Do you find yourself wishing you could get more out of life?

If so, life satisfaction statistics from around the world show you’re not alone.

But you can change that. How? With a bit of effort and refocusing, that’s how. Check out these 12 psychology-backed tips that will help you soak up as much of life as possible.

Tip #1 – Money is not wasted if you enjoy spending it.

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You might cringe when you see that four-digit figure leaving your bank account as you finalize that vacation. But don’t beat yourself up too much; that purchase will benefit you in the long run.

Studies have shown that people who spend their money on experiences that bring them joy tend to be incredibly satisfied with life.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? Nobody’s going to release a new and improved version of your awesome family vacation. Unlike a new cell phone, it will be as valuable in 20 years as it is today.

Tip #2 – Tell people how you feel.

Oh, Tom.

Oh, Tom.

Whether you’re feeling love, anger or resentment, it’s important to communicate.

It’s easy to push things off into the future and say you’ll tell someone how you really feel when “x, y and z” happen. But the world is filled with people who had those hopes of an honest, open tomorrow taken away from them abruptly.

Tip #3 – If you don’t understand, seek clarification.

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Clarification is an absolutely crucial communication skill.

If you feel like someone said something to hurt you but you’re not entirely sure that’s the case, don’t just assume the worst – ask. Similarly, if you’re not entirely sure what your boss is expecting of you, ask.

Seeking clarification shows initiative and it lets people know you care enough to pause instead of just plowing forward.

Tip #4 – If you want something, ask for it.

Unless you're a cat, then just do this.

Unless you’re a cat, then just do this.

Not knowing how to ask for things can ruin relationships, friendships and business partnerships.

Don’t just assume that your spouse knows you want to go out to dinner. Don’t just expect your boss to one day recognize that you’d be a lot happier with a raise.

When you assume people can read your mind, you set yourself up for disappointment. Instead, respectfully communicate your desires.

Tip #5 – When you make a mistake, own it.

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When you drop the ball, you can react in one of two ways. You can mumble “Sorry” and shrug, or you can communicate exactly what went wrong.

Guess which method tends to produce more positive, lasting results.

Tip #6 – Remember, you only live once.


So be happy, like this dog.

Psychologists have found that people who are reminded of their mortality through a near-death experience tend to appreciate life much more afterwards.

That’s not to say we should all play chicken with locomotives to achieve a similar effect.

But reminding yourself of life’s finite nature can go a long way towards making sure you don’t put goals and happiness too far off into the distance.

Tip #7 – Don’t waste too much time watching TV.

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Did you know that only 6% of wealthy people watch reality shows? 78% of poor people do.

That should tell you something — and that something is this:

The way you spend your time is incredibly important. Get out there and learn about things that will make you a more positive, empowered person instead of making other people rich by giving them attention.

Tip #8 – Speak less, listen more.

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Language can be a very powerful thing. It can help you communicate your feelings and make your needs known.

But it can also distract you from what others have to say.

And that’s no good. Because what other people have to say can be of incredible value. Be receptive to others’ ideas, feelings and thoughts. If that means allowing more silence to seep into your conversations, so be it. Let others break that silence. And if nobody’s got anything to say? Well, just enjoy your combined energy and listen the what it has to say.


Satisfaction is very much a choice that we make every single day. If these points have resonated with you, great! Now, don’t waste time! Get out there and start putting them to use.

Check out this video from David’s Facebook page to learn how one positive activity is helping those at risk of suicide live fulfilling lives.

Thomas C. Corley
Psychology Today
Huffington Post
Mayo Clinic
OECD Better Life Index