If you would have asked me a decade ago whether I had goals in life or cared about living life, I would have replied with a resounding “Nope!” I used to spend my days watching movies, sleeping in and staying up late. I didn’t care about life, I had menial jobs, barely made money to buy or do anything and had given up most hope for a better life.

It sounds cliché, however, I met nice girl who was a Buddhist. I started attending Buddhist peace activities and have a daily chanting practice. My life began to expand with positive developments. These 4 things helped me to go from not giving a sh*t about life to making sh*t happen in my life. They may help you on your journey as well.

  1. Appreciate life and living out your “story.”

I began to love waking up early and hearing the birds singing and appreciating all the things we typically forget about. I began to appreciate where I live, my relationship with my wife, friends and the personal growth I was achieving. Now, I am appreciative of all the good things, along with the challenges that have brought me to where I am today.

  1. Have an awesome purpose for your life!

I began to educate others about Buddhist concepts and the need for peace and happiness in the world. All of my actions are directed towards realizing a world of peace and happiness. Whether it’s saying “Hello” and smiling in the morning to a co- worker or genuinely saying “Thank you!” to that Starbucks barista.

  1. I have a really great group of friends and an awesome wife!

There has been so much research done on the benefits of healthy friendships, especially as we get older. Those who live in isolation tend to be unhappy and die at an earlier age. I love having friends that have been through it all with me! Whether it’s celebrating that awesome victory or someone who listens to us when we are down. It really helps to have a human connection with people, especially in this age of disengagement due to technology.

  1. Organize your daily activities with a calendar.

Now that you are actually beginning to enjoy life, you may start to become overwhelmed with everything you want to do. That’s where a nice phone or print calendar becomes useful. I use my calendar to schedule days at the gym, to the short period of time I will be on social media, to when I want to achieve a specific goal. Time is our greatest resource and when we begin to appreciate life we begin to determine how we would like to use our time.

These steps may not work for everybody but they worked for me! Due to living my life in this manner, I now enjoy a life of continual growth and happiness, along with appreciating the challenges along the way.

How will you begin to make sh*t happen today?

Originally published at James Oehler.