Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Living the good life?

What is your vision of the good life?  Have you thought about it, or are you just content plodding through one day at a time and seeing where life takes you?  Watching the Olympic Games I have realised there are a lot of people out there that have very clear and specific visions about winning a gold medal at the Olympics, something I have never even considered and would never have the determination, ability or commitment to achieve.  Whether you have formally developed a vision or if it is just a quiet whisper deep down inside, this vision for your life is what helps you set priorities each and every day.

Steve Jobs, in his commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005, said “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. 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.”

I try not to think about dying too much, but I must admit the idea of being an old person in a nursing home motivates me to make the most of this life while I am still relatively young.  Just like Dennis Denuto said in The Castle “It’s the vibe of the thing” and my vision is based on a vibe.  My vibe is described brilliantly by these words, “The work of decency will be peace, and the effect of honesty will be quietness and trust.  You will live in a peaceful neighbourhood, in secure houses, and in quiet gardens.  Those who have well watered fields and gardens with farm animals grazing freely will enjoy a fortunate life”.

Very often my real life does not feel quiet or free or peaceful but  I will continue to reach for my dream, because as Robert Fritz said "If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise."

So what does your dream life look like?  Are you already living it?  Are you working towards a vision set by the expectations of others, doing things because you think it will make you popular, please other people, make you rich, change the world or simply based on all you have ever known?

Christopher Reeve famously said “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”  There is too much anxiety, depression and poor physical and mental health in our world, there is too much violence, injustice and debt, there is too much fear and worry and not enough love and trust.  We all need to dream, to have a vision for our life, and whether we feel like the vision is huge or very tiny; we owe it to ourselves, our family, our community and the entire world, to live that dream.  It will make the world a better place.  What do you think?

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