Being able to choose how we live is such a gift and living in a world where the possibilities are endless is the envy of those who are less fortunate on this planet. Even so, people live halfway, just going through the motions, doing what's expected and allowing life to live them.
It’s not necessarily that they are unhappy with where they’re at, it’s just that they’ve forgone things that they want because they’re seduced into a way of life that doesn’t embrace that. So rather than living life, they do what’s in front of them.
To some extent it’s how we’re raised. People want to fit in and people want to do what’s right. And sometimes it’s just easier to follow directions and go along with what’s been done before. I’ve done it. I’ve lived a regular life; one that fit within the expectations of what most consider a well-adjusted adult lifestyle. I was ruled by social standards, doing things as expected, willing to settle for what I thought was the best I could get.
But one day, I had an epiphany…stemming from events in my life (the details of which are unimportant) and I woke up to the reality that life truly is what we make it. I don’t have to just go along for the ride, I can choose my direction, create my future. And I can do it from nothing, if that’s all I have.
So it’s not without empathy and understanding that I express surprise when I come across those who have had life experiences that bring into focus the brevity and preciousness of life, yet still insist on merely living – without risk, slogging along. Those that have had a wake-up call and continue to deny their dreams – that is a real tragedy.
For many the event that gets them moving towards the life they want is a near death experience – a heart attack, accident or some medical crisis that jerks them into the realty that life is short and should be treated as a gift. For others, it’s the loss of a loved one that hits home the truth of our limited existence. And for some it’s falling in love that triggers the urge to experience life fully without reservation. No matter the specifics, it amazes me that many people who have such experiences say out loud – “Wow, this really changes things. It’s a wake up call for me to really live my life as I want to.” – but remain exactly where they’ve been and continue to forsake desires that would bring meaning and richness to their lives.
A conscious decision to refuse to miss out while you can enjoy the wonders of life. I remember making that decision. And although the decision came after certain events changed my life situation, perhaps it was the decision that pushed me forward - not the events.
Either way, once I woke up, even knowing the fear and risk involved, I couldn’t go back to just going through the motions. No matter how safe it was or how easy it seemed, I couldn’t go back to sleep.
Please do not sleep through your life; do not wait until you’re near death, or you loose something dear, to make the decision to live fully. You don’t want to look back on your life and wish you had.
Stop going through the motions. Instead, make the mistakes and take the chances. And live without the regret of playing it so safe that you miss it all together.