How often have we heard the cliche “life’s too short”... and then after smiling and wholeheartedly agreeing we simply carry on ‘just surviving’ or coasting through life as if we have all the time in the world to leave our mark. We’ve all had those experiences – the tragic events or near misses – that really cause us to take stock of our life and come out determined that we are going to make the most of our short time here – after all it can be gone in the blink of an eye. And yet why is it that so many of us fail to make that definitive change to live the life we really want?
Is it simple complacency – does it just take to much effort to live a life on purpose? We all know how much impetus it takes to create a significant change. After all isn’t it just easier to ‘go with the flow’ and carry on as we are? Its not a bad life… just perhaps not a life that excites us and makes us proud of the legacy we are creating.
Far out – how did we get to that place?!!! Can you imagine listening to one of your children express their hopes and dreams of a life where they just get by – they can’t really say that they’re happy and full of joy but they’re certainly not miserable either – seriously is that the life you hope for your children?! Can you imagine a child even coming up with that sort of a life dream?! Then how is it that we are so quick to lose our childhood optimism and dreams of a bright and shiny future – to become, if not content, then certainly accepting of a ‘status quo’ life.
I don’t know if it is complacency so much as fear that holds us back from making those decisions to start pursuing and creating a life that we would actually love (whatever that may be!). Fear of standing out from the crowd, fear of being ridiculed, fear of being totally happy when so many are unhappy or anxious. I think the incredibly wise Marianne Williams said it best, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do…. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
So my question for you today is which is more scary:
- To live a life just getting by, never actually reaching your potential OR to choose to create a life where you allow your gifts and passions to make a difference in this world;
- To not ‘rock the boat’ and follow a path not necessarily chosen by you OR to challenge yourself to leave the ‘safe harbour of the known’ and venture out on a path that excites and fulfils you
- To let go of those dreams we had when we were younger of the life we wanted to create (after all now we are older and ‘wiser’?!) OR to be brave enough to say I still have time to create those opportunities
We only have one life to lead and so scary as it may be to choose a path that allows our gifts to shine for ourselves and for others, for me the alternative is far more scary! After all, it will be gone in the blink of an eye and there is only this one chance to lead an extraordinary life… for you, for your family and for the world!