I love life! Life has an energy that lifts you to the skies and burns you like a fire. It leaves you breathless. It is full of surprises, adventures and extreme challenges. Life is beautiful and cruel all at once.
I have experienced the most amazing beauty in my life. I have had blessings in abundance, and in the same breath I have had huge disappointments. I have experienced amazing happiness and the most devastating sadness. I have gained and I have lost, but through it all I have lived!
“Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can’t strike them all by ourselves.” Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate
How do we survive life? One sure way to fuel the fire of life is to live in the moment. The Spanish painter Salvador Dali had a unique way of savoring the moment. When he was bored with life, he would go into his garden. He would pick the most perfect peach. He would hold it in his hand to admire the golden sun warmed skin. He would sniff it and the warm perfume would fill his senses. Then he would take a single bite. His mouth would be filled with the luscious juice. He would savor the moment. He would then spit out the mouthful and throw the peach away. According to him, focusing on the moment, being present and alert with all his senses made it the perfect moment.
Being present in the moments of your life, experiencing it with all your senses will ground you. It will fuel the fire within.
I believe the one way to capture the moment is to have no regrets. In a way regrets are like wanting the peach that you have thrown away. It is gone, but you are filled with remorse. Regret smothers the fire within; it holds you back in the past when you should be moving forward.
Bronnie Ware, a nurse, has recorded the most common regrets of the dying.
The top five regrets of dying patients were:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
We all do things we wish we hadn’t. Use the matches within to strike the fire. Have the courage to live your life true to yourself, stay in touch with friends and family, and have the courage to express your feelings. Be happy. Do it now!
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.” Maya Angelou
In his book “Screw It, Let’s Do It”, Richard Branson tells the story of his grandmother who lived life to the full. At the age of 89 she became the oldest person in Britain to pass the advanced Latin American ballroom dancing exam. She was 90 when she became the oldest person to hit a hole in one at golf. Shortly before her death at age 99 she went on a cruise around the world. She laughed about it when she was left behind in Jamaica wearing only her swimming costume. Her attitude was that you’ve only got one go in life, so you should make the most of it.
Passion is the energy that keeps us going, that keeps us filled with meaning, and happiness, and excitement, and anticipation. Passion is a burning fire which drives you to accomplish anything you set your mind to, and experiencing work and life to the fullest extent possible. Ultimately, passion is the driving force behind success and happiness that allows us all to live better lives.
Your passion is the reason you wake up in the morning, and just the thought of it can keep you up late with excitement. Passion can also be a quieter feeling of satisfaction, knowing you are living your life on your own terms.
“We each have a special something we can get only at a special time of our life. Like a small flame. A careful, fortunate few cherish that flame, nurture it, hold it as a torch to light their way. But once that flame goes out, it’s gone forever.” Haruki Murakami
Cherish your flame, nurture it by slowing down and embracing your own uniqueness. Cultivate your confidence and push past your fears. Change the story of your life and work on an ending with no or little regrets. Focus on fun. ”
Surviving life is for the meek. Living life is for the brave. Do not let the hero in your soul perish. Rest if you must. The world needs people that are alive, not merely surviving. Therefore do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark.