Henry James, the American novelist said, “Live all you can, it is a mistake not to.” It seems most of the regrets of life come at the end when there is little time left to “live large.” If your life is filled with “should have’s, would have’s, might have’s, and could have’s,” maybe it is time to re-evaluate your current position in life. The beauty of life is this; everyone can live large!
Where do you start? How can you start living life to the fullest? It starts with a simple evaluation. Where are you now and where do you want to be? Think of it as a starting line in a race and a finish line. The further away the finish line, the more planning and patience necessary to reach our dreams, to live life to the fullest! Unfortunately, we often wake up in the morning with no plan and little awareness of anything other than “getting through the day.” Is it any wonder that most people are only “breaking even” each day?
Try this tonight, write out two things that will help you reach a dream and begin living large. Once you have written these two things down, decide the actions you will have to take tomorrow to get closer to the life you want. An example would be if you wanted to complete your college education. Two “steps” you might take tomorrow would be to go online, fill out an application for admission and call an academic counselor to discuss options such as night school or weekend programs. “But Ken, I have kids, a job, and I am a single parent?” Well, you are just going to have to work a little harder than the average person, but then, you are not average if you have the courage and are responsible enough to handle all these important duties! The interesting thing is just by taking two action steps it starts a chain reaction. If you will continue two actions every day, just two, amazing things can happen!
Accomplishing anything in this world is really all about the patience and persistence to take small actions on a regular basis that lead to “large” results! Getting excited yet? I often tell my coaching clients life is a “to do” list. Unfortunately, most people’s “to do” list is filled with “stuff” and not goal related activities that lead to our greatest dreams. “Stuff” is the things we feel like we have to do. Finishing reports, returning phone calls, solving crisis situations and meetings are all things we have to do daily, but most do not help us reach our personal goals. When we add just two things to that list that are focused on reaching dreams, the list suddenly takes on a new life, almost an excitement!
Is the timing not right? I often hear this. “When I finish a certain report or when the kids graduate or when I get that promotion, then I’ll focus on my dreams!” Henry James said, “The right time is any time that one is still so lucky as to have.” James meant the right time is now when you still have time, when you still have this day, not tomorrow, not next week, next month or next year, right now! Excuses are things we create to avoid failure. Some excuses are legitimate in that they are real and exist, but the successful people in life understand this and take action regardless.
Life rewards us in direct proportion to our contributions. Make no contributions to your dreams and there is no reward. Your life is a bank account and we have the opportunity every day to make deposits and withdrawals. Deposits are every positive action we take and withdrawals are “doing nothing,” letting the world pass us by until one day we wake up and wonder, “where did the time go?” Do not let this be you. Live to win!