Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
– Steve Jobs
We all come to grips with death
Like everyone, I have had to deal with the death of loved ones. And interfacing with some of the hospice workers involved in those passages has been remarkable. In one instance, a hospice worker said to me: “He’s on a remarkable journey and will be learning lots of things.” I discovered that the journey was really that of everyone involved in the process. And we all learn lots.
Hospice workers have a checklist to determine whether someone moves into the actively dying stage. Relax. It’s not morbid or offensive. It’s a way of tracking the changes that take place as someone moves closer to dying and it is a natural way for them to help ensure that the person in their charge has comfort and dignity.
The dying process begins well before death actually happens. That got me to thinking. How many of us actually think about the process of living? Dale Carnegie once said: “One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.”
It’s time to stop wishing. And start having.
We do not all come to grips with living
I’m going to borrow now from the hospice checklist. And I know that hospice usually refers to the care of the terminally ill. And the term hospice also means a lodging for travelers.
Aren’t we all just travelers at any given time? So that seems appropriate to me.
Borrowing from the hospice checklist then, there are two aspects to living — the Preactive Living Phase and the Actively Living Phase.
Preactive Living is that phase of your life where you take action and make an effort to actually participate in your own life, success, and dreams. This is not about living a life of reacting to things. Quite the contrary, this phase of your life is all about predicting your own future and then creating a life in accord with that anticipation, desire, and belief. This is the time when you consciously plan the changes in your life that will take you from a living a life of loss and reaction to living a life of fulfillment and power. Think of this as the design part of your life.
Actively Living is that phase of your life where you change, adopt, and manifest what you have predicted for yourself. It’s as much about actually producing your Now and Then as it is about actively controlling those things within your control. It is about living a life that might have some obstacles and yet you know that these can all be targeted and vanquished. Think of this as the implementation part of your life.
Signs that you’re ready to finally enter the Preactive Living phase
You will begin to notice some or all of the following when you are ready to start predicting and taking control of your life:
1. You are increasing restless, confused, aroused, impatient, unable to stay gratified about things, and feel the need to take a firm stand about something (even if you don’t know what it is, yet)
2. The social activities that used to interest you don’t excite you anymore
3. You have less alertness, feel groggy, and feel like you’re walking through mud or water as you make your way thought Life
4. You lose interest in those things that used to excite you
5. You start daydreaming and fantasizing about what another life would look like for you
6. You don’t just feel like you’re ready for a change — you are starting to say that out loud to others
7. You find yourself getting sick more often than usual
Signs that you’re ready to finally enter the Actively Living phase
Once you enter the Preactive Phase, you will sit down and actually chart out the life you want to have instead of the just getting by with the one you’re living now. I’ve outlined in prior articles how to create the life of your dreams in complete detail. You might want to take a look through my blog for various ideas. Here’s one good place to start:
The Actively Living phase is all about doing. As such, you will begin to notice some or all of the following when you are ready to start LIVING:
1. An inability for others to negatively influence you or deflect you away from your personal success goal and dreams that will fulfill you
2. You become a crusader for your own dreams, a maverick of your own thoughts, and somewhat of a nonconformist to others
3. You find that you are actually breathing easier and have an increased confidence in your ability to handle anything that comes your way
4. You start taking better care of your health, heart, and habits
5. You have little tolerance for stupid people and those who waste your time with their own little dramas
6. You are so busy with your own life that you begin to notice an “out of sight, out of mind” situation with those things and people you don’t see or encounter frequently
7. You stop complaining without also having a solution
8. You stop complaining and simply take charge
Stop existing. And start living.
Actively Living is not easy. Everyone would be doing it if it was easy. But it is a simple concept. And it’s simple to put into practice. Just stop wishing. And start living as if you already have what you want.
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