We all feel a ton of pressure to live up to society's standards and expectations. It's too easy to get caught up in this stuff. We think we need to do certain things by certain points in our lives or we think that we should accomplish everything quickly (and do it really well, too). It's awesome to have goals, but when you're feeling too much pressure, you're going to have a hard time realizing how great your life already is... and you're just not going to feel super grateful. Even when life isn't perfect, it's usually pretty good, and the more you can notice that the happier you're going to feel. Being happy is pretty much the overall goal of life since, without happiness, nothing that you do will be fulfilling or fun. That's why finding happiness tends to change the rest of your life. There may be a ton of stuff that you want out of life (and need), but chances are you've got it better than you realize.
Here are 15 signs your life is more complete than you think.
15 You Have Good Friends
It's easy to take good friends for granted. But if you think back, there are probably some times in your life that you didn't have good friends... even if it was all the way back in middle school. There's a special kind of pain that goes along with not trusting your friends or the slight awkwardness of not knowing whether someone really gets you. Even the difference between not being comfortable with a friend and being completely comfortable with them is a life changing feeling. You have to be able to let your guard down somewhere in life and not worry about the consequences. When you have friends that really get you and that you can trust, you get to be yourself and develop deeper aspects of yourself in the process of being a good friend back to them. You might not have thought about it for a while because it just became the norm, but the fact that you have good friends is a huge deal. Especially if you've ever gone through phases where you didn't.
14 You Make New Choices And Don't Repeat Old Mistakes
You might not be in a relationship or have your dream job, but if you think back on your path and see where you stopped making certain mistakes, you see where you've made progress. You got burned by one type of guy over and over again, and eventually you realized that it was time to stand up for yourself and stop taking the bullshit. The right guy maybe hasn't come along yet, but when he does you will know it and you'll know how to go into the situation with an open mind instead of assuming that it's doomed like the rest of the them. Life really is about the journey, and we couldn't get to those awesome destinations that we dream about if it wasn't for the self work that we do in between. We should be proud of the progress that we make emotionally even if it's the sort of things that other people don't really notice because it's subtle to an outsider. Any day that you're learning something and making choices that truly support your path is a very good day.
13 You've Found Some Balance
Your life is more complete than you think it is if it's more balanced than it used to be. Maybe you've been through times where you were a workaholic, or maybe you've been through times where you went out too much and drank too much. Over time you figured out how to balance all of those things so that you feel accomplished, have fun, and also have enough R&R time to rest up. Sometimes finding a balance in life takes some pretty specific effort and sometimes it just sort of naturally unfolds that way, but either way having it is a good sign. When you have found some kind of balance in your life, that means that you don't neglect relationships (or be way too giving without getting anything in return). You don't starve yourself or stuff your face with junk food and you don't obsess over making money or waste it all on pointless stuff.
12 You Have A Place To Live
You might live in an apartment with a few roommates, back at home with your parents, or in a palace with your prince. But wherever you live, you've got a roof over your head. It's really easy to take things like that for granted, but it isn't a given for everyone, and while we're busy worrying about when the new iPhone will be restocked some people are hoping that one day they'll have running water. It's all about your perspective, and yeah, in the world we live in it is important to have a working cell phone because it's the norm and you want to be able to talk to people. But it's good to remember that they're also a luxury, and when you start to think about that you can really quickly become overwhelmed by how many amazing things you really have in your life. Having a safe place to sleep and knowing that you can keep yourself clean and healthy is a really huge gift. You don't need to settle for just having enough, but just having enough is a really great place to begin. If you've got a roof over your head and your basic needs are covered then things can't be too bad.
11 You Have Peaceful Relationships
We've all had our moments where we made someone angry or vice versa, but as a responsible adult those things don't end up being such a dramatic experience. If there's an issue with someone who you care about you can simply talk to them about it and then handle whatever needs to be handled. If it's someone who you don't care about or need in your life then you can leave the pieces where they fell and be on your way. It's a good sign that you're doing better than you think when those petty annoyances from other people aren't getting you down. You are the only person who can be in control of your emotions, and when you are and don't let other people get under your skin life is soooo much better. Other people's personal issues are not your own problem, and as long as you're doing the best to be good, and communicate, and fix misunderstandings or little issues that pop up here and there, then you're operating at a pretty high level and it's basically the best that any of us can do.
10 Your Hobbies Make You Happy
You might not have found a way to mix together your favorite hobbies with getting paid. That's the dream, right? But either way, your hobbies make you happy. Maybe it's working out, lounging on the couch, wine tasting, vintage clothes shopping and staging photo shoots with your friends, etc. The point is that your life is happening all the time, even between the major moments that we anticipate and document with greater regularity. There isn't like a start and a stop point here, so how you spend any of your time is how you spend all of your time. You want to be happy for all of that. If you've ever gone through a phase where you felt uninspired about life in general then you know how much that can suck. It makes it really hard to appreciate anything that happens, and it makes it a lot easier to feel really bad when things don't totally go your way. So you know you're doing better than you think when you enjoy and get fulfillment from the way you spend those off moments that don't matter for anything else.
9 You Go After Goals
Sometimes it's hard to see the "completeness" of life when there are so many balls in the air and moving parts. That makes it seem like things aren't complete. But just because you're following your dreams and going after goals that haven't been completed yet doesn't mean that something is wrong. You're still in the middle of the journey. The process is what always matters. If you didn't have any goals, that would be a sign that things aren't as complete as they should be. But you do. If you're setting goals it means that you're not only paying attention to your deepest desires but you're honoring them (which not everyone does). You're confident in your abilities to go after them, even though you don't know what the end result is going to look like or who will support you along the way. You're not allowing fear to stop you, despite the fact that you probably feel it here and there because you're a human and it's a basic emotion.
