The other night I was sitting on my porch with friends, enjoying some music, the night sky and the cooler air of the evening. One of my buddies was playing his new guitar (a Taylor for those of you that play) along with the groups we were listening to, CandleBox and Staind to name a few.
We were talking about all sorts of subjects, the nature of reality in terms of physics, why Guinness has one of the lowest calorie and carbohydrate counts compared to other beer (I know I was shocked too!), where inspiration comes from to create the music we were listening to and many other subjects. It was a great night!
This brought me to a subject that I have been passionate about for quite awhile. That life is a journey that only ends when we go on to wherever it ends. Because it is a journey with really only one ending, we should enjoy every moment we have on this earth. The most fulfilled successful people I know are the ones that realize this and actively live their lives to go beyond just scratching the surface of reality.
What the heck do I mean by that? Most of you, who read my blog, work hard to achieve success for yourselves and your families. However, too often we measure success in terms of the money we earn and goals we achieve (they should be called milestones). We all have moments where our focus to reach those professional milestones blind us to actively living in the moment.
“Ok, He’s really gone off the deep end”, I hear you saying… perhaps that’s true but even some of the most respected physicists in the world believe this to be more than just new age mumbo jumbo. If you haven’t seen “What the ‘Bleep’ Do We Know” run out and rent it—it will blow your mind! My takeaway on this is that reality is much more interesting when we actively, through finding and engaging in our own passions, recognizing and appreciating the blessings we have every day and engaging with the world around us, participate in reality as opposed to just observing it… Getting into the action is a helluva lot more fun!
Actively living is watching our kids and loved ones reach their own milestones, pursuing passions that re-center us, focusing on completing whatever we are doing at the moment without distraction (this is hard!) and comtemplating and appreciating what is happening right in front of us. In fact, some theories suggest (and I’m not talking about new age stuff, I’m talking about quantum mechanics, physics and the nature of reality) that our brains actively participate in creating our own reality.
We make up a lot of excuses to not do the above… “It’s too hard to stay positive and in the moment—I have to have goals to shoot for” “I don’t have time right now, maybe when I retire”. “I just don’t feel successful right now—when I achieve goals X,Y and Z then I will stop and do some of that fun stuff.” These are just some of the things we all tell ourselves from time to time. And these kind of thoughts can stop us from taking action.
So what can we do to feel more fulfilled now? Here are some of the best ways I know how to overcome thoughts like those above and get us back into reality… the one we all deserve:
- Read some books on success, philosophy and achieving milestones. One of my favorites lately is the Four-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. It like many others on the subject, might help re-orient what you view success is, and how you might more easily and actively experience it.
- Take action to find something your passionate about and do it. It could be flying an airplane, knitting (one of family members has gone on multi week knitting vacations to Scotland!), sailing, what have you. The point is find that shrine, passion, hobby, whatever you want to call it and do it! You will feel so much better. If you think you can’t, read the book above… it will help you get there sooner!
- Actively take stock of your blessings. These are all around us all the time. Today we are bombarded with all sorts of reasons why times are tough—and they are. Unfortunately, this only serves to distract us from the positives we have. The world today, as well as history is replete with examples of how much worse reality can get! Take time to look around and you will find it much easier to change your perspective.
- Help someone. It’s as simple as that. I don’t care how you help someone, whether it’s advice, community service, teaching or just being courteous to others even when they don’t deserve it. When we help others, we feel better about ourselves.
- Lastly, if you are reading this and you don’t feel like you are reaching your potential, take a step towards changing your direction. ANY STEP!! Nothing is wasted. Quite often we do not take action because we feel any steps we take will not substantially change our situation now. Those that enjoy a more fulfilling successful life understand that just the act of taking those steps, make us much happier at the end of the day. Those who don’t often feel stuck and depressed, powerless to change their lives. My mother who was an extremely successful attorney and person once told me that “God helps those who help themselves”.
The five steps above are easy to take action on right now—ALL FIVE! How often do you read something like this where you can do all of the suggestions after reading them with very little effort? And that’s key to changing direction, small steps everyday. Well enough pontificating—take action and actively participate in your own reality. I guarantee you will find life much more satisfying right now. After all, now is the only thing that exists, or is it?