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What is a well lived life?

Even as a small child this question has plagued the back of my mind. It seems a simple question but I'm aware from life experiences that ideas and attitudes mature and even change over time. Therefore a ten year old's reply may be very different from a 100 year old's. From wealthy to poor, highly educated to third grade drop outs it doesn't matter to me. I simply want others opinions.
Please take your time and reflect, it could be a legacy or how well you treat perfect strangers, how many peoples lives you changed. Maybe it's your moral values or religion, the power you acquired and or how you used it, a good father/mother/child, teacher, conqueror, pacifist etc...

There are no wrong replies.
Thank you in advance
Pat

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Closing Statement from Pat Henderson

As I said in the beginning there are no wrong answers. My only disappointment was Fritzie' reply. while not wrong she did use someone else to determine what she did reply. I was only interested a personal reply from you own belief system. this is not meant to pick on Fritzie and I hope you don't take it that way. There is no real conclusion from this talk because it's all a personal view. Thank you all for your participation.

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    Jan 22 2013: A life well lived is a life of love. Love for God our creator; love for humanity; love for family and friends; mercy for our enemies; gratitude for our uniqueness and talent; the pursuit of excellence; and service to humanity.
    This is a life worth living.
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      Jan 22 2013: good one, Feyisayo. Hey, I heard you're giving a TED talk, what's it about?
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        Jan 22 2013: I spoke at a TEDx event; on "Dream and then do it"
        Just to encourage the audience and humanity at large that dreams are good; but the proof of desire is pursuit hence one would need to take certain wise steps to live the dream.
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    Jan 22 2013: A great TED talk that has an answer to this question is Martin Seligman's on how to lead a fulfilling life. As a distinguished professor at Penn, he is one of the world's foremost experts in this area. He reports the top two factors (in the sense of figuring in in a big way for the most people) are 1)being happy with the relationships in your life and 2)being involved in pursuits that are meaningful to you in the sense of aligning with your values. I cannot remember the rest, but the talk is, I think, not one to miss given the questions you are asking yourself.

    There is a difference in whether you feel your life is well lived and whether others would. I assume you are asking about the first. Along those lines, Seth Godin, another TED speaker and one of the most widely read individual bloggers in the world, wrote today:

    "Everyone lives with self mythology.The more important a memory is to the story we tell ourselves about ourselves, the more often we rehearse the memory. And the more often we relive those memories, the less likely it is that they are true.
    Despite our shared conception that we are rational actors making intelligent decisions based on an accurate view of the world and ourselves, precisely the opposite is true."

    The way we see ourselves, then, may not only not be how others see us but may tend to have a large component of self-delusion. Feeling you are leading a fulfilled life is likely more connected to how you see yourself than how you actually are.
    ***
    For another wonderful answer, I think, see Mike Trainer's recent response to Derek Young's featured conversation about empathetic/sympathetic people.
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    Jan 22 2013: A life with no regrets.Even if there are some, be happy to embrace them.My grand-aunt taught me this and I would love to share this with you. Trust me because (sounds weird but...) I've never seen a happier person lying on her death bed. ;)
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    Gail . 50+

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    Jan 22 2013: When you challenge your self-perceived limits, you will live a well-lived life. It comes with the territory.

    I was a professional memoirist. Everyone has a great story. Few dare to take life to the next level, where they push themselves to be the best person they can be.

    I'm not a Christian, but as so many are, I will use a Christian parable to explain. It's the parable of the talents.

    We are each born with talents. Some hide their talents in the ground (their fears). They gain nothing but surface satisfaction - if that. Their lives remain fear-based. They never see beyond the surface. They are called "shallow". Others will risk little, so they receive little. They too have wasted so many opportunities as to negate most of the value of their lives. Others dare challenge life and the untested assumptions that are part of conventional wisdom. These excel in the most inspiring ways. Their stories are the BEST stories, and there is much of value that the reader can learn from them.
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    Jan 22 2013: I think a well lived life is when you are truly happy the way you are living your life and i think you are truly happy when you lead it the way you want to.
  • Jan 22 2013: When the Westboro Baptist church pickets your funeral you will know that you lived a good and full life
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    Jan 22 2013: For yourself- When you feel in your heart...it is!
    For others- when they feel and acknowledge ...it is! And others generally acknowledge when they see you contributing to your best in every role you play in your life, personal and professional.
  • Jan 25 2013: I want to have become as much like Christ as I possibly could. I feel like life is about becoming. It doesn't matter to me so much what I do, but who I become. And you become by doing first, so I want to try to do what Christ would do.
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    Jan 23 2013: A well lived life for me is living a purposeful life by means of creating positive, inspirational and progressive experiences for others and myself as much as possible all through life. We are often shaped by our experiences and defined by our reactions to them. In this belief a single positive and progressive experience can inspire an individual to greater things in life. It could be the simplest gesture, act of kindness or time and effort put in to achieve something greater.

    We live but once in this form and time, and what good it would be if we haven’t left a positive mark behind that others can benefit from?
  • Jan 22 2013: When you're life flashes before your eyes, ask yourself, was it pretty? Think of your life as a movie. Would you recommend it to anyone? Or are you too ashamed to show it to them?
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    Jan 22 2013: I guess it's different for everyone. I've always wanted to know why we are here, & in mid life, found my answer in Jesus Christ. Since then my target has been to love & help as many as possible & lead them to faith if possible. It is a belter skelter of a life, mountains & valleys. God is good; recently a young woman asked me to be her dad. How cool is that; my family now has a new daughter, grandson, & son-in-law. I'll know if I got it right in the next life, but meantime, I'm content. Can anyone ask for more ?

    :-)
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      Jan 22 2013: Loving and helping as much as possible definitely sounds like a life being lived well, Peter. Best wishes for your expanded family in the new year.
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    Jan 22 2013: I would say a life well-lived is an assertive life, one where you stand up with courage for what you believe. As you go through life, people will try to get you to settle for less than the best, and it's good to keep striving for the best.
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    Jan 22 2013: .

    (1) Successfully keep our DNA alive.
    (2) Be HAPPY VALIDLY without much INVALID HAPPINESS.
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    Jan 22 2013: Being perceived as a good human by greater others...