8 There Are People Who Love You
You're doing better than you think if there are people in your life who love you. You might think half of your family members are really annoying or take it for granted that your friends love you. But not everyone has that. Not even close. Some people don't have family, and some people are hard to get close to and don't really have legions of friends knocking down their doors. Some people in challenging parts of their life where they make it really hard for people to love them. But that's not you. You're doing better than you think if having people around that love you is just a given in your life and nothing that you will ever have to question. That doesn't mean that all your relationships are peachy all day everyday, but it means that people aren't disappearing no matter what happens. People who love you will want the best for you, even though sometimes they might have a different opinion about what that should like. It's still a gift that they care at all and reflects well on you.
7 You Enjoy Food
Being able to eat for enjoyment is a pretty good place to be in life. You have enough money that your basic needs are taken care of, so you're not starving to death, and you're not having to figure out extreme means to get the next meal on the table. If you can eat for enjoyment you are truly in a good place. Food doesn't have to be enjoyable, the whole point of it is to provide us with the energy that we need to carry out our bodily functions and whatever we end up doing in a day. Ideally, it's also nutritious and making our bodies as strong and as healthy as possible in the process. But when you can go beyond that and do some taste testing of various cuisines for fun, or drink wine with your dinner, or order overly expensive takeout, that's all a bonus. Then food becomes fun, and it can be extremely fun. It's not a bad thing to have to budget food into the equation, when you don't have to, that's a pretty free thing that should be celebrated.
6 You're Getting Paid
If you're getting paid regularly, you're doing pretty good, especially if you like the work that's paying you. If you're making money through illegal means or something then that's not quite as great but you also already know that. But if you're gainfully employed you're better off than a lot of people are. Sure, the commute might suck, and your evil coworker really sucks, you're underpaid, give too much of your wages away in taxes, and don't feel like your skills are being best utilized. But making money while you figure out how to fix those things is awesome. The fact that you're even aware of the fact that your skills are being underutilized means that you're on the way to figuring out something different. To make more money we usually have to be aware of what we have to offer and/or develop our skill set a bit further so that we do have more to offer. That's incredibly hard to do when you can't pay the bills, luckily you can.
5 You're Self-Aware
Of course, you're not going to have tons of fun every day of your life. But the fact that you question things about life means that you're self-aware and open to making better decisions in the future. People who aren't self-aware are basically bringing the whole "ignorance is bliss" thing to life. You might have noticed when people make horrible decisions that hurt themselves and other people... or take zero responsibility for anything but don't even care. Sometimes they even seem happy and carefree. But not being self-aware will eventually catch up with you and be a big mess to deal with. When you're self-aware, it's normal to wonder if there's more to life or to evaluate your performance and think of ways to do better. The key is to see that as a positive thing, not to judge yourself even further for over thinking or being hard on yourself. You don't ever want to beat yourself up about things, but thinking about them means that you're doing better than you think.
4 You Know You Can't Control Everything
Your life is more complete than you think if you know that you can't control everything and everyone around you. When people try to control literally everything in their life, it means that they feel out of control on some level, which generally means that something could be going better. People frequently displace their emotions and act out because they aren't acting on what's really bothering them, and one way they do it is with trying to control stuff. But you know that you can't control what other people do beyond offering the best that you have by being yourself. When people respond poorly to you it's not necessarily personal, and you know well enough to be able to shake things off that don't belong to you. You set goals and have plans in life, but you don't trip over the bumps in the road or the time that it can take to accomplish things because you can give up control and accept that things will turn out just as they are supposed to.
3 You Have Some Travel Experience
Different people have very different opportunities when it comes to travel, and if you've had the chance to do some traveling for fun, you might be doing better than you think. (And also, of course, if you've had the chance to do some traveling for work, you also might be doing better than you think.) If you grow up traveling you probably think it's normal, but guaranteed if you started asking around, you will find some people living in your own town who have never even been on a plane. Some people don't ever move away from their hometown either, and while there is nothing wrong with that at all, it does give a very different perspective on life. If you haven't seen certain things you can't help but not know about them, and you've done a lot of traveling and experienced a bunch of new things you can't help but be changed and shaped by that. You might not even know how traveling has changed you, but the fact that you've done it means that it's probably expanded your world a bit, meaning you're doing pretty good.
2 You're A Better Person Than You Were A Year Ago
You're doing better than you think you are if you're a better person than you were a year ago, no matter what that looks like. Life can throw us some major curveballs, and we always have a choice about how we react to those. If you react well, then you can continue to move in positive directions that support your growth. If you don't then it can take you down some dark paths. Ideally, no matter what has come your way within the past year you have figured out how to make the best of it and are a better person than you were before. You might notice this when you think back on a thought process that you had in a certain situation, and then realize that you would never think that way again. Maybe you went through a breakup and as soon as you healed from it, you realized that you were stronger than you've ever been. That's why trials aren't necessarily bad things, they help us refine ourselves so that we're extra ready for the next things that come long.
1 You Consider Yourself Happy
It's no small feat to be happy and it doesn't always happen by accident. Happiness is something that you have to work hard at and even cultivate, and being happy means living according to your truth. It means that you're capable of taking care of your body, listening to your mind, and acting out the interests of your soul. It means that you can accept not being perfect, and that you can forgive yourself and other people when necessary. It means going after the big things while finding peace and joy in the little things. With so many physical and mental aspects involved in happiness, it's pretty easy to see how easily those things could go wrong, and it's basically like moving parts so checking in with all of it all the time is key. A lot of people aren't happy even being in really great life circumstances, because it requires so much internal work in addition to lining up the outside stuff. If you would consider yourself a happy person, you're doing great.