Tag Archives: living fully

survive or thrive

“Only you can decide how far you get to travel in life. Therefore, you definitely owe it to your future self to be courageous and ambitious enough to strive and thrive without limitations.”
Edmond Mbiaka

Take time to hit the pause button on your life.

How did you do today?   Did you just survive the chaos of the day?  What was it like?  How does it feel to be spending your time and energy only to just survive the day?  It doesn’t feel so good does.  It can feel draining.  It can be filled with anxiety, stress and turmoil.   A lot of people are just surviving the day.   Careers go sour when the focus is on just surviving.  If I get through today then I’ll be OK.

Are you one of those who are just surviving the day?   Do you find it hard to get out of bed in the morning?  Do you feel drained and used up by the end of the day?  Do you believe what you do matters?   Does your boss believe you matter?  When was the last time you were complemented on your work?  How many hours are you being asked to work?  How much time do you have off?

What does it mean to thrive?   Araianna Huffington wrote, “Nothing succeeds like excess.”  We live in a world where “more” and “having more”  drives us to be doing more, working more hours, earning more money, filling the day with more activity.  At the end of the day – there is nothing left – there is no more.  Day after day of pushing yourself to the limits doesn’t result in a better life, it results in a battered life.  Thriving isn’t about just surviving the day-to-day race.  Thriving is about living a rich life, and by rich meaning a life that includes time to relax and find peace.  A thriving life is one that has time, enough time for family, friends, personal growth, contribution and time for you.  Thriving means that you do have time and you don’t feel rushed and you don’t feel that the day has to be absolutely packed with activity.

Part of the reason to completely fill each day with activity is because everyone else is doing that, filling their life with stuff.   Eating becomes a quick stop at a fast food restaurant and the food is consumed as you drive to the next event.   Sleep can be reduced to just a few hours, maybe 4 or 5.  It is no wonder people are totally exhausted much of the time.

What would it take for you to thrive every day?   What would you want to change to feel like every day mattered more than yesterday?   What can you take out of your day that will give you time to relax and recover?

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living in the neutral zone

“There are no conditions to which a man may not become accustomed, particularly if he sees that they are accepted by those about him.”
― Leo Tolstoy

Have you spent any time examining where you are in your life?  What is your life like?  Is it exciting, rewarding and joy filled?   What is your life filled with?  Have you just stopped for a moment to ask yourself “What is my life like?”

If you are just making ends meet and finding your day consumed with time-consuming activities that are not rewarding then you may be living in the neutral zone.  You have the things that society says you should have.  Those things require a drip feed  of your monthly income.   The phone, TV, house, food, insurance, car, and a myriad of other expenses raid your bank account each month.  You do what you can do but at the end of the day it feels neutral.  It’s not bad and it’s not good, it just is what life is.   It’s not what you thought it would be like and at the same time it is what everyone else does, so it must be right.

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Are you stuck in the neutral zone?

Some people are, many people are and life continues. Life becomes a treadmill to achieve which turns out to be a treadmill of advancing materialism and things. At some point people wonder if the walk on the treadmill of life has much meaning.

If you’re just getting by and are being consumed with the demands of life you might be in the neutral zone.   It could be better.

 

nothing works until you do

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”
― Eric Roth

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People lament the fact that organizations don’t change in the right way.  Personal growth, professional growth, individual habits, weight loss, a better outlook on life, career, or relationships don’t change until you decide you want them to change.   All to often we wait for something else to change in the world to make us feel better.  It is really the other way around.  We have to change to feel better in the world.

There is nothing that will satisfy you or fill you up with happiness or joy unless you are open to letting new things into your life.   It means you may need to make changes in your life in order to experience life the way you would like to experience it.   Want a better career than you have to be the person that is capable of having that better career.

If you are wondering what will make you happy then find out how to make other people happy.  You grow into happiness, happiness doesn’t appear and happen to you, you have to be open to happiness.

It all starts with a change of mindset, a new state of mind.  The question is what will it take for you to make the changes to get more out of your life.   It starts with a goal, your goal, for something better in your life.

Making your life better doesn’t start with something else change it starts with your change, your desire to make a change.   It all starts when you decide that you want to make a change.   There is no treatment, no magic bullet, no amount of “others” asking you to make a change that will cause a change to happen “in” you.   It is a step that you have to make.  It is that first act of courage that says, “I want to make my life better.”    What will it take for you to take a step forward in your life today?

