If you are a regular reader of my messages, you will notice that I think a lot about life and I am constantly asking a lot of questions from life. I admit, I am a student of life.
My years of interacting with thousands of people in gyms, including seven years when I owned my own gym, I have learned a lot about life from other people’s experiences(OPE’s) and stories.
A question I have always asked is what does it mean to live your life, in particular – to live a life of significance? I feel that this is one of the most important aspects of a life well lived. What do you think? I think if I remember correctly, it was the writer Henry Thoreau that said something to the effect that he was afraid of coming to the end of life and finding that he had NOT LIVED.
I think Henry meant, coming to the end of your life and realising that you have not lived a life of significance. That was a genuine fear of his. Now, I am tempted to say that I am not genuinely afraid about anything – but that is not true. One of my main fears is insignificance. I am afraid, to put it simply, of living a life that does not matter. I admit I am afraid of leaving the world exactly as I entered and found it, no different for my having been here.
To not live a life of significance.
What about you? Is this one of your fears? Have you had a chance to think about this question in your journey through life so far?
From my observations of life so far, I have noticed that a lot of people think that “having lived” means experiencing a lot of adventures or a lot of fun and experiences or indeed – acquiring a lot of money. I think otherwise. I think these peoples’ perception of what it means to ‘have lived’ is slightly distorted and are missing the true significance of what it entails in my eyes.
Along with spending about eight years in my early youth as a Catholic altar boy, assisting priests in church masses and bible readings, I’ve spent countless hours of listening to hundreds of stories through OPE’s, and am also a keen observer of life. I believe, this common modern-day definition of living has nothing to do with ‘having lived.’ The usual things people seek to guarantee importance in their lives – typically money, fame, power – just don’t last.
Money, fame and power don’t work very well and yet, generation after generation are still blinded and brainwashed to believe that they are the answer. History is littered with countless examples that it is a lie, short-term and inauthentic.
These false drivers – money, fame and power all come to an end. Often, during the person’s own life, and certainly thereafter.
“So, how do you live a life of significance?” you may be thinking.
Instead of the individual’s endless pursuit of more money, fame and power, I believe living a life of significance comes with filling your life with things that last forever.
“And what are these things that last forever?” you may now be asking.
Well, these things that last forever are essentially VALUES. Yep, values! And what is the greatest value of all? Love! Put simply, you need to fill your life with love and lots of it! Love casts out all fears.
What is love? At this stage in your life, you would highly likely have some idea of what it is. Well, one definition is that it is an emotional attachment to the good things of life. So, fall in love with traits such as honesty, integrity, justice, goodwill, forgiveness, truth, grace and yes – success.
I think ultimately, you continue to live in hope – in the joyous expectancy of the best, and invariably the best will come to you. Through God’s blessing.
It follows that to live a life of significance, you need to fill your life as much as possible with these values, attitudes and actions. So, start with trying to make someone else’s life a little better, using the God-given talents and strengths you have been given. This is a great start to significant living, as you have done something that lasts forever – in that person’s (his or her) heart.
Something that is eternal. A gift from you.
That impact you had on that individual or individuals is eternal because people are the only part of this world that will last forever …
As we are constantly reminded daily by media, today’s modern world is filled with many threats – many imagined, some real – threats to our sense of security and safety. Today, more than ever before, you need to be in the right relationship with God. This is the ultimate security, the only true safety as he is the beginning and the end – God, as you know is the perfect giver of love.
If you are a Christian you will believe that God was there before the beginning and he has no end. He has known our fears and sufferings.
Life plays no favourites. God is life, and this life-principle is flowing through you at this moment, as you read and think upon these words. Believe that through him, you will be set free…. to live a life of significance.
Before I go, remember that you owe nothing to anyone in this world except love. In it’s simplest form, love is basically wishing for everyone what you wish for yourself – health, happiness and success (in that order) and all the blessings of life.
This is my wish for you, your family and your friends.
All the best in your choice of how to live your one life.
Until next time,