Written by Jimmie Burroughs
“Life, in its simplest, most basic form was far more precious than any amenities it could afford, such as prizes and fame, respect and riches, the acceptance of either peers or strangers.” -Sandra Brown, The Thrill of victor
Everyone wants to live a good life, but not everyone does, nor does everyone agree on what constitutes a good life. Some equate success with a good life, but the fact is that there have been a lot of very successful people who have said “no” to life by taking their own life. So, it is obvious that success and a good life are not necessarily the same. It is possible to be successful and also have a good life, and it is possible to be unsuccessful, at least on the world’s terms, and still have a good life. The best scenario is, of course, to be both successful and also have a good life. How to have a good life is in reach of most as you shall see as we go forward.
Living the good life is like building a good house; you have to plan for it. You have to have a clear vision in advance and detailed blueprints in order to build a good house. If you came by, and I’m nailing a bunch of boards together, and you ask what I’m building, and I say; I have no earthly idea, you would then think I’m crazy. Yet, if I’m going about my life in the same manner, you may think that is normal.
Each room of the house must be planned, and its dimensions, and location, and purpose in the plan. Each room is important to the overall strategy, and none need to be left out. For example, it wouldn’t be a good house, for all practical reasons, if there were no kitchen, bathroom, or bedrooms. The same is true for a good life. There are important critical issues that must not be left out. That is why success alone does not equal a good life. There is more than just one ingredient. There are several essential ingredients that go together to make a good life.
We would plan a good life much the same way as we would plan a good house, by including everything necessary to assure that it is a good house and by the same token, a good life. Naturally it is far more important to have a good life than to have a good house. The question is: If it is so important to plan a good life, why do so many go about living in a hap-hazard way with no solid plans? How to Live the Good Life requires a good plan that takes into consideration each part of human existence. A human, which is different from any other creature on earth, exist in a three part entity. Understanding those three parts, and the essential way they play out in the good life is of the essence for knowing how to live a good life. Here they are:
- Soul: The soul gives us the ability to communicate and navigate on a horizontal level with those around us.
- Body: The body is our house on earth and our eyes are the windows.
- Spirit: The spirit is our means of communicating with God our creator.
Soul: The soul gives us the ability to communicate and navigate on a horizontal level with those around us.
The Soul is also made up of three parts:
- The Mind is unfinished and awaits the training it needs to guide us to a good life.
- The will is our built in motivation to take action, choosing what’s best for a good life.
- The emotions determine our response to others and create a framework for the good life.
The mind is our guide; it tells us our direction in life. With education, the mind can warn of dangers and tell us of opportunities. In order to have a good life, we need to educate the mind. Jim Rohn says, “It is a bad thing to come out of school and be dumb; it is even worse to be broke and dumb; it even gets worst if you are sick, broke and dumb: and the worse of the worse is to be ugly, sick, broke and dumb.” LOL.
Those who are wise realize the value of learning. And, of course, all learning is not from formal education. There are many ways that we prepare our mind:
- We learn from the written material that we read. (Read all the books that you can.)
- We learn from listening to the spoken word. (Sermons, seminars, lecture, etc.)
- We learn from our own experiences. (Both positive and negative)
- We learn by what others do. (Someone rightly said that we don’t live long enough to experience everything, so we need to learn from others.)
- We learn from the things we see. (If a person is alert, they can learn much from what they see.)
The will motivates us to take action. Without the will to take action, all else is in vain. Our will is our determination to do the labor necessary to bring about the desired results. The good life is a result of your labor. A big part of my life I worked a six day week and rested on Sunday. The Bible defines labor for us. It says work six days and rest on the seventh (perhaps in our modern times it can be 5 days of work). Just be sure and not get it backwards. Too much rest allows things which need to be done to go undone. When you look at something like the completed Golden Gate Bridge, it is difficult to imagine how something that massive ever came to be. It can only be comprehended when you realize that It took a plan, labor and time, and it could not have been accomplished without all three plus, of course, the materials.