What’s missing?

“I had my chance.’ He said it, retiring from a lifetime of wanting. ‘I had my chance, and sometimes in life, there are no second chances. You look at what you have, not what you miss, and you move forward.”
Jamie Ford, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

What is missing in your life?

You do have a plan on how you want your life to unfold. You have a list of things that you want to do and you have started accomplishing those things. You have a career that is exciting and vibrant. You have the friends you have always wanted to have close by. You are continuing to develop your skills and talents. Your relationships are working well. Your fitness and health are great.

What is missing then?

what would you do?

“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life.  But there was always some obstacle in the way.  Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid.  Then life would begin.  At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. ”  Fr. Alfred D’Souza

Today someone asked me this question, “What if you only had 24 hours left to live, what would you do?”   It is an interesting question to ponder.    What would I do if I knew I only had 24 hours left.    One person answered the question with, “I’d call all my friends that I haven’t talked to for a long time.”    Now you could imagine how surprised they would be if you could actually call all of them.  “Hey, I’ve got 24 hours, 12 hours, 10  hours, 4 hours, 2 hours, 1 hour left …”, what do you think they would say?

Can you imagine what your last 24 hours could be like?   Would you want to know 24 hours in advance?

For the people who would say, “I’d call all my friends”, wouldn’t it make more sense to call them today because we really don’t know when our last 24 hours will be.   Why not contact them today?   Another person responded with, “I don’t want to talk to them until it is my last 24 hours.”, it seemed like an unusual reply.

Every day is potentially our last day.   For many people life will begin tomorrow.  I’ll put off playing it big.  I’ll put off learning something new.  I’ll put off improving a relationship.  I’ll put off making a difference.   What are you putting off until tomorrow?

That is what is surprising about the question is that we are holding back on life until tomorrow believing that it will be better then and we wait and wait and wait and pretty soon, it really is the last day and there is no more tomorrow to start living your life.

Years ago I talked to people who said, “I wish I could have done that, but now I am too old.”   If you have a dream start moving towards it today because that tomorrow that you are hoping  will come when you are ready isn’t going to come to you, you have to go to it today.

What career are you putting off until tomorrow?

What relationship are you waiting to fix tomorrow?

What new class are you going to take tomorrow?

When do you really want to start living your life?  Tomorrow?

Live each day as your last day.  That doesn’t mean spending money and having a big party everyday.  It does mean putting your dreams into action.  It means creating powerful meaningful goals and going after them because that is what will produce value.  Cherish your relationships and if you don’t have any, create some.

What do you dream of doing?   What is stopping you from living that dream?

Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways.  ~Stephen Vincent Benét

vita activa

‘Vita activa’, a life of action.  Living a life of resolve always pushing forward with vigor and intention is what some people do without thinking about.   For others living a full life takes energy that they aren’t willing to commit and as a result life seems to sail by as they ask themselves, “Why is life passing me by?”

For some the focus on action leaves little time to see the world, to see themselves or anyone else and as a result the important things in life, the meaning in life, slips away.

Living at the extremes means something is usually given up.   Living the life of constant action might remove the meaning of life.   A life filled with contemplation might provide a profound sense of meaning yet without action there is little to show.

Living in ‘vita activa’ might satisfy the outer purpose yet does little to satisfy the inner purpose, the meaning behind the doing.   

What is your life like right now?   What is your life filled with?

The doldrums


“All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.”

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

The doldrums is a region in between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans where the winds can be calm or non-existent for extended periods of time.

Imagine a small sailboat sitting in the silent calm waters of the doldrums with just one person on board, you. The boat is going nowhere but at the moment you are happy just where you are. There is enough food, its calm, its warm, its peaceful and relaxing. At night the air is warm and the sky is filled with the pin pricks of bright light. An occasional flash of intense colors blasts across the sky and it all seems so good. There is no tension right now.

The days pass by and still there seems to be enough for now. The idea of movement and the thought of storms and waves are just but a distant memory.

The problem with the picture is just that there is no tension to move forward.

Diane Ackerman writes, “I don’t want to come to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.”

What would get you out of the doldrums?