Wasting, Existing or Thriving

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Have you ever had this opening remark directed at you? It’s a stunning statement yet for some people, it may apply or have applied. It’s certainly not complimentary and it could be a life changer, if accurate and intended. But let’s shift from wasting time and life.

Enter existing. Too often we go through life on autopilot, going through the motions and having each day pass like the one before. That’s okay, and comfortable for some (many?), until you’ve gone through another year without having done anything, without having really lived life. Existing can be synonymous with an endless status quo, idyllic, anchored, indifferent, stale, slogging away.

Simply existing is really kind of sad. Dodo kind of sad. While penguins and ostriches are flightless, penguins can swim and an ostrich can run fast. The dodo simply became extinct when a predator was introduced. While we cannot fly, most of us can do things that are exciting, invigorating, like swimming or running.

Have you watched your kids go off to college, only to realize you missed their childhoods? Time wasted? Sure we have jobs, chores and others things we don’t necessarily enjoy, but a large part of living is focusing on the enjoyable; actively engaging. It has been proven that if you focus on that which makes you miserable, you’re not going to live fully. And many will acknowledge that simply existing can be miserable. Still, if existing is to what you aspire, then who is anyone else to encourage you otherwise?

But if you want to truly live life, to thrive, to enjoy it to the fullest, instead of barely scraping by and only living a life of existence, then you need to find ways to break free from a mundane existence and embrace life. Truly living involves spending time doing things that inspire you. Even if you only sing briefly in the shower, if that’s what you truly love to do, enjoy yourself and live it. You don’t need a recording contract or groupies, simply enjoy the experience.

If you’d like a couple of reminders for how to thrive, here are four:

  1. Learn to be 100% responsible for your life. Admit/own your ‘mistakes’ (aka learning opportunities) and learn from them. Trust that something better will happen because of them and thus, allow you to live both more aware and at choice.
  2. Thriving is important because you are a person of great value. You are worthy of the best life has to offer.
  3. Take chances. We often live our lives too cautiously, concerned about what might go wrong. Be bold. Invite some risk. Quit your job and start your own business (plan it out first!). Ask out that person to whom you’ve been attracted to for some time. What have you got to lose?
  4. And this one might get me in trouble… Turn off the TV. How many hours do you waste (see, we’ve come full circle to waste) in front of that screen? Lessen your attraction (addiction?) to it and find other things to do, things that will stretch or challenge you. Consider actions that will nourish your thriving.

Aligning with Truth

Yes, sometimes the truth is painful.

Yes, sometimes the truth is painful.

        “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”

~Henry David Thoreau

It wasn’t long ago that I learned the definition of a maxim. Today, I create and communicate them with regularity. It’s interesting to watch people when they’re espoused. Some greet them with open arms as if to say, oh, that is so me. Others roll their eyes, mumbling something about another Facebook-like platitude.

Undaunted, I’m sharing a few that I believe align with living a life that embraces and expresses your potential. So stay with me.

No matter how we think or feel, there are some fundamental truths operating in our lives. Most experiences come from these truths. Which of the following truths explain your experiences and how can they change your experiences?

  • You are really doing the best you can with what you know at this time. Regretting the past or fearing the future only keeps you from doing what is possible now.
  • You know what is right and best for you. You just don’t always act on that knowledge because you trust the voices outside of you more than you trust the voice inside – yours.
  • You teach people how to treat you. There are no mysteries in how others treat you; you have given them permission to honor or dishonor you.

  • Your life is happening in the present moment. This moment is the only point at which you can make a decision and take an action. At any time you have the power to decide or act differently than you did before without consideration to past decisions or actions.
  • What matters most is what you give to others and the world from your gifts. You have been given priceless gifts to share with others to enhance their lives and increase joy in the world. This personifies being in service to others.
  • The life you are living is the one you have chosen. No blaming, no excuses, no explanations can change that. If you are unhappy with your life, choose a different one and choose it now. Happiness is nothing more than satisfaction and contentment. Unhappiness is nothing more than the motivation to choose differently.

  • You are not your body, your feelings or your relationships. They are just messages about what is happening inside of you. Don’t get the messenger (you) confused with the messages about who you are being.
  • You have a magnificent potential with the gifts, opportunities, and resources to fully live that potential. It’s up to you to know your potential and choose what honors and expresses it. This includes eliminating situations and relationships that don’t honor or allow you to express your potential.

How well are you aligned? Do you need an adjustment?