for the homeless

12Go Outside Every Day

Science says being outside in the sun does wonders for our mental and physical health. This is one of the continuous themes that experts have agreed on for centuries: time outside makes our lives better. Personally, I try to work in a quick or long walk (depending on how much I have to get done that day) into my daily routine.

13Take Your Time

I’m a big fan of slow living as an essential piece of my simple formula for living. When I say take your time, I am certainly not saying you should abandon punctuality. In fact, I make a habit to always be on time or even early whenever possible.

When I say take your time, I mean don’t rush through your life. I won’t feed you clichés by telling you to stop and smell the roses, but I think the sentiment of that is very crucial to living peaceful lives.

Don’t try to rush from one thing to the next to force satisfaction. Be where you are, notice what’s in front of you, and take your time.

play outside with your dog
battle of the busy schedule

14Pick Your Battles

Knowing when to stop yourself from arguing with others and when to engage in something that truly matters can be a thin line. Mindless arguing is a waste of breath, but there are some battles that I choose to fight because I have passion for them. Identifying these things for yourself is important when building your personal life formula.

15Live Each Day With Intention

I’m a huge fan of intentionality in the day to day — fighting the urge to go through the motions without thought. Take the time to ask yourself why you do the things you do each day and if your actions match what you value and want to become. If the answer is no, work to set intentions in your life moving forward.

how to set intentions

How Can We Continue To Live Happily?

How Can We Continue To Live Happily

There is no one exact formula to life a happy, fulfilling life. Everyone’s life comes with its own struggles and experiences that ask different attitudes of us. However, I do believe that these simple ways of navigating the world are pretty universal.

If we continue to make the effort to invest in ourselves, love others well, remain humble, and lead a life of love, these philosophies will bleed onto any experiences that life might throw our way and give us a fulfilling life no matter what our daily lives look like.

live a fulfilling life no matter what

Your Turn!

  • What of these life philosophies are most valuable to you?
  • What does your own personal formula for living entail?

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