What Does Living Fully Really Look Like?

We all know someone living a full life. It's the person who manages to maintain a busy, yet seemingly balanced existence filled with variety, satisfaction and joy.

But what does "living fully" look like across the globe? Does it mean different things to different people in different cultures? And most important, how can we all get closer to leading a fulfilled life?

To find out, we asked a number of thought leaders around the world.


"Being in the moment, awake and alive and able to enjoy things now. Not worrying about the past or postponing happiness to a distant future." – Dr. Joos Meyer, a medical doctor at Fremantle Hospital in Western Australia

"We need to be introspective to live an examined life. The most fulfilled persons I've known have been deeply aware of their own strengths and have taken on assignments, jobs, careers, friendships, partners, experiences, adventures, projects and pursuits of all kinds that capitalize on those strengths." – Dr. Anthony L. Rose, a psychologist and president and CEO of The Biosynergy Institute in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.


"Finding gratitude for even the smallest things in our lives can have an enormous impact. Dedicating just five minutes a day to writing down a list of the things for which you are grateful has the potential to shift your entire outlook on life." – Elizabeth Mack, a psychotherapy professional in private practice in Los Angeles

"Gratitude is a quality observed only in those who are happy. Gratitude helps us realize what we have so that happiness does not seem like a stranger." – Astha Ahluwalia, consultant psychologist, New Delhi

"People who live a full life don't pretend that bad or undesirable things don't happen – they just tend to learn more from those situations. Because they are willing to learn from life, they can be more grateful for the lessons that come." – Leo Willcocks, a stress consultant in Sydney

Physical health also appears to be intrinsic to living fully. It's important on its own, experts say, but also as a foundation for a person's mental and spiritual lives.

Holistic Well-Being

"Maintaining well-being means paying balanced attention to three areas: mind, body, spirit." - Elizabeth Mack, in Los Angeles

"To live fully you need to take care of your mind, body and soul. I think that the secret is to balance this tripod through physical exercise that can help you to train discipline to achieve your life goals; meditation or any other relaxing activity that can help you to keep the focus; and nurturing your body with healthy food." — Claudia Fuji, life coach and founder of Mayu Coaching, in São Paulo

"Get enough sleep, breathe, take breaks, exercise, and pay attention to your diet. Exercise releases endorphins, and these trigger a positive feeling in the body." – Dr. Nupur Kohli, a medical doctor at the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam


"Give to everyone in need until you are empty, and then you have room to be fulfilled so you can give again, and again, and again. In the end, the fulfilled person is one who has synergized well-being in his life and the lives of everyone he's touched." - Dr. Anthony L. Rose, The Biosynergy Institute

"Give, give, give what you can. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing a smile on others thanks to your effort." Dr. K. J. Choudhury, M.D., Senior consultant, pain management, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi


"Positivity is a thought. And this thought should be constant. A simple 'thank you,' a 'sorry,' a smile to a stranger [or] helping people we know (or don't know) are things that contribute to daily happiness." — Astha Ahluwalia, consultant psychologist, New Delhi

"Self-criticism and negative thinking are the enemies of happiness and fulfillment. Our thoughts are the food we feed our minds. When we can motivate ourselves with self-compassion, we are truly on the path toward health and well-being." – Elizabeth Mack, in Los Angeles

"Start your own journey today. Stop and reflect about your way of life. Try to dive into yourself. What are your values? What matters to you in personal and professional life? What energizes you and motivates you? Will you be the guide of your life or will your life guide you? It is a matter of choice." — Claudia Fuji, life coach and founder of Mayu Coaching, in São Paulo