Recently a 36-yr-old MBA in an executive position in an exciting industry shared this concern in her coaching profile: “I have a vague sense that my life is too small.”
Living large does not necessarily mean a bigger salary, house, cars or retirement fund. It has nothing to do with fancy vacations or the latest fashions. Rather, it means having a life that is full of meaning and purpose. A life that unleashes your natural passion – shaped and directed by your wisdom. And that can occur – or be absent – at any place on the continuum of the traditional parameters of “success.” I’ve seen millionaires who are living life “small” and those with scarce financial resources who are living “large.”
Let me ask you this: What is your life saying to the world? Are you living your life too small? Is it so full of meaningless tasks that there’s no room left for the things that make your heart sing? Are you pushing so hard in doing more that you’ve lost the sense of being more? Does more activity really equal greater accomplishment, or does it at some point tip the scale and begin to diminish the meaning of your life? Are you creating the legacy you want to leave for your loved ones?
Are you tapping into your passion? Do you find place for that in the routine of your normal week? I suppose it may be less complicated if we could just forget about passion. Isn’t that something we expect in kids – but then we become realistic about life and accept the drudgery of making a living? As I’ve researched “wisdom” and “passion” I’ve observed some people who apparently believe it’s easier to live life with neither of these troublesome characteristics. They wander through life, keeping their passions in check and never integrating the lessons of life into some sort of defined and articulated wisdom. This approach to life seems to involve less stress and certainly less risk. And then they quietly slide into their grave when their turn comes.
Theologian Frederick Beuchner envisioned a higher plane of living where wisdom and passion blend into a life characterized by clear direction, focused action, audacious power and Godly purpose.
Make it a regular practice to embrace living large times in your life. Wisdom, passion, peace, contentment, and insight about investing your life in fulfilling work will grow in those times. Take a walk, give thanks for simple things, take a bath with music playing and candles burning, turn off the telephones, TV, and computer. Carve out those times for restoration and spiritual breathing. Don’t confuse activity with accomplishment. Even Jesus got away from the crowds periodically. Don’t let your life be too small.
“ . . some moment happens in your life that you say yes right up to the roots of your hair, that makes it worth having been born just to have happen. Laughing with somebody till the tears run down your cheeks. Waking up to the first snow. Being in bed with somebody you love… whether you thank God for such a moment or thank your lucky stars, it is a moment that is trying to open up your whole life. If you turn your back on such a moment and hurry along to business as usual, it may lose you the ball game. if you throw your arms around such a moment and hug it like crazy, it may save your soul.” — Frederick Buechner
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