My Thursday night ritual involves rolling the trash to the curb for the Friday morning pick up. Walking back to the house this week I begin feeling irritated, I stop walking and ask myself a simple question, “why am I doing this?”
This short little question packs a mighty punch when we are willing to stop long enough to dig down and think about it, I mean really think about it.
Why am I living the life I am living? If I was to die tomorrow, would I have regrets about how I chose to spend my time on this earth?
I’ll go first. I would.
If I were told I had six months to live, I would change what I’m doing instantly. Here is a random thought, I may not be alive in six months, or six weeks or six days. None of us knows the answer to this time frame, but it’s coming sooner than we think, we should act like it.
Here are 3 reasons why many of us continue to wear our concrete shoes. We willingly walk over and slip our feet into these comfortable shoes of stagnation and lace them up for another 24hrs that will never be available to us again.
Life has a rhythm and if I don’t pay attention it will rock me to sleep. Looking around, it’s pretty obvious that a lot of us are fast asleep in the rhythm of the day-to-day.
Routine, boredom and death are like carpool buddies; they ride together everywhere. My goal is to make sure I’m not along for that ride.
Questioning why I’m doing the things I choose to do is the first step towards waking up. Consciously or subconsciously, I‘m exactly in life where my choices and decisions have led me.
Society, family, and tradition. There’s an imposed expectation of what is normal. Go to school, get good grades so you can get a good job and work the next 40-50 years so you can then retire enjoying the fruits of your sacrifice.
This formula doesn’t work anymore. More importantly, I have no desire to bury my head in the sand and endure so I can hopefully enjoy my life at the end of a rainbow that doesn’t exist.
Our families are an obligation, in a good way, no doubt about it. The question to ask is what do we want to teach them?
Pursuing a passionate life can only be taught by example. Do what I say, not what I do is hollow and our kids see the emptiness of the words.
Life will always have challenges and frustrations. Easy isn’t the goal, fulfilled is. I want to live a life that inspires myself and others, making sure I’m not blindly building a list of regrets that I’ll someday have to read as my days come to a close.
Change is scary, the fear of the unknown can easily convince us to stay in situations we dislike, even when we know they are bad for us.
- What will happen if I quit my job?
- What will happen if I can’t pay the cable bill on time?
- What will my friends and neighbors think?
- Will my wife stick around for this ride?
- What if I fail?
- What if I go broke?
In a nutshell, who gives a shit.
If I’m on my deathbed and hear someone say, “he always paid the gas bill on time, like clockwork” I’ll know I wasted the greatest gift I was ever given, Life.
Fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real
With the internet and today’s technology, there are many opportunities to live differently, to live with intention doing the thing that makes you come alive.
I’ve never had to resort to living under a bridge; chances are you haven’t either. No matter what happens, we’ll figure out ways to make anything work and not end up as destitute as our mind likes to imagine.
Are you alive?
All of us have different desires and passions. The question is, are you pursuing yours, or has routine, obligation and fear lulled you to sleep?
Our families, our communities and our souls need us to be alive. To live on the edge, feel fear every day and push through to make the short time we are living on this earth impactful.
I wish I had a simple step by step cheat sheet for getting this done, I don’t.
I’m working through this right now as I write. I don’t have it all figured out, and I am scared of the unknown. But I do know I’m asking the right questions, and I’m heading in the right direction.
The only required ingredient I see to living a life of meaning is love. Building a life on the foundation of doing good for others is a sure fire way to know that we won’t be holding that list of regrets at the end.
This is an adventure worth taking, I hope you will join me.
This Week’s Podcast
Listen in as Mitch Joel from Six Pixels of Separation talks with author Chris Guillebeau about living life differently than most and specifically about Chris’s book The Happiness of Pursuit: Find the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life. I think you will like it.
For more info on Mitch Joel and his podcast visit his Six Pixels iTunes page. Be sure to check out other episodes and subscribe to the Podcast if you connect with him. Also, make sure to leave a rating and a comment in iTunes, so Mitch feels the love.