Appreciate Life: be deliberate!

29 04 2009

Appreciating lifeHow deeply, and how often, do you appreciate the life you’ve been given? I think two important keys to appreciation – getting the most out of life – are being DELIBERATE in PURPOSE, and in PAUSING. Let me explain.

 

Being deliberate in PURPOSE. By this, I mean taking an intentional approach to your life! Be proactive, not reactive. Be aware of your purpose and align everything to it. This means discarding excessive distractions – things that take you away from focusing on what you want to do, and what you do best – what you are here for! Robin Sharma, one of the world’s leading experts on leadership and personal development, recently wrote:

 

“You’ve heard the old story of the two workers toiling outside of a huge new structure. The first one was exhausted and disengaged and uninspired. “What are you working on?” he was asked by a passerby. “I’m cutting some stones,” was the curt reply. The other worker was then asked the same question. “Sorry, can’t speak too long,” was the passionate response, “I’m in the process of building a cathedral.” Oh how easy it is to lose focus on our purpose in what I call The Age of Dramatic Distractibility. We can be so busy sending and checking emails, following people on Twitter, connecting with “friends” on Facebook and surfing the Net for hours upon hours. But let’s not forget that being insanely busy is very different from achieving important results. So easy to lose sight of Cathedral Building. With all the attractions for escape from real work (and real life) that our world bombards us with, adopting a disciplined stance to the way we show up – and what we do from rise until rest – has never been so important. Shutting out the noise so you can focus on your *insert meaningful activity here* is Job #1. Otherwise, you’ll get to the end and feel such heartache for spending your best years engaged only in the thick of thin things.”

 

Being deliberate in PAUSING. Intentionally pause to reflect, and take in the wonder of life here and the things around you. It’s amazing how your perception can change the way you feel about your world. Sometimes we forget to appreciate “all the good” in a day. I guess it’s how we choose to perceive the world. Have you heard of Helen Keller? She was an American author, political activist and lecturer, and the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Amazing. She tells a story about her friend who just returned from a long walk in the woods. When Helen asked her friend what she observed in the woods, the friend replied, “Nothing in particular.”

 

Keller writes the following:

 

“I wondered how it was possible to walk for an hour through the woods and see nothing of note. I who cannot see find hundreds of things: the delicate symmetry of a leaf, the smooth skin of a silver birch, the rough, shaggy bark of a pine. I who am blind can give one hint to those who see: use your eyes as if tomorrow you will have been stricken blind. Hear the music of voices, the songs of a bird, and the mighty strains of an orchestra as if you would be stricken deaf tomorrow. Touch each object as if tomorrow your tactile sense would fail. Smell the perfume of flowers, taste with relish each morsel, as if tomorrow you could never taste or smell again. Make the most of every sense. Glory in all the facets and pleasures and beauty which the world reveals to you.”

 

Pretty powerful stuff! Plan your day to allow for enjoyment of the simple things (instead of letting your day plan you). Take a walk, breathe, and enjoy.  Taking a few moments to relax and put things in perspective can make all the difference in our perception of life, and its challenges and pleasures.

 

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One response

29 04 2009
Sarah

This was a great reminder… especially here…

This is getting stolen and put on my blog…

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