In the fall of 2003, as I was preparing to leave Michigan State for chiropractic school, after many years of education, philosophy, thinking, and planning, I started to develop a real life plan. It was literally a game plan on not only how I wanted my life but a start and direction in which to head. That direction was all centered on a couple of core beliefs. One of which being, “treat every day as an opportunity to better myself and help make an impact on bettering my community’s health and well-being.” Granted, my life plan changed A LOT over the years but the core belief has always stood strong.
Every winter, my brain always gets fixated on opportunity, change, and growth. Life has had a funny but all so real way of reminding me to “live life to the fullest” and “don’t take anything for granted.” Recently, after burying a healthy and happy friend, who passed in a tragic accident at the age of 29, the cliché sayings still ring true to this day but opportunity often falls to the way-side.
We get lazy. It is not that we don’t care but we stop showing appreciation to the loved ones around us, we settle in to the “this is my life” mentality, or worse, we close off our worlds to new things, ideas and opportunities. We whine and moan about the weather, politics, insurance, our jobs and the rest of our lives. What good does it do?
Use this month to start pushing the winds of change in the direction of a new opportunity, a new or better defined direction in life. Come up with a plan! It is not written in stone, IT WILL CHANGE! Be a ninja and ADAPT! Spring is almost upon us so use the fall to grill some tasty eats and start the migration (between basketball games) of your ass off the couch and toward someplace that will keep you active through the lovely summer months instead of packing on those insulating holiday pounds. Your body will thank you. Take a few hours, sit down in a quiet place by yourself and do some thinking and planning. Share it with the people or person that you share your life with.
Most people wake up, start their morning ritual, go to work, come home, and then start their evening ritual, day-in and day-out, over and over again. If that is how you want to live your life then good for you, enjoy the ride because it will be over faster than you think. Be sure to have a little fun along the way if you can afford it between paychecks.
What most people never realize is that opportunity is all around us all of the time. Every day we have the opportunity to make better decisions about what we eat, drink, think, and do. Often people fall into the “have-do-be” mindset, which means, once I HAVE what I want (usually money), then I can DO what I want (vacation, relax, etc.), and then I will BE the person that I’ve always wanted to be (successful). The problem with that way of think is that it is backwards!
Instead, think “BE-DO-HAVE.” Figure out who and what you want to BE, define your beliefs, goals and dreams. Then you will DO the things that coincide with those beliefs. Your actions will now align with your core principles. Once you begin to live your life this way, you will HAVE the things or at least be on the path to get the things that you have already defined. Your life is no longer a walking contradiction. When an opportunity presents itself, weigh your options and TAKE IT or MOVE ON to the next opportunity.
Life is short and time seemingly speeds up as we age. It can be full of regret from opportunities missed or life can be a wonderful, fun, and amazing journey of learning about this crazy world as well as coming to a better understanding of our self and our place in this universe.