Are you asking the right questions about life?

“The adventure of life is to learn. The purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change. The challenge of life is to overcome. The essence of life is to care. The opportunity of life is to serve. The secret of life is to dare. The spice of life is to befriend. The beauty of life is to give.”

William Arthur Ward

The richness of this quote is in the questions it brings to mind. These are just some of the questions that I pondered as I read through. What questions come to mind for you?

The adventure of life is to learn. –  What have I learned today, this week, this month? What efforts am I taking to continue the experience of learning?

The purpose of life is to grow. – How have I improved myself over the past year? What areas of my life need further growth and development? Where is my purpose leading me to grow in new and different ways?

The nature of life is to change. – What changes in my life am I please with, and what additional change is needed? Because change is constant, how do I become more at ease with the changes going on around me?

The challenge of life is to overcome. – What significant challenges have served to frame the person I am today? Where have I fallen short, and how can I pick myself up and start again?

The essence of life is to care. – Am I demonstrating care and concern in my outward behaviors towards others. Do people know that I care?

The opportunity of life is to serve. – How much of my life is dedicated to serving others versus serving myself? What should this ratio be? What options do I have to help more?

The secret of life is to dare. – What great adventure is right there just waiting to be embraced? What secrets are waiting to be unlocked if I can only dare to dream big enough?

The spice of life is to befriend. – Who are those friends that have added to my “spice of life?” Am I giving the same value in return?

The beauty of life is to give. – When this life is over, what will people remember about me? What things I had or what gifts I gave to others. How much of myself can I give away?

Chasing versus doing…

“Greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service, and character.”

William Arthur Ward

The first list is of things that many people spend their entire lives pursuing. These things, while nice, don’t fill the heart and soul with happiness. In fact, if that is all a person has, I can’t imagine a much emptier life.

The second list is how a person chooses to live. This list might never lead to any of the things in the first list but to me this represents a life worth living. This is a life worth pursuing. This is a life that when you reach the end, one can look back and say, “I lived well.”

You can spend your entire life chasing things. Or you can spend your life doing things. Things that truly matter. It’s your choice, choose wisely…

Make the seconds count…

“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you?’”

William A. Ward

Two of the most powerful worlds in the English language are “thank you.”  Recognizing the efforts or contributions of another person and expressing your sincere appreciation can have impact and meaning far beyond the moment that you say the words.  Simply saying “thank you” to another person can be a beacon of light and hope in their entire day.  It shows others that they matter, that their work matters, that their efforts matter.  

How many of those seconds are spent in the aforementioned most powerful way?  God gives us the precious gift of time.  How do we spend it on others?  It reminds me of this verse from Romans 14:12: “So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.”  How are you going to account for the 86,400 seconds you have today?  Who’s life will you touch by simply saying “thank you?”

 

Give the gift…

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

William Arthur Ward

For some reason this reminds me of the age old philosophical question of, “if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it does it make a sound?”  If you feel grateful to another person, but don’t share it, does it have the impact it could? I am HUGE proponent of daily journaling and specifically of keeping a gratitude journal.  Writing down the 3-5 things each day that I am grateful for, and why, has really been impactful in my life over the past 3-4 years.  To learn more check out this article on The Transformative Power of Gratitude.

As I read this quote it makes me think that perhaps I have been stuck in first gear regarding my gratitude habit. I journal daily about what I am grateful for, but I haven’t made sharing that gratitude a daily priority.  There are so many incredible gifts that we receive in life, isn’t the best and most appropriate response to simply say thank you?

Kill the can’t…

Nothing limits achievement like small thinking; nothing expands possibilities like unleashed imagination.”

William Arthur Ward

Can’t” is such a powerful word. It is the creator of small thinking and I believe it’s usage is the key indicator of our own limiting beliefs. How often do you use “can’t” in your day to day thinking and speaking? How are you governing your potential?

Here’s a challenge.  Actively keep track today of how many times you use “can’t” today in your thoughts, your conversations, your leadership.  Where and when are you using it and what is being limited because of a “can’t” belief?  

If you want to unleash imagination, you have to kill “can’t.”  

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