When we can step away from;
- the circle of chaos, confusion and competition that often circumscribes our daily activity, we can ask ourselves the following question, “Am I truly living or merely existing?”
The anchors of memory are subject to chronological experience – they can offer perspective and context and most important, choice. To live demands we appreciate time and fully invest in the present.
Life is to enjoy – find a way or make a way to create and experience happiness. Each of us has an opportunity to get as much out of the present as possible, but first, we must know that the ephemeral span of life is never going to show up at the bargaining table. We can’t out-run death, but we can embrace the pursuit of our individual right to live our best possible life.
Make a choice to engage;
- today and cherish the present. Pour yourself into your activities, give it all you got, and you may never regret the passing of time. Nothing worthy of your efforts will be accomplished without the total surrender to the effort and the unwavering and insatiable pursuit of its requirements.
It’s not the years in our life, it’s the life in our years;
- know the difference between living and existing. I think we spend most of our time caught in the chronological gears of existence, lost on the wheel of time, rarely immersed in the moment – infrequently making the time, if ever, to just live, be and become.
We often seek the rote, the safe, the pleasures that distract, but we rarely take time to truly live. In the movie “Braveheart”, the protagonist William Wallace, at the end of his life, had a great quote, “Every man dies, not every man truly lives.” How true!
We often abuse time – that precious gift that we can’t get back. It’s time to stop the abuse, and value the use of this precious resource!
We abuse time in the following way:
- We procrastinate – we think we’ll do tomorrow what we put off today. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. Ben Franklin might have something to say about this… I think he said, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” That’s why Ben ended up on a $100 bill – he was a smart man!
- We neglect our primary responsibility. We have a responsibility to look inside and follow the sages, “Know thyself.” When we learn who we are at our core, we have an obligation to be true to our nature. Until we find out who we are, we’re just wasting time doing things that may have a material benefit, but will most often lack the deep internal satisfaction that accompanies doing what we love.
- We choose the comfort of rote activity over those actions which require competence, diligence and more effort. Doing the same thing every day often generates the same result up until it doesn’t, and then we regress ever so slightly, imperceptibly into the void of unremarkable and redundant. Frankly, doing the same thing every day would bore the heck out of me, but, hey, that’s just me!
- We choose not to risk. We think we can be safe, we think we don’t have to, we think that things will just happen for us if we sit still. Wrong, wrong, wrong! We have to take risks. To buy a lottery ticket, we have to open the door, and step outside. (Unless we send someone else to do our bidding and buying – and that is a subject of sloth that I am unwilling to address!) So, at some point, even if we’re counting on luck… we still have to take a risk!
- We delay that “first step” (How many times have you seen people defer or push things off until tomorrow? I once read a sign in a bar that read “free beer tomorrow.” There was never free beer.)
- We choose distraction over discovery – we’re stuck on our iPhones or computers; we ignore the need to reflect inward to discover who we are at our core. We marginalize ourselves by multitasking, never really being present for our loved ones, our business associates, our clients, friends and most importantly, the person in our mirror.
- We don’t have a direction, a destination or the determination to find the former and follow it to the latter.
Each of us are allotted the same amount of hours in a day, 24. How we use the minutes and hours that comprise a day will largely determine our success and happiness.
Be aware of those passing moments and minutes that you will never recoup. If awareness is accompanied by the obligation to act, then choose to use your time in the following way:
- Know your purpose. Play possibilities forward. Anticipate, assess, think and do! Start now by turning deliberate thought into decisive action. “Purpose” is an overused term. We search for it to find meaning for what we do and why we do it. It’s kind of like the Holy Grail of achievement. The Holy Grail is a good story, but the search for it was fruitless. Searching for your purpose won’t reveal it. When you do what you enjoy and feel the satisfaction of achievement, you’re most likely on the road to fulfilling your purpose. When you contribute to the welfare of others through teaching, mentoring and collaborating, and find fulfillment in the process and the product, you’re probably on the path of purpose! Stop looking for it; just keep moving forward! It will find you.
- Live congruent with your why. By the way, as you’re on that path of purpose, know that its pursuit has nothing to do with idle chatter and your involvement in anything or anyone that distracts or detracts you from living your life in your way.
- Be present – try to live in the now. The past is a condition that has either made us better or bitter – it is an object lesson that enables or it is a whipping post that disables. Escape is forward into the now – the future is an illusion, it does not exist. All we have is the moment!
- Make the moments count. The episodes in life that last so many years in memory are often measured in those fleeting moments that we cherish. Be present, be engaged, be aware and be thankful for the opportunity to live now!