Out of the emotions comes the essence of what life is all about. Emotions are divided into two parts: the negative emotions like hate, fear, and anger, and the positive emotions like love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, happiness etc.
How we learn to manage our emotions will contribute more to the kind of life we have than most anything else. All emotions are given to us for a purpose, including anger, hate and fear. For example, if there was no anger drive, the United States would have done nothing after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and eventually the United States, and probably the rest of the world would have fallen and we would be living in a world controlled by dictators. Anger, when it motivates us to do the right thing, is appropriate, but that is not the usual way anger is used. It is often misused for the sake of revenge.
Managing our emotions forms our philosophy as well as our attitude towards self, others and life in general. Learning to manage emotions takes time and good instructions from someone who knows how. Most of all it takes a willingness to make the needed changes in how we express ourselves through the emotions.
Body: The body is our house on earth and our eyes are the windows.
The body cannot be replaced. A car can be abused and then put back into perfect shape. I like to view the before and after pictures of a car that has been restored from a heap of junk to brand new. The body, however, once it is abused and neglected is far more difficult to repair, and in some cases cannot be repaired. It is near impossible to have a good life if the body is weak and sick. Therefore, plan to have a strong, healthy body. Health care professionals say that if you survive a heart attack, you are likely to go on to live a long life. Those who experience a heart attack never want to go through it again, so they become very concerned about eating and exercising right.
The time to plan for good health is when you’re healthy. Too many have the mistaken idea that healthy food is tasteless; not so; for example, a can of green beans is healthy food, and sometimes even more healthy than fresh green beans because they are prepared at the peak of maturity, whereas, the fresh green beans may have been shipped a long distance and by the time you buy them they have lost much of their nutritional value. That is just one example; there are many different healthy foods available that are inexpensive. Another food that I eat about every week is canned salmon, which also is as nutritious as fresh salmon and a lot less expensive. Salmon is one of my favorite foods, and the good part is that it is extremely healthy.
Including healthy food into your diet is not that difficult, and neither is avoiding the unhealthy. There are seven healthy foods that you can begin today to include into your diet: apples, nuts, eggs, tomatoes, salmon, beans and greens. All of these are very healthy and also very tasty. The secret to eating right is finding healthy foods that you like. I was raised on healthy foods, primarily because they were cheap to buy, or raise in the garden. They were beans, potatoes, greens and fresh garden vegetables. It isn’t the purpose of this article to discuss health food in detail; there are numerous books available to help you, but I just wanted to give you a heads up. For more information on health and anti-aging.
Keeping a fit body also include exercise, as we all know. However, what we all may not know is that it does not require a gym membership to get the right exercise. There is a list of home exercises that anyone can do, and one of the best exercises is walking. There is a lot more that could be said about healthy food and exercise, but that is a topic of its own. For ideas on exercise, check my exercise website.
Spirit: The spirit is our means of communicating with God our creator.
I don’t intend to cop out on this issue, like some other personal development websites, by just trying to equate spiritual matters with getting in touch with our inner self through some sort of transcendental meditation. There is far greater purpose and meaning, and I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you the truth as I know it.
For the sake of credibility, what I’m sharing with you is not just something I picked up off of another website, or someone told me, and I took it at face value. I have a Bible College degree, plus – I have been doing serious study and research for more than 50 years concerning the claims of the Bible. I have also read the Bible through completely for a number of years. I don’t mean to insinuate that I know it all, far from it, but I do know some things about spirituality.
Having said that, I will also add that I have absolutely nothing to gain by the decision you make one way or the other concerning your spirituality. My reason for sharing this information with you is because I truly care for you and your future. Actually, the purpose of this website isn’t to generate money, but to fulfill my purpose in life to help others.
God created man with a spirit so that he could communicate with God, who is spirit. When sin entered the world that ability was severed. Now man’s need, more than anything else, is to get God back into man in order to experience his full spiritual potential. According to the Bible, there is only one way to do that. When man lost his spiritual relationship with God, because of sin, God in his love and mercy provided a way to renew that fellowship, and to do so required Him to sacrifice his only begotten son, Jesus Christ.
