Abundance. Open doors. Opportunity. Optimism. Life is long.
This perspective…opposite of yesterday’s ‘Life is short’ post…is the one that I tend to identify more with. It is a more optimistic look at life, and one that I believe in the most. It’s so very important however, to stay aware…self-aware…and not get delirious or irrational with this. One could employ a ‘life is long’ tenet to their own personal philosophy…but then happily sit around, not making things happen, thinking there’s so much time. This person would wake up at 50 years old feeling the ironic burden of time, not having made progress, and not having taken advantage of all of that opportunity available to them.
On the other hand, the individual who is consistently doing, reaching, working, striving, creating, producing, connecting, networking, providing…amasses this wonderful collection of energy over a short period of time. This person realizes, ‘wow, I squeezed so much out of that month. It felt like a damn year!’ This person may seem lucky to others. But as the philosopher Seneca said, ‘luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.’ I would also add ‘reaching for that opportunity’ to this definition. Lucky moments are floating all around us every day. It’s in abundance. Many of us though, aren’t reaching out and grabbing it. Actually, most of us aren’t aware of it. This comes back to mindset and gratitude and optimism. This person who is constantly progressing and growing knows that life is short, but lives and feels that life is long.
In the piece I wrote last year called #roadto40 (which I referenced in yesterday’s writing), I wrote, ‘…it seems like I’ve already lived a lifetime up to this moment…and it feels great knowing I have another waiting for me.’ I don’t propose that I’m the one leading the way in all of that creating and connecting and networking. I see others doing a lot more than me. I look up to those people. I try to learn from them, and attempt to employ some of their methods. I do feel that this mindset that I’ve subscribed to though, of optimism and positivity has allowed me to feel content and fulfilled with my action and my time.
I’m 38 years old today, and like I said, it feels like I’ve already lived a lifetime! I feel so fortunate for that. I’d say that I live live quite modestly and humbly. But I can honestly look at my life and say, ‘wow, look at what I’ve accomplished as an individual. Look at the freedom and opportunities that I have. Look at the extraordinary people around me. Look at my daughter. Look at my ability to cut and split wood, and heat my home in the winter. I have a home…look at that! Look at my fortunate position to be able to use the internet, and to write everyday on a computer. Look at the public library with all of those beautiful works…all at my fingertips. It’s not just me as an individual. Look at what we’ve accomplished as humans. Look at the choices we have, and ease with which we live (life is difficult, but it’s not as difficult as it used to be). Look at how sophisticated we’ve become.
And I’m not boasting or bragging about my own situation. In comparison to others, I’d say I don’t have that much. But boy do I cherish what I do have.
You have so much time to grow. Be patient. You’ll have multiple chances at relationships and connections and growth. There is so much abundance available to us all. You don’t have to knock him down, to build yourself up. There’s enough for both. There’s no need to feel jealous of her for what she has right now. This all plays out in a very long-term marathon. Be conscious of that marathon. Don’t focus so much on the sprints. It’s ok to lose some of those. In fact, sometimes it makes more sense to lose them in order to win the long game that life is. Winning an argument, insulting others, taking, consuming…all win in the short-term. Being the bigger person, doing the right thing (which is usually more difficult), giving, being kind, building others up, creating, producing, investing in self and others…is what wins the marathon. Go win it.
From the ages of 20-80, is 60 years. Here are some ideas to live a ‘Life is Long’ life:
- run 6 different businesses all for 10 years each
- Learn 12 languages, dedicating 5 years to each
- write 30 books, giving 2 years to each book
- Spend 10 years (20-30) volunteering and working for free and interning and networking and building a foundation…then choose a business to dedicate 50 years to
- Go to a new country every other year for 30 countries visited
- Read 20 books a year for 1200 books
- Learn a new musical instrument every 3 years. 20 instruments.
- A random act of kindness everyday (including a simple complement), touches 21,900 individuals