Live life. Experience it.
What does that mean exactly? Aren’t we all in a way? We’re all living, right?
I don’t know how much living many of us are actually doing. If doing the same thing everyday counts, then I suppose. If always staying in your comfort zone qualifies, then I guess so. But I don’t see things that way, and I’m starting to realize what actual living is.
Gustave Flaubert (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I think the number one thing I’ve learned while having this blog is rather simple, actually. I speak of all kinds of things, things I’m exploring. Life, existence, meaning, philosophy, I’m moving towards theology… the list goes on. As it was once put:
“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe”
I agree with that. I do believe I am discovering what I believe. I feel like I have a more solid view on life, for sure. It’s fantastic, I’m rather happy with where I’m going (I know, it’s ego, but cut me some slack!). I feel as though I’m looking at life in more intelligent ways, in ways I didn’t previously. Here’s the thing, though – I’m not sure how much any of that really matters in the long run.
If I don’t live, truly live the things I’ve learned.
Books are great, and they can teach you a lot. But they don’t have a tenth of their impact if you don’t practice what you’re reading. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This is a lesson that has taken me quite some time to truly understand, and even now I’m certain I have a lot left to learn. The example that comes to mind is that I started reading self-help books early on, and that may be the reason why I opened my eyes from such a young age. The difficulty I had with those books, the content, was not that I didn’t enjoy it, because I very much did – to the point of feeling drawn to the whole subject. I struggled I had was with translating the learning into my life, and that was a key element that was not addressed directly in the books. How am I supposed to get to that level of spirituality? Surely we all have our own way to go about it.
Thank goodness I learned how to do ridiculously difficult math. Now I may live a fulfilling life. (Photo credit: Kevin H.)
The more I think of it, the more I realize that it’s true for most things in life. As I wrote just a few days ago, you learn a lot in school, sure, but what do you do with the information? Nobody tells you, nor does anyone seem to know. Which is an immediate indicator that there is something off. What am I supposed to do with something I do not know how to use? I think the number one thing we should keep in mind is this: can I use this information/knowledge/learning/skill? If not, it better be of some sort of enjoyment to you (e.g. playing the guitar), because beyond that, it’s useless.
So it’s easy to hide behind that excuse to stay where everything feels safe. You or I can wait until someone will come around and tell us everything we need to know, but that’s not going to happen. Plus, you wouldn’t learn anything.
That’s why I say to experience life. Dive into things, head first. Make mistakes, mess up a little bit. Learn about whatever the hell it is that you’re doing, by doing it. I know I’m not the best person to make this example, but the same goes for parenting. There really isn’t an instruction manual, and I’ve seen my parents learn as they go (I have a younger brother, which helps a bit to see this process a little bit). They have certainly become better leaders as I’ve grown up, I’ve witnessed it first-hand.
I see the same thing with business owners, with authors, with actors. You’ve just gotta do it if you want to truly learn, to truly experience life. I started an unsuccessful blog some time last year, but I never got it going because I didn’t invest. Maybe I was afraid, maybe I wasn’t ready to learn just yet. Whatever it was, it changed when I tried again several months later, and now here I am. It wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t make a promise to myself to commit and be okay with a little failure, a little pain.
So the things that I write about and the blog itself really are teachers to me on how to live. A theme for the last few days has been selflessness (or rather selfish selflessness), and I physically had to do stuff for others without directly impacting myself to really get the beginning of understanding on the whole subject.
Who likes a hypocrite? Live what you preach, and preach what you live. I know some some pretty famous people in history that did just that….
Get off the couch from your TV, from your self-help book, and try something new. Put down your plan and go for it. Do something you haven’t done, something you’ve been talking about doing for a while. Experience something new.