Living in its broadest term is enjoying and savoring every moment of life. It can also have a very personal meaning, so I asked the question amongst some friends. One response was particularly compelling, she said the definition of Living is finding out what Living is?
To some extent we are all conditioned or are products of our environment. In other words, we tend to live in such a way that is not too dissimilar to our family and friends. However, our upbringing does not necessarily have to define our lives. We can redefine it by unlearning and relearning, which empowers us to do better. I believe it’s our attitudes that determine whether we soar or just survive, as it’s difficult to beat someone who is relentless.
Living is about the adventure, being open to possibilities rather than limit life to what you know, or what you are comfortable with. Adventure is exploration into the unknown including but not limited to your love of places, food, culture, arts, sports, travel and the list is virtually endless. Leading a life outside of your current norm, takes courage to pursue and breathes life into your life because when you take away routine, excitement is usually around the corner.
Tyrese Gibson said ‘most people die before they die’ which resonated the difference between Living and Existing. This quote inspired me to write my own definition of Living:
Living is a deep sense of inner peace in your body, spirit, mind and soul. Living is the freedom to think and be, realising your own individuality and being secure in that. Living leads to a legacy that is built on your passions in life, the fire in your soul that motivates you to get up in the morning. Living is utilising your gifts and talents to fulfil a purpose to change the world.
A majority of the Living will only go through the notions of Living, which consist of a typical cycle of work, play and rest. When you can reduce life into a matter of words, it does prompt the question as to how much Living are you actually doing? Robin Sharma said ‘Don’t live the same 75 years and call it a life.’ This struck a chord with me because broadly speaking this seems to be the realities of life, with very few who are living out their dreams.
Life is hard at the best of times and it’s difficult to remain hopeful for a better future. I think that if you look for the good in everyday, you will be one step closer to finding your own meaning in life. Everything in life is relative to some degree, a great example is how some can turn their adversities into aspiration to make a difference affecting change.
Your perception to life is either the making of you or the slow death of you. I have read many stories that makes me say this with real conviction because we all have problems, nobody is immune to this despite how it might appear. Struggles can propel or paralyses the human mind to give up or never give up. In the words of Oscar Wilde, ‘To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.
For example, motivational speaker named Nick Vujicic overcame disability and depression and used his story to encourage others to live life to the fullest each day. The most inspiring part is that he has turned the limits in his life to free himself through his pursue of purpose. The irony is that he lives a much fuller life than most physically- able bodies.
Stay humble and hungry to know better because in the words of Mayo Angelou, ‘When you know better, you do better.’
My life motto is we should never confine our thinking and being within our physical space. Opening up our hearts, leads to us opening up our lives into endless possibilities. Stay curious and find a source of life that is truly safe, dependable for who you are.
I draw this to a close by sharing three key pieces of practical advice:
Widen your horizons through the application of new information that takes you to the next level, as the saying goes the worst thing in life is not failure, its staying in the same place year in year out.
What are you truly passionate about and what are your strengths? This combination may lead to an epiphany to truly live out your purpose through your gifts and talents.
Change rarely happens overnight, give yourself time to adjust to whatever the goal is. Never underestimate small steps because over time it adds up to giant leaps.
I hope you will be inspired by this in some shape or form in your own pursuit of Living. Read widely and make your own path, life is about the journey and not just the destination. In a world that is characterised by change, it’s impossible to know everything regardless of what your ego may tell you.