Many years back, when I first began to envision the concept of THE GOOD LIFE, my driving force was the thought that whatever one's version of the good life was (and after asking around a bit, it became clear that there were many different versions!), the underlying foundation had to be healthy living, for without your health, it is all but impossible to enjoy much of anything else. Back in those days, my vision of optimum health was measured by your six pack abs (or lack thereof) and how much you could bench press.
Life has taught me a lot of difficult, but valuable lessons since then, and my own personal "version" of THE GOOD LIFE that I would want for myself and my loved ones has changed dramatically over the years.
Though in my mind a happy life will always need to be anchored by a foundation of good health, my vision back then of fast boats, good tequila and constant entertainment thru a variety of materialistic pursuits has given way to my current vision of learning to appreciate and be grateful for the simpler and more meaningful things in life.
On the surface, I had a lot of fun running fast and hard for many years, but it was clearly a distraction from the lack of true self love and close, meaningful relationships in my life. I was living a pretty good life by most standards, but it was all superficial. Now, after going thru some very difficult years personally, I have come to realize that deep, meaningful relationships - first with yourself and the universe (or whatever you care to call it...), and then with others, especially those close to you - is what's really important and is necessary to experience real joy and contentment in our lives. All the materialistic possessions in the world can't replace the void that a lack of inner peace and personal connection creates.
Don't get me wrong - I still love boating and all the other fun indulgences that life has to offer (including my chilled tequila from time to time - lol), but those aren't the things that create true happiness.
Though nurturing our physical health in today's toxic, stressful, sleep deprived world is more important then ever, the real path to enduring happiness and contentment is based in a strong sense of spiritual and emotional well being.
While getting proper sleep, staying hydrated, avoiding toxins in your everyday household and personal care products and eating sustainable, unprocessed, whole foods is important to sustain a healthy body and an active lifestyle, it is even more critical to nourish our soul with empowering thoughts, mindful self-care, fulfilling relationships and beautiful and memorable experiences.
For the spirit drives the mind and the mind drives the body!!!
In the end, THE GOOD LIFE is not something that we reach or obtain, but is the life that we choose to make for ourselves - not based on the house we live in or the car that we drive, but in a grateful, abundant mindset that we get to choose for ourselves each and every day, no matter where we find ourselves in the ebbs and flows of our lives.
That's not to say that the good "things" in life shouldn't be enjoyed whenever life presents the opportunity, but they are not and never will be the foundation of our happiness. It is an abundant, mindful relationship with ourselves and others, filled with gratitude, that leads to greater overall health and that is at the core of our happiness and ultimately provides the solid foundation for truly living your version of THE GOOD LIFE!