“Begin at once to live and count each separate day as a separate life.” ~Seneca
At times, it’s seemed as though life contains an endless supply of days.
When I was younger, I thought this for sure. It didn’t matter how long I held a grudge, or how long I waited to do something I wanted—there would be an unlimited pool of other opportunities. At least that’s what I thought back then.
Maybe it’s a rite of passage from childhood to adulthood: the moment when you realize life happens now, and that’s all you’re guaranteed. It doesn’t really hit you when you merely know it intellectually, like you know your ABCs, state capitals, and other concrete facts.
It hits you when somehow you feel it. Your health declines. You lose someone you love. A tragedy rocks your world. It isn’t until you realize that all life fades that you considernow a commodity and the totality of your now’s scarce.
But maybe that’s irrelevant. Maybe living a meaningful, passionate life has nothing to do with its length and everything to do with its width.
With this in mind, I recently asked Tiny Buddha’s Facebook friends, “How do you make life meaningful?” I was inspired by what they had to say, so I’ve used them to create this list:
1. Live in the moment. Forget the past and don’t concern yourself with the future. (Tanner Christensen)
2. Fully embrace the now, no matter what the situation. (Patrick Flynn)
3. Do the things you love. (Diego Felipe Villa Serna)
4. Learn to forgive and embrace unconditional love. (Ann Glasgow)
5. Live every day as if it’s your last, embracing each experience as if it’s your first. (Jennifer Fertado)
6. Believe in “live and let live.” (Satyendra Pandey)
7. Use quiet reflection, honesty, and laughter. (Erin Rogers Kronman)
8. Be other-centered. (Tricia Mc)
9. Find calm in making art. (Z.r. Hill)
10. Focus on today and how you can do your best to live it to the fullest. (Amelia Krump)
11. Participate in life instead of just watching it pass you by. (Lindsey Wonderson)
12. Stay healthy, eat right and most importantly, be kind to all. (Tho Nguyen)
13. Pray, forgive yourself, appreciate others, listen to your gut, do things you enjoy, and remind yourself that we are all loved and connected. (Sandra Lumb)
14. Don’t sweat the small stuff. (Allison Gillam)
15. Question everything, keep it simple, and help whenever and however you can. (Lynda Corrigan Sutherland)
16. Try to enjoy every minute of every day. (Maria Ahlin)
17. Appreciate life’s every second. (Anna-Karin Boyaciyan-Demirciyan)
18. Step through new doors. The majority of the time there’s something fantastic on the other side. (Terri Mindock)
19. Remember that all is a gift, but the most precious of all gifts is life and love. (Debbie Teeuwen)
20. Keep your spirit free, be flexible, let go. (Leslie Brown)
21. “Do one thing every day that scares you.” -Baz Luhrmann (Adam Raffel)
22. Don’t attach to outcomes. (Wp Ho)
23. Spend as much time with a two year old as possible. (Jackie Freeman)
24. Enjoy each and every moment of life. Every day is a new challenge and opportunity to discover something new. (Chirag Tripathi)
25. Budget travel. It is always an adventure! You get to enjoy what fate has to offer with limited means. (Ruby Baltazar)
26. Be honestly thankful for every breath you take. (Jonathan Carey)
27. Just be. (Catherine Halvorsson)
28. “Trust yourself. Trust your own strengths.” ~Gaundalf the grey (Jonathan David Evan Fulton)
29. Pause momentarily before everything you do so that you notice everything you should or could notice. (Scott Hutchinson)
30. Follow your hopes and not your fears. (Jody Bower)
What have you done today to live life to the fullest?
“See the positive side, the potential, and make an effort.” -Dalai Lama
We all have within us the potential to not only be happy, but to give that gift to others. Don’t underestimate the power of your efforts. They do make a difference.
When you smile, you remind other people to see the good in life. When you look for the best in people, you remind them to cut themselves some slack. When you stay strong in difficult circumstances, you remind others it can be done.
Just like a butterfly’s wings can create changes in the atmosphere that alter the path of a tornado, your smile can change the world in ways you can’t even comprehend. Make an effort today. You’re more powerful than you realize.
“Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.” -Unknown
Whatever you do today, do it knowing you are beautiful. That you are whole, worthy, and good enough just as you are. That no one is perfect, and wherever you’re at is right where you’re supposed to be. That you deserve to feel good about yourself, and that you can at any time if you choose to.