I always felt unfulfilled and unhappy, until I adopted these 8 new habits.

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

There’s a vast difference between merely existing and truly living.

I know because I’ve been there. I spent years feeling like something was missing, like I was just going through the motions without really experiencing joy or fulfilment.

But that all changed when I adopted these eight new habits.

Hi, I’m Lachlan Brown, founder of Hack Spirit and a devoted mindfulness and Buddhism enthusiast. And I want to share with you the transformations I’ve made in my life through simple behavioural changes.

Let’s get started. 

1) Embracing mindfulness

For years, I felt lost in the hustle and bustle of life, always chasing after the next big thing. It was a never-ending cycle of dissatisfaction.

But then, I discovered the practice of mindfulness.

Mindfulness is all about being present in the here and now, rather than constantly worrying about the past or the future. It’s about acknowledging your thoughts and feelings without judgment, staying fully engaged with whatever you’re doing at the moment.

I started by incorporating small moments of mindfulness into my day. A few minutes of deep breathing in the morning, really savoring my meals instead of mindlessly eating, or simply being aware of my surroundings while walking.

And over time, I noticed a profound shift. I was happier, more fulfilled, more at peace. My mind wasn’t constantly racing with worries or regrets. I was actually enjoying life.

Adopting mindfulness as a daily habit has been a game changer for me. And trust me, it can do wonders for you too.

It’s not about escaping your reality but rather fully immersing yourself in it. So start small, be consistent, and watch how mindfulness transforms your life.

2) Cultivating gratitude

Another habit that brought a significant change in my life was cultivating gratitude.

In the face of constant dissatisfaction, it was hard for me to acknowledge or appreciate the good in my life. I was always looking for more, never content with what I had.

But then, I stumbled upon a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh, a renowned Buddhist monk and mindfulness expert, who once said, “When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.”

These words resonated with me deeply. I realized that my constant yearning for more was clouding my ability to appreciate the present.

I started to practice gratitude. Every day, I took a few moments to reflect on the things that I was grateful for – from the big achievements to the small joys. It could be as simple as a good cup of coffee or as significant as a loved one’s support.

And gradually, I began to see the world in a different light. Instead of focusing on what was lacking, I started appreciating what was present. This shift in perspective brought a sense of contentment and fulfillment that I had been missing for so long.

Cultivating gratitude is not about denying your struggles or challenges. It’s about acknowledging the goodness in your life and cherishing it. And trust me when I say this – it can truly transform your perspective and your overall happiness levels.

3) Understanding impermanence

One of the most profound concepts I’ve come across in my exploration of Buddhism is the idea of impermanence.

Impermanence, or “anicca” as it’s known in Buddhism, is the belief that everything in life – good or bad – is transient and changing. Nothing stays the same forever.

At first glance, this might seem like a pessimistic viewpoint. But once I truly understood it, it became a source of great freedom and happiness.

Before, when things were going smoothly, I was constantly anxious about when the “other shoe would drop”. Conversely, during tough times, I felt like my unhappiness would never end.

Understanding impermanence helped me to see things differently. I realized that just like the seasons, life’s circumstances also change. Good times don’t last forever, but neither do the bad ones.

This understanding allowed me to fully embrace the good moments without fear of losing them. And during challenging times, it gave me hope knowing they were temporary and would pass.

Embracing the concept of impermanence has been a liberating journey. It’s stripped away a lot of unnecessary worry and allowed me to accept life as it unfolds, adding a sense of peace and contentment to my days.

4) Accepting things as they are

Mindfulness is not just about being present; it’s also about acceptance. And this was a hard pill to swallow for me.

For the longest time, I was constantly trying to control everything in my life – my work, my relationships, even my emotions. I was in a constant battle with reality, always trying to mold it according to my wishes.

But with mindfulness, I learned the importance of accepting things as they are.

It doesn’t mean that you have to be passive or stop striving for better. Rather, it’s about acknowledging the current situation without judging it or wishing it were different. It’s about letting go of the struggle and finding peace in the present moment.

When I started accepting my feelings instead of fighting them, accepting people instead of trying to change them, accepting situations instead of resisting them, I found a new sense of calm and tranquility.

Acceptance isn’t easy, and it doesn’t come overnight. But once you start practicing it, you’ll find it’s a powerful tool for reducing stress and increasing happiness. It allows you to move through life with more ease, embracing everything that comes your way with an open heart and mind.

5) Living with maximum impact and minimum ego

For a significant part of my life, I was driven by my ego. I was always striving for more – more achievements, more recognition, more validation. But no matter how much I achieved, it never felt enough. There was a void that I couldn’t seem to fill.

