a life well-lived…

About two or three weeks ago, I sent out a note searching for answers to the following two questions:

(1) What does it mean to live “a life well lived” – especially for you?


(2) What would be the appropriate age to introduce this question?

I also decided to ask students in my classes (mostly first-year students) what it means to them to “live a well-lived life.”

Here are some of their responses:

  • A well lived life means to have taken every chance you could have. To have regret from “doing” as opposed to regret from “not doing.”
  • A life well-lived to me means that you did what YOU wanted to do no matter what others said.  You lived the life YOU wanted to live and you’re happy in all aspects of your life.
  • A life well-lived means living in a good standard level by having your degree and have everything you need.
  • A well-lived life to me would mean I have an enjoyable career, a family, and friends whom I love dearly.  That is a well-lived life to me.
  • Living a well-lived life would mean being a good mother – maintaining a high integrity career promoting emotional and nutritional well-being.  Sharing happiness and emotional wealth with others.
  • It means I have been successful.
  • A well-lived life to me means a life full of happiness for my self and others around me.
  • A well-lived life to me would be finding what truly makes me happy.
  • A lot of money, love, and happiness would fulfill my life.
  • Making enough money to keep bills paid and doing the things I love.
  • A well-lived life would be one full of laughter, adventure, and fun.
  • A well-lived life to me means happy, healthy, and successful. Waking up every day and knowing/living my purpose.
  • Being happy and doing everything you want to do. Serving others and doing what you love.
  • I think a well-lived life is one that is personally enjoyed by you, a life you can be proud of.
  • Getting a career, having a family, and seizing every opportunity to do everything I want to do.
  • A life where you have successfully completed all that you can and content with what you have.
  • For me, a life well-lived would be me finding a job that I love doing, falling in love, and getting to travel.  Knowing that I made an impact on the people I meet throughout life and being remembered by others are also important to me.
  • To me, that would mean someone that has done most, if not all, the goals they set out to do.  Meaning no regrets or “wishing they had done something” but didn’t.
  • A life where you have done things you have always wanted to do/dreamed of doing. A life where you have earned a lot of money, but most of all, a life where you have been happy.  Also, I think a life well-lived is where you have no regrets.
  • Means you got to do almost everything you wanted to do or lived your life with happiness for most of the time.
  • Living life where an individual is stable, happy, and enjoy what they are doing to survive (jobs, career).
  • To me, a well-lived life means achieving what you wanted to achieve or at least tried.  Also, being happy with what you have done.
  • “A life well lived” represents a life that was filled with happiness, achievement, and development over time.
  • It means to me that you accomplished the many goals you set out to achieve.
  • Living a happy life that you are proud of.
  • A life you live by your standards. You live it up to your expectations. Not concerning how others view your lifestyle! As long as your are satisfied.
  • A well-lived life means to do all the things you want to accomplish any goals and help someone in the process.
  • A successful career with a stable income, a family that I provide for, and enjoyment and happiness in my life.
  • A well-lived life, in my opinion, is one where I wake up every morning excited to be me.
  • A life well-lived to me would be a life filled with no regrets.  Whether the bad moments don’t phase you because of all the good, joy, and happiness that you allowed to appreciate and accept.

Just so that you know, a well-lived life means that I have continually created ways and spread messages that help others find their path in life, with a smile on my face and compassion in my heart.

So, what does a well-lived life mean to you?

5 thoughts on “a life well-lived…

  1. Wooww, interesting stuff, a life well lived means that I have put in a valid effort to help someone, without looking for something in return.

  2. In answer number 2, in which the writer says they think a life well-lived is one where ‘you’ lived your life as ‘YOU’ wanted to….etc. I think the more correct word to use would have been “I” rather than ‘YOU’. Since there were no other conditions attached, I take it that they have lived and continue, happily, to live, or would very much like to live, a SELFISH life.

    • Yes, I agree with your statement that “You” should be replaced with “I,” but remember that these are first-year students, influenced by what society/peers/parents tell them what they should do and how they should live. My goal is to assist them in the process of owning their lives vs their lives being dictated to them. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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