The Roadmap to Happiness: A Set of Directions for Living a Worthwhile Life

Coach Frank DiCocco
Thought of the Week
used with author's permission


I have thought deeply about what constitutes real happiness—true, genuine happiness.

I have tried to simplify these thoughts as much as possible into brief, straightforward guidelines, that hopefully will serve you well for many years to come. What follows is my best personal opinion of how to go about creating a truly worthwhile and happy life:

  • Be good, and do good. That is simple enough.

  • Know what is right, and do what is right. (Again, that is simple enough.)

  • Live each day in such a manner that, when you go to sleep each night, you do so with a clear conscience. This will come from making every effort that you can to live the life you know you should be living.

  • Live your life the best way you know how.

  • Never do something you won't be proud of.

  • Never become someone you won't be proud of.

  • Do not search for riches, fame, or material wealth. Live your life the best way that you can, and if you do, you will attain the most valuable possession there is: peace of mind.

  • Realize that there is no substitute for being a good person.

  • Work hard at developing meaningful, genuine relationships. As legendary coach, John Wooden, said: "Make friendship a fine art."

  • Contribute to the lives of others.

  • Help make other people's lives a little better and more pleasant than they might otherwise be.

  • Have a positive impact on other people. Care for others as much as you can, and show appreciation to the important people in your life as often as you can.

  • Leave a legacy of love and respect.

  • Learn to forgive, and actually practice forgiveness.

  • Learn to ask for forgiveness.

  • Learn to control your emotions. Learn to think before you speak and act.

  • Learn to control your anger, or else it will control you.

  • Never judge anyone. Be kind and respectful to everyone; you never know what someone might be going through.

  • Keep an open mind. Accept the fact that you may not always be right.

  • Keep an open heart. Understand that what you want in life, and that what you are called to do may change as you gather more knowledge and experiences.

  • Do not fear change. Embrace the exciting opportunities that come with the future.

  • Always be positive. Remember, you can be realistic and positive at the same time.

  • Enjoy the life you have, because it's the only one you're going to get.

  • Don't always take yourself too seriously. Learn to laugh at yourself and at your circumstances. Find ways to make the arduous and tedious things enjoyable.

  • Don't waste time complaining. Find something to be thankful for, and make the most of the good things you have in your life. Focus on the positives, and you will find that everything else seems to disappear from view.

  • Appreciate what you have. Pursue what you want.

  • Do not be contented with the work of yesterday. Keep moving forward, and keep striving toward something worthwhile.

  • Always do your best. If your best is good enough, then enjoy the rewards. If your best isn't good enough, then keep working and keep giving your best until one day it is.

  • Be humble; it is better to be humble of your own choosing than to be humbled by other people or by circumstances.

  • Never be satisfied with any accomplishments, but instead, resolve to continue to do your best every single day.

  • Find out what you have a passion for, and then do it. And don't just do it for your own benefit; find a way to use your gifts and your passion to help others.

  • Do two things with your life: simplify it, and maximize it.

  • Hold on tightly to your sense of self-worth and your dreams. They belong to you, and you alone. No one can take away any of those things unless you allow them too.

  • Learn to value your integrity. You come into this world with it: make sure you do all you can to leave this world with it as well.

  • Don't just go through the motions in life. Make the most of yourself and your time in this world.

  • Don't wish for better circumstances. Go out and make them.

  • Make the most of your talent and your opportunities, and find a way to do it in service to something that is greater than your own immediate self.

  • Leave your mark on this world. Leave a piece of your spirit behind in the hearts and minds of everyone you meet.

  • Let the world be a better place for your having been here.

  • Realize that we are all part of something larger than ourselves, and that we are called to do as much good in this lifetime as we possibly can.

  • Live with honor, live a life that matters.

  • Live in such a way so that at the end of your life, you will be able to say, in the words of Henry David Thoreau, "My life has been the poem I would have writ. But I could not both live and utter it."

... in other words: Make Your Life a Masterpiece.

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