That’s when I started delving deeper into Buddhist teachings and even ended up penning my findings in a book titled Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego.

This journey led me to a life-altering realization – the key to fulfilment doesn’t lie in feeding our egos but in living a life of impact.

I shifted my focus from ‘what can I gain’ to ‘how can I contribute’. And this small shift made a world of difference. I felt more fulfilled, more content, and surprisingly, even more successful.

Reducing the influence of ego is not about ignoring your needs or desires. It’s about recognizing that true happiness comes from making a positive impact on others and the world around you.

If you’re struggling with feelings of unfulfillment or unhappiness, I encourage you to check out my book. It’s packed with insights on how you can lead a life of maximum impact and minimum ego. And trust me, it’s a shift that can truly usher in profound happiness and fulfillment in your life.

6) Practicing loving-kindness

Buddhism and mindfulness both teach the importance of loving-kindness, or “metta”. This practice involves cultivating a deep sense of compassion and love, not just for others, but also for ourselves.

But let’s be honest here, this isn’t easy. In a world that often values toughness and resilience, showing kindness can sometimes be seen as a sign of weakness.

Yet, it’s one of the most liberating habits I’ve adopted.

Practicing loving-kindness doesn’t mean you have to be a pushover or ignore your own needs. Instead, it’s about treating ourselves and others with understanding and empathy. It’s about recognizing our shared humanity and extending the same compassion we show to others to ourselves.

When I was stuck in a cycle of unhappiness, I often harshly judged myself for not being ‘enough’. But through the practice of loving-kindness, I began to challenge these self-deprecating thoughts.

I started to treat myself with the same kindness I’d show a good friend. And this shift in self-perception played a huge role in increasing my overall happiness and satisfaction.

We’re all human, and we’re all doing the best we can with what we have. So why not extend some of that kindness and compassion to ourselves? Trust me; it’s a game-changer.

7) Letting go of attachments

One of the most transformative teachings I’ve come across in Buddhism is the concept of non-attachment.

Buddhist teachings often emphasize the importance of letting go of our attachments to outcomes, ideas, and even people. As the famous Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön once said, “The root of suffering is resisting the certainty that no matter what the circumstances, uncertainty is all we truly have.”

Initially, this concept was difficult for me to wrap my head around. How could we form meaningful relationships or strive for success without forming any attachments?

But as I delved deeper, I realized that non-attachment isn’t about not caring or becoming indifferent. Instead, it’s about understanding that change is the only constant.

It’s about embracing uncertainty and learning to be okay with things not going our way. It’s about finding peace and contentment in the present moment, without clinging to any particular outcome.

When I started practicing non-attachment, I found a certain sense of freedom. I was no longer a slave to my expectations or fears. And surprisingly, this detachment from results led me to experience more joy and fulfillment in my journey.

Letting go of attachments isn’t easy, but it’s a key step towards finding true peace and happiness according to Buddhist wisdom. And in my experience, it’s a practice well worth adopting.

8) Embracing silence

In a world filled with noise and constant stimulation, the idea of embracing silence might seem counterintuitive.

Why would anyone want to sit quietly when there’s so much to do, see, and hear? But as I delved deeper into my mindfulness practice, I realized the power that silence holds.

Imagine this: You’re in a crowded room, and you can’t hear your own thoughts over the chatter. That’s what it’s like when we don’t give ourselves moments of silence. Our minds become overcrowded with thoughts, worries, and to-do lists.

By embracing silence, we give ourselves the opportunity to listen to our inner voice and reconnect with our true selves. It becomes a sacred space where we can just ‘be’ without the need to ‘do’.

I started with just a few moments of silence each day – a quiet morning cup of coffee, a silent walk, or simply sitting in a quiet room. And these moments became islands of peace in my otherwise chaotic day.

The practice of embracing silence helped me tap into my intuition, reduced my stress levels, and made me more mindful throughout the day.

Even if it feels counterintuitive at first, I urge you to give silence a chance. You’ll be surprised by the clarity and peace it can bring to your life.

Conclusion

The journey from feeling unfulfilled and unhappy to experiencing joy and fulfillment is deeply personal and unique for everyone. But by adopting these eight habits, I’ve found a path that has led me towards a more content and happier life.

Remember, change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes consistent effort and patience. But trust me, the journey is worth it.

And if you’re interested in delving deeper into some of the concepts I’ve mentioned here, I encourage you to check out my book Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego. It’s packed with insights and practical wisdom that can help you navigate your own journey towards a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

Remember, the power to change your life lies in your hands. So why wait? Start your journey today.

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

People who become more rigid and inflexible as they get older often exhibit these 8 behaviors (without realizing it)

People who stay poised and collected even when life gets tough usually have these 7 strengths