On Getting Busy Living And The Choices You Make
When you have a strand of lights, if one bulb goes out, often the whole strand goes out. Because they are all connected.
I am very sure that we work the same way. We all impact each other every day, both intentionally and accidentally. by our choices, actions, words, and experiences.
And when one of our lights goes out, when the giant breath of death blows out or flame and all that’s left is the quiet silence of twirling smoke in the air, we are all impacted. Whether on the grandest of stages or the softest corners of the Earth, we are all connected.
I read a book a few years ago written by a linguist that had studied the words that people said before they passed away. The commonalities were fascinating – the things people said over and over again across hundreds of case studies. But the one that stuck with me the most was this: Repeatedly, people spoke about wishing they’d lived for themselves and not for what or how other people thought they should.
This single principle is maybe the biggest guiding force in my life; the choices I make, how I spend my time, who I spend it with, the experiences I choose to have, and maybe most importantly, the words I speak. Because tomorrow isn’t promised.
Because on that mysterious date and time in the future, when my flame is extinguished, I want to know without a shadow of a doubt that I lived for myself, and not for what other people wanted for me. And in doing so, maybe gave someone else permission to do the same.
I want to do and see and feel so many things while on this grand adventure. I want to be able to say that I tried to fly, in all the ways that versions of that might look for me.
We all have a choices on how to live in all areas of life, always. Even not choosing is still a choice. Sometimes we like to blame people for the way our lives have turned out. That’s called victimization and is extremely disempowering. What’s much more useful and thus also extremely empowering is taking responsibility for your life exactly as it is, and owning all of the choices you’ve made. And if you don’t like where you’re standing, do something about it. Make a different choice.
You have one wild and precious journey. Get busy living.
Lastly, I encourage you so hard to live this, however it might look for you:
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and could say, “I used everything you gave me.” – Erma Bombeck
With a brand new candle and a full box of matches,