Friday, May 21, 2010

Life Enhancing Activities

"Miracles are not accidents. We create them through our choices."
Masami Sato

You know, I've been pondering about what makes something life enhancing or not. And as far as I can tell...

Life Enhancing Activities promote:
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Pleasure
  • Comfort
  • Wellness
  • Education
  • Creativity
  • Choice and Flexibility
  • Success
  • Independence
  • Spiritual well-being
  • Connection

Useful yardsticks

So if you are ever wondering if what you're doing is life enhancing, just rate it against the above criteria. And if it falls short, ask yourself whether your actions are life enhancing or life denying. If they aren't life enhancing, if they don't promote positive values in your life, then you might want to stop and replace them with more life enhancing ones.

You know, it's just a life enhancing thought....

....that's worth putting into action!

life enhancing smiles,

The Scientific American Brave New Brain: How Neuroscience, Neuroimaging, Psychopharmacology and Epigenetics are Enhancing the Future of Mental Power

Life Lines: 365 Life-Enhancing Meditations and Inspirations on Love, Peace, and Spirit from Around the World

Belief Therapy: A Guide to Enhancing Everyday Life


  1. Thank you Grant for another wonderful post. :) Of course, the timing of this is perfect for not only myself, but for my man too. :)
    I really like the key words "life enhancing" and "life denying" - simply stated, with great impact and really makes you think. Why on earth would we waste valuable life time on an activity/emotion/situation or with people when the result is "life denying"!!?? This is a very good tool to use, and I'm going to start using it; just a simple question to ask and a great way to stay true to yourself and your values. :)
    Thank you! I look forward to more of your insights.
    ~ Catherine

  2. Great list. I keep wanting to add a word, however, that would highlight the "launching" aspect of life enhancing things. Motivation? Energy? Inspiration? Probably everyone will have a semantical fav of their own to add, so your list is itself a life-enhancing "launcher."

  3. That IS a great list. I've always applied this idea, without the list, to every aspect of my life. If a book, a movie, a trip, a job, any activity, is not going to add something positive to our lives or someone else's, why bother? And we won't fail to appreciate the "little" things if we recognize the ways in which they are life enhancing rather than life denying.

  4. Hi Catherine, Sully and Jean, thanks for your great comments and input!

    Catherine is so damn right! "Why on earth would we waste valuable life time on an activity/emotion/situation or with people when the result is 'life denying'???"

    As Jean points out, "If a book, a movie, a trip, a job, any activity, is not going to add something positive to our lives or someone else's, why bother?"

    The way I figure it, we really only have a limited time on this planet, so every activity, behaviour and thought needs to be life enhancing. There's no such thing as life neutral, because with limited time, something that isn't adding value really is stealing away precious time, and so is life denying. We need to make the most of every precious moment on this wonderful planet!

    I like Sully's idea too. Use the list as a launcher. I sat for hours trying to pare down the list to what I thought were key criteria. I agree with Sully that we could all add more to that list. And criteria like Energy, Inspiration and Motivation certainly deserve to be on the list and key parts of any life enhancing activity.

    I wonder what other readers think should go on this list?

    If you have a criteria word you think should be added, please post a comment so we can all benefit from our collective intelligence'ing :-D

    best, Grant

  5. Hmmm Grant - the entire list is about "self" - seems a little self-centered. So your suggesting that life-enancing's payoff is only about "self"?

  6. Hey Dave, great to hear from you and great point.

    No, I'm definitely NOT suggesting that life enhancing is only about self. Most if not all of the above criteria can apply both to self and to another person you are interacting with and relating with. For example, 'Increased self-esteem' can be your own self-esteeming, or the self-esteeming of the people you are relating with. If an activity you are doing decreases the self-esteem of anyone else ie your gain at their expense, then I would definitely agree with you that this is NOT life enhancing.

    Or for example, 'creativity' could apply to an activity that increases or encourages the creativity of your children -- that would definitely be life enhancing for them and you.

    So, thank you for bringing this point forth and highlighting it, the list is not meant to suggest or put a focus purely on self. It is a set of criteria that applies in all situations, both inward facing and outward facing.

    Hopefully what shows throughout all my many blog posts is a deep theme of caring, appreciation, generosity and other positive focuses for other people and for those you care about. None of us live in isolation and therefore compassion and loving kindness are key skills for making a better life and a better world.

    Thanks again for your great comment.

    best wishes, Grant

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