Are You Living a Full Life?

Too many of us live lives of quiet desperation, too scared to breathe, too timid to upset anyone, confined to our own, self-made prison cell, musty with the odor of dead dreams and disappointments, discarded ideals and sacrificed goals. Then we get old and bitter and we scowl at happy people, begrudge them their success, albeit hard earned, and stoop low under the burden of regret and self-recrimination. Sir Walter Scott said, "One crowded hour of glorious life is worth an age without a name." How true. A life half lived – a semi-conscious existence - instead of a vibrant, purposeful, exciting adventure.

I see the robots and the clones every day – addicts desperately sucking their stinking nicotine drug in those filthy glass cages in airports, bowing and scraping to their bosses, smiling through gritted teeth at service staff who treat them like rabid dogs, the sycophants and the groveling yes men who hate themselves for their own subservience but prefer their suffering to the alternative: freedom. They grab at any drug that will numb the pain of compromise, including mindless television, the ubiquitous hockey and football, and the ultimate mental band-aid: food. Obesity is the shield that they hope will protect them from the pain of reality.

Robert Wickman said, "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: ‘Wow! What a ride!'" Consider Christ's complaint against the Laodiceans: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

“Security!” they cry. “Don’t rock the boat”, they whine. Their favorite word is “But”, their justification is “It’s too good to be true” and they die with the “shoulda, woulda, coulda, if only” searing their brains and ripping their hearts. General George Patton said, "Fixed fortifications are monuments to the stupidity of man." The fence sitters and the politically correct are their own worst enemies. They slowly become invisible as they blend into the background, the extras in life who voyeuristically watch the stars enjoying life. “This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper” – TS Eliot.

We don’t have to join the ranks of the also rans, the mediocre, the herd, the ratrace. We don’t have to be serfs and servants, beggars and bores. We don’t have to crucify our dreams and wear the hair shirt of disappointment. It’s not too late to break free of our prison cells. So many prisoners ran to try and get over the wire, preferring machine gun death to internment and emasculation. We don’t face death, yet there are people who risk death every day just to live in North America. Do we throw up our arms in gleeful gratitude that we live in the best, most wealthy area of the world? Do we grasp the vast opportunities around us and set out to make our dreams comes true? Do we bravely pioneer new business opportunities, meet new friends, and live life to the fullest?

“Whatever the mind of man can believe and conceive, it can achieve”, we have heard. And it’s true. Paul Meyer promised us, “Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon, must inevitably come to pass.” It’s never too late to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. You’re not too old. You can bounce back. You can start dreaming again. Pick up those old dreams, brush the skepticism and cynicism off them, polish them up with a spot of enthusiasm, add passion and expectation, and a bit of good old courage, and you’re off to the races. Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all. You can do it. Take a stand. Make a statement. Seize the day. Take back your self-respect. Smash the bars of guilt and break free. There’s a great big world out there that rewards initiative, persistence, bravery and passion. Money flows to value and integrity, no matter who you are or what you have done or not done in the past.

Determine that you will grab life by the horns – it’s better to live a full life for twenty years than to die at 80, never having actually lived at all. And if you’re already eighty, maybe it’s time to start kicking some ass.

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