The Satisfaction Of Doing One’s Best

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” ~ Diane Ackerman … 

Often in life, we get so caught up with our destinations that we forget about the journey; and sometimes we simply forget to look around us as we travel down our paths–looking forward instead of seeing all the beautiful countryside, creatures, people, and scenery that surrounds us along the way. In truth, many of us live our lives as if it we’re a straight road from birth to death; and unfortunately they often live it that way too, trying to get to quickly get to the next destination–graduating high school, receiving the college degree, obtaining the new job or raise, getting married, starting a family, sending the child to school, waiting for the child to become an adult and move out, working on retirement, and so forth on down the line. But if we never remember to stop and look around–seeing those important people and things and experiencing those precious moments–we may one day discover ourselves at the destination we were seeking, yet still find ourselves looking back at the journey with regret, feeling perhaps like something is missing.

Everywhere I look I see life that is begging me to explore it, to experience it, to interact with it in ways that invoke joy and happiness and create wonderful memories, and it is from there that I will discover the beauty of life. There, just off the road, is where the amazing and the unforeseen unfolds, where fun and enjoyment ensue, where interesting conversations and scary adventures take place, where new people, places, and things come into our lives and change us in meaningful and powerful ways. It is on these side roads and untraveled paths that we will find clarity and come to define our purpose as something much greater than just another set of footprints on the road most traveled.

The decisions that you and I make today will largely determine our overall experience in life. Even in this very moment, we are creating lives for ourselves that we will look back on once we reach our destinations. And when we arrive at that end, the reasons for those decisions will surely seem less important than when we had originally made them.

It is the “width” of our life that enriches our time here on Earth; whether or not we decide to take risks from time to time and depart from the road to play, to learn, to grow, and to really live our lives deeply. Chances are that when we reach the end of our lives we will look back at all the opportunities that we have taken to live the width of our lives and realize that it was those moments that provided us with the kind of memories that bring us priceless satisfaction and joy.

Enjoy each moment of the day–live them to their fullest.

Questions to consider:

Do you live the width of your life? How might you do so?

How do you see the width of your life? What is it composed of?

Why do so many people stay so glued to the direct route on the straight and narrow road, seeming to look neither to the right nor the left?

For further thought:

“There is no fun equal to the satisfaction of doing one’s best. The things that are most worthwhile in life are really those within the reach of almost every normal human being who cares to seek them out.” ~ Bertie Charles Forbes


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Filed under Commentary, Food For Thought, Living, Opinion

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