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December 2017
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June 2018

Don't Wait: Live the Life You Want

 

The stories of living life interest me. That's why I interviewed 80 people from all walks of life for my book, Pursuit of Passionate Purpose. That's also why I read the Obituaries and go to Memorial Services.
At a holiday party my friend Alice shared about her travels to Patagonia in South America. In explaining her adventure goals for 2018 she advised, "Don't wait! Do what you want to do now. You never know what life may bring."

Mary Anderson's Life

To cement this important message, I read in Sunday's paper about the life of Dr. Mary Anderson (not her real name). She was an Emergency Room physician and health administrator with 30 years of compassionate and wise leadership at a local hospital. She entered health care to make a meaningful difference.

She was fearless. She skied off 14,000-ft mountains, jumped off towering cliffs in a hang glider, surfed the ocean's biggest waves, and fished the farthest reaches of British Columbia — all with a bold passion. She possessed a venturesome spirit, a keen and inquisitive mind, unbounded energy, a natural athleticism, a spiritual connection to the environment, a love of animals, and a deep devotion to family. For 20 years, she and her husband trained and ran marathons together from Athens, Greece to Santiago, Chile.

In the end, she died of a heart attack — just weeks before retirement and commencing the next phase of her life where she planned to drive her Sprinter van to the southern tip of Argentina. I didn't know Mary personally, but it seems like she lived a great, albeit short, life. She did not wait.

It's a Wonderful Life

Especially at this time of the year, I think of the classic movie, It's a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. In the movie, Jimmy Stewart plays George Bailey who lives in Bedford Falls and runs the Bailey Building and Loan Association. He has a bucket list of his own, but he never gets to check anything off. He didn't travel the world as he envisioned; he gave up college so his younger brother could attend instead; he skipped his honeymoon to save the Building and Loan; he didn't own a trophy home or have a high-paying job. Through all of his trials and tribulations, however, he was able to help his family and the people of Bedford Falls in important ways. At the end, he was heralded as the "richest man in town" and the person who indeed had the wonderful life.

Tips to Live the Life You Want

Regardless of the path you're on and your goals for the future, there are many ways to achieve your own wonderful life. The key is to lead an authentic life now — the life you were born to live.

SET THE INTENTION to live life to the fullest. Make it a meaningful year and life.
 
PLAN. Dream big. What do you want to do with your one precious personal and professional life?
 
SIMPLIFY. Get rid of the clutter, financial constraints, and emotional baggage that may be holding you back. Resolve what needs to be resolved. Allow yourself to be free.
 
DON'T WAIT. Take action. What will you do today to bring your dreams into reality? Start now!

Summary

As George Bernard Shaw said, "Don't wait for the right opportunity. Create it!" Set the intention, form a plan, simplify your life, and start now to live your life to the fullest. Don't wait.  Resolve and start fresh.