Imagine you are listening to your eulogy and they say “s/he lived life to the fullest”.
What does this mean for you? Would you rather someone was honest and said: “S/he lived life half-arsed, was actually pretty cautious, never took risks, played it safe and was fearful to do what s/he really wanted to do, never reaching her/his potential as a result.”
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The reality is that we all have the ability to live life to the fullest, yet most of us unconsciously don’t. It takes a conscious effort to live life to the fullest.
I’ve been exploring this concept recently to try and understand what it means to me to live life to the fullest. I concluded that the meaning I apply to myself is different to yours and so there’s no fair comparison between two people. Only people who know me closely can judge whether I am giving it a crack!
It’s very individual. On the surface you could argue that the person who jumps off cliffs, puts his life on the line or risks his savings is living on the edge, rather than living life to the fullest!
Does this same person make the most of the people, family, friends, relationships and experiences that life has to offer? Are you making the most of what you currently do have and are you chasing the things you want? If not, then I get the feeling that your eulogy might read a bit thin.
What does life have to offer? I would suggest you take a few quiet moments and answer that question for yourself and put a note in your diary each year to re-visit the same question as your perspective changes. Would you be happy knowing that you didn’t make the most of the things that life had to offer?
You could write a list a mile long and still not get through it in one lifetime, so we need firstly to come to terms with that. Is doing more stuff and checking things off the list important to you? It may not be and that’s also ok. To me, being happy, content and grateful is equally as important as getting more gold stars.
Another question to ask yourself, particularly as an entrepreneur, is the following: how far and how often do you push yourself outside of your comfort zone? You know that awkward, uncomfortable feeling when venturing into the unknown? Yeh, that feeling.
How far are you pushing yourself or are you playing it too safe? Do you have someone helping push you like a peer group, mentor or friends?
The Entrepreneur’s Organisation is my peer network. In particular, my forum group meets monthly with complete transparency and we constantly evaluate where we are at each month and push each other in many ways. Over time we have seen massive growth in each of us on many fronts to the extent that we are doing things now that we couldn’t imagine we would be doing five years ago.
Entrepreneurship can infiltrate every part of your life and never go away, hence for me it’s a big part of who I am and daily life, so it deserves a high priority when assessing whether I am living life to the fullest – it is even a higher priority than my golf game (for now!)
If you want to be an entrepreneur then you will need to grow yourself and your business throughout your lifetime and you won’t achieve that doing what you’ve always done!
As entrepreneurs, we are wired differently. We have this innate desire to achieve, grow, work hard and learn new things, and we have bucket loads of self-motivation. We share a willingness to fail, a burning desire to succeed, to create, to innovate and to change the world. To me that’s living life to the fullest as an entrepreneur. I wouldn’t be happy running a milk bar for 45 years, despite the free mixed lollies.
There is so much that life has to offer and it’s up to us to make the most of it. I love hanging around people who think like this rather than doing the same boring thing time and time again and complaining about the same issues. At least complain about something new!
To me life is about experiences and the feeling that each experience brings. I encourage you to set out those experiences you want to have and keep an open mind for those spontaneous opportunities which arise from time to time. Can you afford NOT to do it? Have no regrets!
Particularly once-in-a-lifetime experiences, these are the ones you will remember when you sit back on your rocking chair while you wait for the next bingo game followed by afternoon tea at 1pm.
Being the best you can be takes effort and doesn’t happen on its own. That’s the best you can do and you only have to report to one person – yourself. I for one want to be known as someone who gave it 100%, 100% of the time (and got to a scratch handicap – dreaming).