To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. – Oscar Wilde
What does that mean?
To live, so many of us believe we do it, yet if we examine what we are doing, it is rarely so. Most of us live only briefly, and between those bright spots, simply exist, slogging through the drudgery of everyday life.
While some people use a phrase like “Skydiving makes me feel so alive,” this isn’t exactly what the quote was getting at, at least in my opinion. What the quote is trying to get across is that many people are so constrained by how they think they should be that they never really live.
Instead of simply sitting there and existing, the quote implies that we should take matters into our own hands and make things happen. To live our lives, not just walk through them as if it were a dressed rehearsal for a dreary play, one which you would rather not be in.
Why is truly living important?
The action of simply existing is really kind of sad. Dodo kind of sad. While penguins and ostriches are flightless, penguins can swim, and the ostrich can run fast. The dodo simply became extinct when a predator was introduced. While we cannot all fly, hopefully we can do something else that is exciting, like swimming or running fast.
Yes, we have jobs, chores, and other things we don’t necessarily enjoy, but a large part of living is focusing on the enjoyable. If you spend your time focusing on that which makes you miserable, you will not really be able to live, no matter how well off you are, or believe you are.
Truly living also involves spending some time doing things that inspire you. Even if you only sing briefly in the shower, if that’s what you really love to do, enjoy yourself and live it. You don’t need to desire a recording contract or groupies, just enjoy the feeling of music. Live it, even if only in your head.
Where can I apply this in my life?
What of all the things you do would you consider actually living? And the flip side of that is what of the things you do are just existing? When I looked at my life, I wasn’t as pleased as I thought I would be. How about you, how did you fare?
It’s kind of ironic that this quote should come up while I was on vacation. As I am writing this, I’m within sight of the Pacific Ocean, enjoying a sea breeze and clear blue skies. Not quite “toes in the sand,” but I would have to say I’m living pretty well at the moment.
However, for a lot of my normal working life, I really don’t do much living. I also only have a handful of hobbies that I would consider “living” in the way I meant it earlier. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t have a fulfilling life, and live, rather than exist.
I mentioned that I hadn’t scored as well as I had hope simply that I see that there is room for improvement. I live a very full life as a father and as a husband, and my work itself is fulfilling. However, there are a lot of spaces between that aren’t as fulfilling as they could be.
There are also few time slots for other things I truly enjoy doing, due to everything else that is going on. In a way, I’m in the opposite trap of the person who is too afraid to live, I’m going crazy, running around trying to live my life and enjoy it.
What about you? What are you doing to try to live your life? Grab some paper and write down the things that bring energy, enthusiasm, and a warm sense of well being to your life. How much better do you feel just for having thought through them and having written them down? Does that give you an idea as to what you might want to focus?
Creative people tend to feel more alive when creating. People who are oriented around doing tend to feel more alive when they are accomplishing things. Social people tend to feel more alive when they are with others. What are you, and what would help you feel like you were living your life, instead of just existing?
Next to each of the items on your list, put a number (from 1 to 10) to give an intensity to each item. Now add two other numbers to each item. The first of these numbers is for the relative frequency you do the item on the list. The other is for how often you would like to do the activity.
If you really enjoyed skydiving (it helped you feel so alive, you gave it a 10), but you only ever did it once, several years ago, but would love to do it at least once a month, you would have a very high first number, a very low second number, and a medium third number. Does that make sense?
For me, I would look at this list, and find the highest three or four items and put a mark next to each. Then I would look at that list of things that really help me feel alive, and find the ones I do the least but would like to do the most.
With that item (or items) in mind, the next step would be to figure out how to do this item a bit more often, and live a little more. Every little bit helps, so even if you can’t get straight to your ideal level, just getting a start is better than nothing, and might help you feel a little more like you are living, and not so much feeling that you are just existing.
Like much of what gets discussed here, this is a very personal choice, so take a little time and figure out what is best for you. Then actually do it, and begin to live more.
From: Twitter, @_inspirational_
confirmed at : http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/2448-to-live-is-the-rarest-thing-in-the-world-most
Photo by ` TheDreamSky