We spend our entire lives learning how to be good at a particular skill. We go to school to become doctors, engineers, teachers, and politicians. But how do we learn to live to live life to the fullest and fulfil our destiny?
We study hard, acquiring skill after skill which helps us achieve mastery in our fields. We spend years carefully training our skills just to one day be recognized as a master engineer, best teacher, the most creative carpenter or the doctor with the best hands.
But in all of those years of studying, learning and teaching, we take one thing for granted. We think that life happens itself and that we don’t need to study or learn how to live it – we think it comes “naturally” to us and everyone around us.
And soon enough, we find ourselves on the top of our fields as renewed experts but at the bottom of our lives as human beings. We are connected with everyone yet don’t feel a connection with anyone. We make more money to teach fulfilment but instead find emptiness. We search for happiness in everything we do just to find it in the things that we are.
We live life like it was owed to us instead of taking the time to master the craft of living life to the fullest. And that is why we feel that something is missing…. because it is.
And I know how you feel – I’ve been there myself, sitting down at my living room couch, wondering where it all went. The house, job, money, family – having everything but still feeling like I have nothing, wondering if I’m crazy to think like this. But I got through it by finding the truth – the truth which set me free and will do the same thing with you. And here’s what the truth is
How To Live Life To The Fullest.
Our society has brought us freedom, economic power, and the reason for an individual person as a card that trumps everything. For all its good things, the above-mentioned have their weaknesses.
Freedom can’t survive without responsibility, something most of us despise. Economical stability and power makes us privileged and discards many life-formatting, hard situations in our lives.
And the individuality makes us lose the tribal, communal nature of the collective where you have a purpose which extends from yourself to the others. The purpose for which you are just a vessel, giving you a sense of higher power.
But there is a way to combine all of these to live a life at your fullest and it’s found in the paradoxes of those three categories:
- Personal responsibility,
- Finding your tribe.
With Great Responsibility Comes Great Power
The legendary quote by Uncle Ben from Spiderman is “With great power comes great responsibility.” But the problem is that great power can only come if you take great responsibility.
The most powerless individuals are those who bear no responsibility. As anyone who ever raised a family, shouldering the responsibility for food on their plates, clothes for going out with friends, and books for school; makes you step up your game.
But I am talking about a different kind of responsibility here – about your chosen responsibility. It’s about choosing what you want to be responsible, not simply being a victim of life’s circumstances and then having to take responsibility.
The “choosing” part makes all the difference in the world because it’s your choice. You decide what you want to do and where you want to invest yourself – you choose your passion in life as the definition would say passion is – “choosing his own suffering.”
Because personal responsibility invested in your passion will breed great power and impact with it. But the way forward is only by deciding what you want to take responsibility for – some will take world problems like hunger or global warming, others will focus on local problems like unemployment in the city or the situation with the homeless people in the area.
It doesn’t matter what you take – one is not better than the other one. The only thing that matters is that you choose what you want to “suffer” for.
You choose your passion, you choose your response and then it chooses you back. With great responsibility comes great power – a power to make a difference. And that feeling of making a difference will help you live life to the fullest, just the way it was meant to be lived.
But How Do I Choose What I Want To Be Responsible To?
To live life to the fullest, you need to go deep in your life path and find your crucible(s). A crucible is an event which deeply impacted your life, usually in a negative way but it led you to this point in life.
The power crucibles you have are immense. But the thing is that you need to “enter” them and see how they played out. When they play out in your head, you need to reframe it to a positive situation – to a situation from which you learned a big life lesson which gave you direction in life.
I knew a lad who got deported from Russia and ended up in jail in Turkey. He was 21 years-old and he told me the story in such a positive manner that I was surprised by it so I asked him how he did it. His response shocked me:
“You see, it was the hardest moment in my life. I clearly remember the moment when I sat down in that cell in Turkey, wanting to cry my eyes out but the tears didn’t want to get out. I tried and tried but nothing happened. In that moment of my life’s biggest despair and doom, I found clarity. Because there was nothing there except me and ME, staring at the abyss my life was becoming at the moment and trying to grasp for the straws of salvation.
But the real salvation wasn’t lying in dodging the abyss – it was in falling into the abyss, transforming myself there and then climbing from it a different man. This is why my hardest moment in life is, in fact, my most precious moment in life.”
Ever since I heard this story, I started noticing the same pattern in the world. Amy Purdy, the Olympic-gold medalist lost both of her legs knee down from bacterial meningitis when she was 22. She said that she would have never done anything in her life if she didn’t lose her legs because that pushed her to solve the problems of her life. She even said that if she had the opportunity to go back in time, that she wouldn’t change a single thing.
The biggest people out there became the biggest because they rewrote the story of their lives, starting with the crucibles. And you need to start at the same place, by going deep into the one place which you want to forget.
But there is more to the crucible that meets the eye- there is a communal purpose hidden in your life’s biggest crucible.
You Need To Find Something For Which You Would Live and Die For
We have been the centre of our universe ever since our birth to the day we die. But life has a funny way of punching you in the gut. The moment you feel (not think, but feel) that something is bigger than yourself, is the moment you will achieve eternal happiness called fulfilment.
I call it eternal happiness because most people think they search for happiness in their lives but they are actually searching for fulfilment – the feeling of finding something bigger than yourself – and then being able to live and die for it. If there is one thing that makes you live life to the fullest, it’s finding the thing which would bring your fulfilment.
Fulfilment never comes as an individual option, telling you that a certain person will give you fulfilment. Fulfilment is found within a group sense, a group or a community which you have emotionally chosen. This is the group which values you share, whose vision you love and for which ideas you are willing to live and die for.
The moment you enter your crucible and reframe it is the moment you will find a purpose bigger than yourself. And this one moment will make all the difference in your life. It doesn’t matter if you are 20, 40, 50 or 70, the moment when you find a purpose bigger than yourself is the moment your life will change.
This isn’t about thinking your way to a purpose bigger than yourself – this is about feeling it deep within you. And crucibles do that for you. The moment you realize that your life is not simply your life but a vessel through which you can achieve a bigger purpose is the moment you receive fulfilment in your life.
And after that, you stop worrying about petty life problems like wearing matching socks, dining for $70 or $90 a person or arguing if you will take a vacation in Spain or Portugal.
You simply transform the way you look at life in general and you finally start living life to the fullest.
But you are not there. You are at the beginning of this article, being a master educator, engineer or a doctor, being on the top of your profession as an expert but feeling that something is missing.
The only question left at the end is will you take the leap and live life to the fullest?