“May you live every day of your life.”
I just received an email from a young reader named Diane that nearly brought me to tears. The opening lines of her email read: “I’m dying of Leukemia at age 18. I was sent home from the hospital for my final few weeks 156 days ago. But now I’m back at the hospital being treated again, because my doctors now believe there is hope.”
I pray a miracle continues to work on Diane’s behalf, and I’m also selfishly grateful for the reminder she has given me. Our lives are fleeting, and the best day to fight for the right to live a full life is today. For those of us lucky enough to have our health, this means doing something amazing today. And by “amazing,” I mean taking small, positive steps forward on a purposeful path.
Because everything you want to do takes daily practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it’s the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, mental and physical, from which comes the sense of achievement, clarity of one’s meaning, and a satisfaction of the inner spirit. One becomes, in some way, an athlete of Life itself. And practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, faith, or desire. It’s the only means of lifelong fulfillment.
As Mae West so profoundly said, “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
And you know you’re on the right track when you can repeat each of the following headlines to yourself, honestly. (And if you can’t, this short list gives you something positive to work on.)
- I have kept an open mind to new ideas and experiences. – As they say, a ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for. Accepting some level of risk in life is important. You cannot be both close-minded and wise. You have to open up to the unknown. Close-minded people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it’s the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world that occurs when we’re afraid it will hurt us or let us down. Cynics always say “no.” Do the opposite. Saying “yes” begins things. Saying “yes” is how things grow. Saying “yes” leads to [Read more…]