Most people start quoting scriptures when answering that question. Being moral, doing right by others, thanking the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
You know my views on religion, so needless to say I don't subscribe to a lot of what is "preached." But I do think that as we mature, all of us find our own "guiding light."
Here's how I think all of us can live well (inspired in part from a talk by John Haughey):
- Be attentive to your experience -- Every person's experience is unique. It is shaped by their upbringing, their gender, their age, their position in life at that given point, their emotional and physical state, their belief systems. Even though two people may be present in the same moment at the same time, what they experience will be different. Knowing that your experience of everything around you is unique to you can be enlightening, empowering, and humbling.
- Be intelligent -- Don't be too fast to judge. Learn from people that have preceded you and peers that inform you. Teach yourself to learn. To not just absorb and react, but to think and choose well. Engage your mental faculties; stretch your brain.
- Be reasonable -- Don't run with your first hunch. Use your reasoning powers to test your judgment. Your ideas should be able to stand for themselves in social discourse. Think objectively. Rationally. Realistically. Wholistically.
- Be responsible -- For yourself. And be answerable to yourself. At the end of the day you should be able to sleep with a clean conscience. A clear mind.
- Be thoughtful -- We think, therefore we are. Reflect. Analyze. Assess.
Know yourself. The environment you are in. The people you are with.
Believe. In something.
Love your life.
It doesn't matter how long you live. What matters is how well you live your life.
Also posted on my blog.