The reason that the sacrifice was necessary is that God is perfectly just; therefore, perfect justice always requires a penalty to be paid when God’s law is broken. Sin is breaking God’s law and the penalty for breaking God’s law is death. Death is separation, so when sin entered the human race, it resulted in the separation; God separated himself from man. In Scripture, this is called spiritual death.
Back to what I said earlier, man now needs to have God return in order to have the fullness of his spiritual life restored. In order to make that possible, Jesus came from heaven to earth, lived a perfect life without sin, and paid the penalty of sin for us all by dying on the cross. The sacrifice was great, but then also was the death penalty for sin. He made the ultimate sacrifice so that it would not be required of us.
In order to receive God’s pardon for our sin, and restore our spiritual relationship with him, we must confess our sins and repent of them (turn from them) and believe in Jesus, and trust in him for forgiveness. Jesus made the way clear: he said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” John 14:6. According to the Bible there is absolutely no other way of spiritual restoration other than through Jesus. It is not something that we can do ourselves.
I believe, more than anything else, that in order to experience the fullness of a good life, one must have his spirit quickened by the presence of almighty God. You can experience that if you are willing right now! Are you ready to learn the main ingredient that will teach you, and enable you, more than anything else, how to have a good life? The following is step by step instructions:
How to have a spiritual relationship with God
In 3 simple steps, you can find peace with God that surpasses everything you ever believed would bring peace before. If there is one thing proven over and over, it is that no amount of success, material things, or even fame that can fulfill the longing of man’s heart for peace; only the creator can do that. He designed us; He is able to fulfill us in a way nothing else can. If you are interested in finding peace and fullness of life that passes all understanding, follow the three simple steps below:
STEP #1: Understand the problem that robs you of peace
The Bible is very clear concerning our spiritual state. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” It would be hard to disagree with that if we are honest with ourselves. We know that there have been times when we have done the wrong thing.
As a result of our sin the Scripture says in Geneses 3:23, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” It is that separation from God that causes us not to find the peace we long for.
Step #2: Understand God’s remedy
God’s word gives us the simple remedy to our lifelong anguish of being separated from him. The Bible says in Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24)
We understand that we live in a world that has laws that must be obeyed and when those laws are broken a penalty must be paid. Sin is a transgression against God’s law; therefore the penalty assigned to breaking the law of God is death and eternal separation from God. However, God has provided a remedy through his son, Jesus Christ, who died and paid the penalty for each of us who will receive his pardon.
Step #3: Understand the one and only response that is acceptable to God:
Billy Graham has a simple and yet profound way of stating it, he says, “We can receive Jesus Christ when we believe in His message and trust in Him alone to save us.”
The Bible says, “Neither is there salvation in any other for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
There is only one response that is acceptable to Almighty God: “That if thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).
The only way to receive Christ:
- Admit that you are a sinner and need God’s forgiveness
- Be willing to repent, turn away from your sins
- Believe that Jesus died for you on the cross, was buried and rose from the grave
- Through prayer invite Jesus into your life and turn over control of your life to his indwelling Holy Spirit. The prayer itself does not save; it confirms what we already accept and believe in our heart.
How to pray:
Dear Lord I know that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I truly believe that you died to pay the penalty for my sins. I want to turn from my sinful lifestyle and follow you in the newness of life. I ask your forgiveness and invite you into my heart and life. In Jesus name: Amen
When you sincerely pray, trusting in your heart, and ask Jesus Christ to come into your life, He will and will also give to you eternal life. The Bible Says… “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13
The way to God may sound too simple to be true. God made it that way so that even a little child could understand and come to Him. Come to Jesus. He will fill that longing in your heart which no one or nothing else can. Knowing Him sets the very foundation for a good life filled with meaning and purpose.
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About the author: Jimmie Burroughs is a motivational speaker and author who has been involved in teaching Christian Personal Development for more than 30 years. There are hundreds of articles to help you on this website (Website Contents) in your personal growth.
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