The I in L.I.F.E. stands for the individual.
Each one of us has our own life to live. Even if you are a wife, or father, or a CEO of a company, you are responsible for walking your path in this world. There is so much to this idea, but I am going to center this post on how we walk the path because that is one aspect that influences the quality of our life. We may not get to choose the condition of the path before us or have control of the hardships that appear on the path, but we choose how we handle things. Like love, we choose our steps.
We choose how we walk every day. That means what we choose to do during the day, plus the attitude we have with it. I believe that too many people react to life instead of living intentionally. By reacting we forfeit the power of choosing most of our life. We miss creating an awesome life. We accept average. An average relationship. An average job. An average existence. We feel happy every once and awhile. Honestly, by reacting, we live far below our potential. Far below the life we could have.
It is easy to react. But have you noticed how negative our reactions are? How fast a reaction can bring down the vibe of a room? I know it does because I’ve done it. As a father of six, I have just reacted to my kids. I am busy, or have had a bad day at work, but my children just want my attention. As soon as I walk in the door they are bombarding me with questions or demands. When I just react to them it is usually with a frustrated tone. In an instant, the shine in their eyes fade. They usually will say, “Never mind,” and disappear from in front of me.
It takes time to break the habit of reacting. Living intentionally doesn’t remove hurdles or pain in our lives. In fact, living intentionally may be harder to do, but it creates depth to our lives that cannot be experienced if you just react to life. Joy replaces happiness. Meaning replaces feeling like life is mundane. We still feel pain. Our hearts will break, but there is not the feeling of being lost, as if everything has fallen apart. Choice replaces helplessness. Living replaces just surviving.
Even though I share my life with my wife and children, I am responsible for how I walk the path I am on. By choosing my steps I create an amazing journey. Choose your steps, today can be an incredible journey.
Below are a few media recommendations that correlate with this idea.
Way of the Peaceful Warrior is a book that is part autobiography, fiction, and inspirational. Dan Millman takes the reader through his spiritual journey during his time in college. (There is a movie based on the book.)
Start With Why by Simon Sinek is a business book, but you will quickly connect the dots to how aligning your choices with your why changes how you live.
“The American Scholar” speech by Ralph Waldo Emerson is centered on education, but he spends some time discussing the importance of understanding how powerful we are to live our lives.
The Rookie is based on the true story of Jim Morris, who made it to the major leagues as a 35 year-old rookie. The story highlights how difficult but amazing our paths can be.
Rocky is not the boxing movie you remember. The story is about love, how difficult achieving dreams are, and living life on your terms.
“I am Mine” by Pearl Jam deals with the idea that this life is ours.
“Excavate” by Macklemore looks at what is important in life.
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F is for… (you will have to read the next post).