Monday, August 26, 2013

An Extraordinary Life

An old saying claims life is not about the destination but rather the journey. This is so true because the steps in between tend to matter more and carry the fondest memories. Genuine meaningfulness in life is only found in our experiences and interactions with others along the way. When asked at her 103rd birthday the secret to living a long life Rosene Pierce started sharing the memories of her journey. She began sharing about the individuals who impacted her life and the moments they shared together. While she was sharing her stories it was interesting to note that she never mentioned anything about her wealth and prosperity. It was apparent Rosene was more appreciative of those she interacted with in her life than where her life had actually took her. Now there is nothing wrong with having a goal or a particular place in life we would like to achieve, like financial independence in Key West Florida, but our meaningfulness is only found in the steps it took to get there. For instance, take someone who has thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail. They always retrace the days of their journey more than the day they reached Mount Katahdin; in fact, most of them share they sensed a tone of bittersweet emotions when nearing the end of the trail because they hated to see their journey come to an end. What we need more than anything in our pursuit for meaningfulness is to start cherishing right where we are in life and embrace each moment before us. Hunter S. Thompson was an American Journalist who coined the style of journalism called gonzo. Gonzo journalism is when the reporter places himself/herself as part of the story where their experiences and emotions give an accurate depiction of the story being reported on. In his efforts to accurately report on the life of the notorious motorcycle gang, the Hells Angels, Thompson spent an entire year living and riding with the gang. The initial reaction would be to think Thompson was being reckless risking his life the way he did, but he later explained that life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” You see, a meaningful life is about the experiences along the way. Each person is geared toward activity one way or another regardless of their situation. There is nothing holding us back from enjoying the life we have. Craig Demartino experienced a rock climbing accident in 2002 resulting in the amputation of his leg. Today he is back to climbing mountain faces all over the world. Demartino was not going to allow a missing leg to hold him back from doing what he loved. You see, it is in our nature to press on and move forward regardless of our predicament. We are meant to stay busy and be productive, but when we fail to do so we experience dissatisfaction and frustration in our lives. Don't let today become tomorrow without enjoying what you have today, your life! Not someone else's, but your life. And since it is your life, plan on making it an extraordinary one. Not one ladened with ridiculous feats that never define who you really are, nor one in pursuit of fame and fortune, but one who defines who you are and no one else. Pursue your passion, no matter what it is, and you'll soon discover a fulfillment unlike no other.

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